Haiti halts outbound flights to Nicaragua -media

By Harold Isaac

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) -Haiti's government has suspended all Nicaragua-bound flights leaving its capital, the Miami Herald reported on Monday, putting at least a temporary end to a key route for would-be Haitian migrants seeking to reach the U.S.

The Miami Herald cited a bulletin sent to the aviation community that was then shared with the newspaper as the source of the information.

The government of Haiti - the poorest country in the Western hemisphere - has made no public announcement about the flights and did not respond to a Reuters request for comment about the flight suspensions.

According to publicly available data on flight tracking website FlightRadar24, no flights appeared on Monday on the Port-au-Prince to Managua route, compared to 12 flights between the two capitals on Sunday.

The Port-au-Prince to Managua flights began in August and have mostly been operated by charter carriers. In recent weeks, as many as 15 flights per day have ferried thousands of Haitians to Nicaragua, which does not require Haitians to present a visa to enter the Central American country.

The Miami Herald said an independent tally found more than 31,400 Haitians had taken the flights to Managua from August to October.

The flights to Nicaragua represented one of the few means for would-be Haitian migrants to begin their trek to the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America, versus many others who have opted for the longer and more arduous route beginning in South America.

That longer route involves crossing the especially treacherous Darien Gap jungle between Colombia and Panama.

Also on Monday, the Dominican Republic lifted a suspension of both passenger and cargo flights to and from neighboring Haiti, which had been halted since Sept. 14 as part of border closure between the two nations, according to a statement from the country's civil aviation agency JAC.

Haitians looking to migrate can access various destinations via outbound flights from the Dominican Republic.

(Reporting by Harold Isaac; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Christopher Cushing)