On 1 August, the US Department of Transportation denied Venezuelan carrier Transcarga’s request for an exemption to engage in charter cargo transportation between the United States and Venezuela. The DOT cited the Department of Homeland Security’s concerns over security in Venezuela as the reason for the denial.
As reported by our sister publication, Air Cargo World, Transcarga requested an exemption from the DOT to engage in charter cargo operations on 5 June, stating in that filing it planned to use its leased A300B4 freighters to operate between Venezuela and the US via intermediate points.
For now, Transcarga continues to operate one of two leased A300B4 freighters in its fleet. The aircraft (261) operates in regional service on routes between its main hub in Caracas (CCS) and other destinations in Colombia and Venezuela such as Bogota (BOG), Puerto Cabello (PBL) and Valencia (VLN). Transcarga’s second freighter (274), meanwhile, has been idled since mid-May, when flights between Venezuela and the U.S. ceased.
The DOT initially suspended cargo service between the U.S. and Venezuela on 14 May, after receiving a letter from DHS that determined “conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew traveling to or from that country, and that the public interest requires an immediate suspension of all commercial passenger and cargo flights” between the countries. Although Transcarga proposed additional screening via intermediate points between the US and Venezuela, DOT said the concerns expressed by DHS “make clear that the conditions in Venezuela that led to the service suspension go well beyond that sole issue.”
In its denial, DOT confirmed that it would not allow petitions for reconsideration of its decision.