|IATA: CCS ICAO: SVMI|
|Owner/Operator||Instituto Autónomo del Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía|
|Hub for||Conviasa LASER Airlines Solar Cargo Transcarga|
|Elevation AMSL||235 ft / 72 m|
|Coordinates||10°36′11″N 066°59′26″WCoordinates: 10°36′11″N 066°59′26″W|
Simón Bolívar International Airport or Maiquetía “Simón Bolívar” International Airport (IATA: CCS, ICAO: SVMI, Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetia “Simón Bolívar”) is an international airport located in Maiquetía, Vargas, Venezuela about 21 kilometres (13 mi) west of downtown Caracas, the capital of the country. Simply called Maiquetía by the local population, it is the main international air passenger gateway to Venezuela. It handles flights to destinations in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
During the ongoing crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela, domestic airlines are laboring under tremendous difficulties because of hyperinflation and parts shortages. Many international airlines have left the country. International airlines that have left Venezuela include Aeroméxico, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Air Canada, Alitalia, Avianca, Delta, Lufthansa, and LATAM, making travel to the country difficult. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Bolivarian government has not paid US$3.8 billion to international airlines in a currency issue involving conversion of local currency to U.S. dollars. Airlines have left for other reasons, including crime against flight crews, stolen baggage, and problems with the quality of jet fuel and maintenance of runways.
Following the increasing economic partnership between Venezuela and Turkey in October 2016, Turkish Airlines started offering direct flights from December 2016 connecting between Caracas to Istanbul (via Havana, Cuba) in an effort to “link and expand contacts” between the two countries.
By 2018, terminals in the airport lacked air conditioning and utilities such as water and electricity. Flight crews are often sent to different cities to avoid crime that occurs in the area. The company charged with providing sanitation services ceased to exist, so cleaning no longer occurs as frequently at the facility. The Bolivarian National Guard, tasked with providing security, often extorts travelers by force.
In support of President Nicolas Maduro’s government, Russian Air Force aircraft, including Tupolev Tu-160 bombers, were deployed to the airport in early December 2018. In March 2019, two Russian planes were deployed to the airport carrying 100 troops and 35 tonnes of matériel. The Russian planes left the country 3 months later on 26 June 2019, according to the Russian embassy announcement.
American Airlines, the last U.S. airline serving Venezuela, left on 15 March 2019, after its pilots refused to fly to Venezuela, citing safety issues. Two months later, the United States Department of Transportation and Department of Homeland Security indefinitely suspended all flights between Venezuela and the United States, due to safety and security concerns.The suspension affects mainly Venezuelan airlines that flew to Miami: Avior Airlines, LASER Airlines, and Estelar Latinoamerica.
Iranian airline Mahan Air (blacklisted by the U.S. government since 2011) began direct flights to Caracas in April 2019, “signifying a growing relationship between the two nations” according to Fox News.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced on 3 February 2020 that the country has imposed epidemiological surveillance, restrictions and diagnostic system to detect possible patients at this airport and that Venezuela will receive a diagnostic kit for the virus strain from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
|Aerocaribe Airlines||Charter: Los Roques|
|Aeropostal||Havana, Porlamar, Santiago de Cuba|
|Air France||Paris–Charles de Gaulle|
|Albatros Airlines||Barranquilla, Bogotá, Las Piedras, Los Roques, Medellín, Porlamar, Puerto Cabello, Puerto Ordaz, San José de Costa Rica|
|Avior Airlines||Barcelona (VEN), Barinas, Belém, PA – BRA, Bogotá, Cali, Curaçao, Guayaquil, Lima, Manaus, Medellín, Porlamar, Puerto Ordaz, Punta Cana|
