LATAM Settles Venezuelan Debt

The Venezuelan government is to repay LATAM Airlines Group $148m to cover the funds held back from 2013 ticket sales.

The deal follows similar agreements with Tame, AeroMexico, Aruba Airlines and Insel Air in May, but many other airlines are still negotiating with the Venezuelan authorities.

The long-running dispute centres on the government refusing to allow airlines to reclaim 2013 tickets sales at the conversion rate at which they were sold, instead arguing that they should be reclaimed at this year’s much lower rate.  The decision resulted in $3.8bn of airlines’ revenue being held by the Venezuelan government.

Last month, in cutting its profit forecast for 2014, Lufthansa revealed that the dispute had cost the group $81m so far this year.

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