U.S. airlines to ban travel to Colombia amid anti-government protests

AUSTIN, Texas— U.T.F., U.AX and United are suspending operations in Colombia amid reports that President Juan Manuel Santos is using the country as a base for an armed rebellion.

The U.K.-based Air France-KLM said in a statement Monday that the three companies will not fly to the Colombian capital, Bogota, on Dec. 20 and will resume flights on Dec 24.

U.K. carrier Lufthansa said it would stop flights from Monday to Friday, while German carrier LUX said it will suspend all flights from Tuesday to Friday.

Canadian airline Bombardier said it was suspending flights from Canada to Colombia on Tuesday and scheduled to resume flights from Wednesday.

American Airlines and JetBlue, both of which have operations in the U.C.B.I., said they will suspend operations from Colombia from Monday through Friday.

U.S.-based American Airlines said it is suspending all flights to Colombia because of government instability and violence.

A statement from the company said it plans to resume operations in January, although it did not say when that would be.

Bombardier and U.A.E. said in their statement they are canceling flights to Bogota because of “the threat of armed conflict and the potential for violence to escalate” and that the company is “monitoring the situation.”

Lufthanson and UAX said they are suspending all travel to Bogotá, including flights by land and sea.

Aer Lingus said it had suspended flights to the city because of security concerns.

Lux Air, another major U.U.-owned airline, said it canceled flights to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

U.ax said it planned to suspend all air service to Colombia from Wednesday to Friday and that it will resume operations later this month.

JetBlue said it cancelled all flights in Colombia because it was experiencing security threats and is assessing security and air safety restrictions in the country.

Air Canada said it suspended all flights and flights from the United States on Monday, although the company did not provide any reason for the cancellation.

United Airlines said in its statement that it is “reviewing the security situation in Colombia and its impact on operations.”

Airlines have struggled to cope with a surge in travelers to the Caribbean and other countries as Colombia has grappled with political turmoil.

Colombia has seen violent protests over drug and human rights abuses, including a military takeover in March.

Colombia has become the main destination for U.N. peacekeepers, and many of those peacekeepers have traveled to the United Kingdom and other European countries to help train local troops.