U.S. airlines cancel flights to Haiti


Over the weekend, Miami Herald reported that several U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and JetBlue, canceled all flights to Haiti on Saturday as violent protests continue over gas prices. Jacqueline Charles reports:

American Airlines says it has canceled three out of seven flights to Port-au-Prince. [. . .] The U.S. airlines canceled all of their flights to Haiti Saturday as the country’s embattled prime minister called for Haitians to stop blocking roads and burning tires amid a civil unrest being triggered by the announcement of a sharp hike in fuel prices. Flights remain canceled until further notice despite Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant’s announcement that the price adjustment was being temporarily suspended.

At least three people have died as a result of the violence that erupted Friday afternoon, including a police officer and security guard for a former legislative candidate and opposition leader. Also, two police stations — one in the city of Gonaives and the other in Carrefour on the outskirts of metropolitan Port-au-Prince — were set ablaze. Gunshots were fired during demonstrations in the capital city as well as the town of Cavaillon. [. . .]

Spirit Airlines and JetBlue, which diverted its 1709 flight to Santo Domingo and then returned to Fort Lauderdale Friday night “due to the civil unrest,” all announced flight cancellations Saturday to Port-au-Prince. The JetBlue flight was about 300 feet from the ground when it was diverted, said a passenger. [. . .]

The fuel hikes were part of an agreement that Haiti entered into with the International Monetary Fund. It has called on Haiti to make sweeping reforms in its public administration and raise gas prices in accordance with its 1995 law that calls for prices to be adjusted with every shipment. Failing to do the reforms can cost Haiti up to $96 million in budgetary support from international donors. [. . .]

[Photo above by HECTOR RETAMAL, AFP/Getty Images.]

For full article, see https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article214490259.html

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