Transcarga files DOT exemption request for US-Venezuela flights

Earlier this week, Caracas, Venezuela-based carrier Transcarga International Airways filed an exemption request to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to enable it to engage in charter cargo service between Venezuela and the U.S. via intermediate points using its leased A300B4 freighter aircraft.

According to the filing, Transcarga’s fleet includes two leased A300B4 freighters and one owned Embraer 120ER turboprop freighter, all registered in Venezuela.

Initially, the DOT issued a prohibition on cargo service between the U.S. and Venezuela on May 14 this year. According to the DOT, this order was based on protecting public interest and safety against security threats presented by the use of Venezuelan airports.

With its exemption request, Transcarga said it will ensure the safety and security of its crew and aircraft engaged in operations at intermediate airports before arriving at and after departing from U.S. airports, and when transporting cargo to and from Venezuelan airports, in accordance with requirements by the DOT, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State. Initial routes requested include three weekly departures from Caracas Airport (CCS) and U.S. arrivals at Miami (MIA), with intermediate points in Panama, the Dominican Republic or Panama. Transcarga said intermediate points would further guarantee the security of these operations, since airports in other countries would be used for the screening of cargo, thus neutralizing risk factors.

The carrier also said that the exemption authority would support public interest because the cargo transported between Venezuela and the U.S. will consist of private cargo for private sectors in Venezuela. Denying this exemption would not only put Transcarga’s U.S. workforce and existence at risk as the only 100% privately-owned Venezuelan air carrier, but would also broadly affect the Venezuelan population and private sector and reduce options of air cargo carriers covering the route, Transcarga said. In the U.S., Transcarga has offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Answers from third parties wishing to comment on Transcarga’s exemption request are due by June 20, 2019.

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