Ecuador's Tame airlines resumes service to Venezuela

Ecuador's Tame airlines resumes service to Venezuela

Quito (AFP) - Ecuador's state-owned Tame airlines resumed flights to Caracas Saturday after a three-day hiatus over Venezuela's failure to make $43.2 million in overdue payments, a Quito airport official said.

Tame Flight EQ524 departed Quito at 9:30 am (1430 GMT) on route to Caracas via a layover in Bogota, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Maiquetia International Airport outside Caracas announced on its website the departure of Flight EQ525 for Bogota, where it is due to stop before reaching Quito.

Another flight is scheduled to leave Quito for Caracas to service passengers who had tickets for Thursday or Friday, when the flights were suspended.

And Tame also plans a flight to Caracas on Sunday for previously ticketed passengers.

Tame officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ecuador's flag carrier announced Wednesday that it was temporarily suspending its service between Quito and Caracas due to "the failure of the BCV (Venezuelan Central Bank) to transfer funds to Tame."

Tame, the only airlines operating between the two countries, said that passengers who purchased tickets to Caracas were entitled to reimbursement.

Foreign airlines claiming about $3 billion in debt from the Venezuelan government began to suspend ticket sales this week in Caracas and even cancel flights.

Tame started serving New York last year and provides service to Bogota, Buenos Aires, Cali, Caracas, Havana, Lima, Panama City and Sao Paulo.

Tame's fleet is made up of four Embraer planes, 10 Airbus jets and three ATR planes.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa is a political ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.