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If you are scheduled to fish Los Roques any time soon, make sure that your agent or outfitter has booked you space on a flight from Caracas on the mainland of Venezuela out to Los Roques. Why? Because the Venezuelan government has ordered two of the four airlines that fly this route to suspend operations. The suspension has caused a shortage of seats.
The companies that have been ordered to suspend operations are sister companies, Transaven and Chapi Air. They have been grounded pending the outcome of an investigation into a Transaven crash back in January. The plane went down about 24 miles from Los Roques after both engines failed. Fourteen people, including eight Italians, one Swiss and five Venezuelans were lost at sea.
The suspension of operations for Transaven and Chapi Air has left two companies to handle the high demand for commercial flight service to Los Roques, a popular vacation destination among general tourists as well as bonefishermen. The main airline still operating this route is Linea Turisticas Aerotuy, or LTA. The company flies a four-engine Dash 7 with seating for 48 passengers. It operates three daily flights to Los Roques on Mondays and weekends and one flight per day Tuesday through Thursday. Round- trip tickets go for about $350. Two of the Los Roques operators we checked with, Sight Cast and Chapi Sportfishing – not related to Chapi Air – both recommend LTA for reliability and safety.
The other commercial airline that flies to Los Roques is called El Sol De America. We do not have a lot of information about this airline but we do have a critical review of it from subscriber Russ Chandler who flew El Sol this past January. He tells us he does not recommend the airline. To begin with, he says the plane El Sol used was an old three-engine Trislander that he says was downright frightening to fly. His entire group refused to fly back with El Sol and managed to secure seats on LTA. El Sol also operates a Douglas DC-3, a Dornier Do 28 and a Let L-410 Turbolet.
The other problem Chandler reports with El Sol is that one of his fishing partners had his bag stolen during that flight. It happened to be a bag he opened at check-in, revealing the expensive fly fishing gear it contained. Chandler says he thinks fellow subscribers should avoid El Sol.
The other flight option available to anglers is a private charter service. Of course, the cost is likely much more than commercial flight services. If this option interests you, ask your booking agent or fishing outfitter to make arrangements for you.