Italian airline Alitalia said on Friday it was suspending flights to Venezuela from June 2 because of the "critical situation" linked to currency controls in the country. "Alitalia has decided to suspend its Rome-Caracas service temporarily," the airline said in a statement. The company said on its website that they would be halted until October 25 and ticket holders would be reimbursed. "Once the internal situation has stabilised, Alitalia will consider resuming operations to Venezuela, which is a vital market for traffic from and to Italy," it said. Several foreign companies have suspended operations in the country in recent weeks due to the currency controls installed by the socialist government which are creating a lack of foreign currency in the country. Venezuela has been riven by tensions in the past three months, with students and opposition leaders taking to the streets to protest rampant crime, runaway inflation and shortages of basic goods.