|Caribbean Airlines||Port of Spain|
|Conviasa||Barinas, Cancún, Cumaná, El Vigía, Guayaquil, Havana, La Fría, Las Piedras, Managua, Maracaibo, Maturín, Panama City–Tocumen, Porlamar, Puerto Ayacucho, Puerto Ordaz, Quito, San Fernando de Apure, Santa Cruz de La Sierra–Viru Viru, Santo Domingo del Táchira, San Tomé, Toluca/Mexico City|
|Copa Airlines||Panama City–Tocumen|
|Estelar Latinoamerica||Barquisimeto, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Cumaná, Lima, Lisbon, Madrid, Maracaibo, Maturín, Porlamar, Puerto Ordaz, Santiago de Chile, Santo Domingo del Táchira|
|LASER Airlines||Aruba, Barcelona (VE), Barquisimeto, Bogotá, Curaçao, El Vigía, Guayaquil, La Fría, Maracaibo, Panama City–Tocumen, Porlamar, Puerto Ordaz, Santo Domingo–Las Americas|
|Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas||Madrid, Tenerife–North|
|RUTACA Airlines||Barcelona (VE), Ciudad Bolívar, Porlamar|
|SASCA||Charter: Los Roques|
|TAP Air Portugal||Lisbon|
|Venezolana||Maracaibo, Maturín, Panama City–Tocumen, Porlamar, Port of Spain, Santo Domingo–Las Americas|
Since 2014, foreign and domestic carriers have reduced their presence due to political instability and their inability to recover US$3.8 billion in funds owed to airlines. For fear of safety, some carriers have avoided overnight flight crews in Caracas, choosing to make a stop in a nearby country instead. The chronology of terminations is as follows:
|Air Canada||Toronto–Pearson||4 flights per week||18 March 2014|
|Avianca Costa Rica||San Jose de Costa Rica||Daily flights||7 April 2014|
|American Airlines||Dallas–Fort Worth||1 flight per week||1 July 2014|
|American Airlines||San Juan||Daily flights||1 July 2014|
|Alitalia||Rome–Fiumicino||1 flight per week||3 April 2015|
|Gol Transportes Aéreos||São Paulo–Guarulhos||1 flight per week||10 February 2016|
|American Airlines||New York–JFK||5 flights per week||4 April 2016|
|LATAM Brasil||São Paulo–Guarulhos||1 flight per week||28 May 2016|
|Lufthansa||Frankfurt||3 flights per week||17 June 2016|
|Aeroméxico||Mexico City||3 flights per week||23 June 2016|
|LATAM Perú||Lima||1 flight per week||1 August 2016|
|LATAM Chile||Santiago||2 flights per week||1 August 2016|
|LATAM Chile||Miami||1 flight per week||1 August 2016|
|Dynamic Airways||Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood||Daily flights||13 August 2016|
|Insel Air||Willemstad, Curaçao||Daily flights||7 June 2017|
|United Airlines||Houston–Intercontinental||Daily flights||30 June 2017|
|Avianca||Bogotá||3 flights per day||27 July 2017|
|Dynamic Airways||New York–JFK||2 flights per week||1 August 2017|
|Aerolíneas Argentinas||Buenos Aires–Ezeiza||1 flight per week||5 August 2017|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta||Daily flights||16 September 2017|
|TAME||Quito via Bogotá||4 flights per week||3 February 2018|
|American Airlines||Miami||2 flights per day||15 March 2019|
|Cubana de Aviación||Havana and Holguín||Weekly flights||23 October 2019|
|DHL Aviation||Port of Spain|
|Sky Lease Cargo||Lima|
|Solar Cargo||Barbados, Bogota, Curaçao, Guatemala City, Lima, Panama City, Punta Cana|
|Vensecar International||Aruba, Bogota, Curaçao, Panama City|
From 1960 to 1997, it was the main hub for Viasa, Venezuela’s former flag carrier until it went bankrupt. As well as it was the hub for Avensa, Servivensa. Conviasa started operation in 2004, hoping to become in a big and leader airline, and flag carrier. However, due to financial crisis in Venezuela, several pilots quit and are leaving Conviasa in order to fly to other nations like Turkey which operates the same type of aircraft. The headquarters of Conviasa is located on the airport grounds.
The airport is shown on the movie Menudo: La Película, when a pair of Menudo’s friends board a flight during the film’s final scenes. The airport is also shown in the 1975 French film “Le Sauvage” [Call me Savage, UK Title] starring Catherine Deneuve, Yves Montand Luigi Vannucchi and Tony Roberts, directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, as several soap-opera and movie key scenes were filmed at the airport.