Venezuelan news website NotiMinuto reported that United has modified its Caracas service to avoid a US-Caracas nonstop in efforts to eliminate the need for crew members to sleep in the South American socially unstable country.
Beginning April 4, 757-300 serviced UA1046 from IAH to CCS will instead have a stop in Aruba, contingent Venezuelan authorities approve a license for United to fly between Caracas and Aruba. Among other things, United claims the roundtrip to be too long for one crew, for which during the Aruba ground time, a new crew will proceed on the flight to Caracas, which then will immediately return to Aruba.
An additional stat that certainly was considered in this equation was that in 2016 there was 92 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, per the Observatorio Venezoano de Violencia (OVV).
United currently has nonstop service to Aruba from Newark, Houston, Chicago, and Washington Dulles. Whether the Houston-Aruba service weekly service will be modified to accommodate the new stop in Aruba en-route to Caracas is yet to be seen. That being said, I never heard anyone complaining of having to make a stop in Aruba. Most importantly, it’s good to see United taking measures to ensure the safety of its employees.