Miami-based Global Crossing Airlines Group (GlobalX) has signed a cooperation agreement with Venezuelan carrier Aerolíneas Estelar aimed at re-establishing nonstop routes between the US and Venezuela.

The two airlines plan to work together to launch daily flights between Miami (MIA) and Simón Bolívar International (CCS), which serves Venezuela’s capital Caracas, as well as 3X-weekly services between MIA and Maracaibo (MAR), a city in the northwest of the country.

GlobalX is still awaiting FAA certification but intends to specialize in ACMI and wet lease charter flights serving the US, the Caribbean and Latin American markets. The planned services would be operated using GlobalX-owned Airbus A320 aircraft.

The US Transportation Department (DOT) banned all scheduled and charter flights between the US and Venezuela in May 2019 over security concerns, saying the country’s political crisis threatened the safety of passengers, aircraft and crew.
The decision came four months after the Trump Administration imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company, central bank, and government to pressure President Nicolás Maduro to leave power.
Although the flight ban remains in place—and Maduro remains in office—a statement from GlobalX said the company “anticipates that these restrictions will be removed over the next few months.”

“We look forward to working with the owners and management of Estelar, in accordance with all regulatory and governmental regulations, to help them re-establish their services to Miami,” GlobalX chairman and CEO Ed Wegel.
The statement added that Mercury, a public policy firm based in Washington DC, has been appointed to assist with consultations with the US government and to ensure compliance with all applicable government restrictions.
Estelar, which has a feet of four Boeing 737-200s and four 737-300s, began flying to the US in December 2018, operating routes from CCS to MIA and New York John F Kennedy (JFK), as well as between MAR and MIA.

In the weeks leading up to the flight ban, the carrier served both CCS-MIA and MAR-MIA 3X-weekly, as well as operating 1X-weekly CCS-JFK service. All three routes used 767 equipment.

Estelar and GlobalX are not alone in seeking to restart US-Venezuela air services. In early February, Caracas-headquartered Laser Airlines filed an application with the US DOT seeking a foreign air carrier permit.
The airline previously requested permission in 2011 to launch scheduled and charter flights to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), but the DOT opted not to take any action.