Venezuela’s flag carrier Conviasa announced that is is halting all its flights. The announcement came shortly after one of Conviasa jets crashed, killing 17 people.
Conviasa’s passengers have been told that they their flights will be arranged with other carriers.
Conviasa says the decision to suspend flights until October will give it ample time for technical audit and evaluation of internal procedures.
There were 51 people on board of the jet that crashed in the Bolivar state. 34 people survived the crash.
BBC reports that Conviasa’s announcement comes just days after President Hugo Chavez spoke about the disaster on television and called for greater “efficiency” in Venezuelan air transport.
Conviasa, which accounts for just over 20% of Venezuela’s internal flights, is the country’s only state-run airline which flies to international destinations including Iran, Syria, Cuba and Spain.
The decision to suspend flights until October has caused some confusion at the country’s main airport in Caracas, where Conviasa customers complained of a lack of information.
However, the company’s reputation is being badly damaged, and the suspension comes amid stories in the local media of several recent near-misses on Conviasa flights.