Venezuela now withholding $4.1bn

IATA has called on the Venezuelan government to keep its promise to repay the funds owed to international airlines for ticket sales.

IATA has called on the Venezuelan government to keep its promise to repay the funds owed to international airlines for ticket sales. The authorities pledged to repatriate the funds to carriers at a fair exchange rate in March, but have so far only paid back $424m of the estimated $4.1bn now outstanding.

IATA’s director general, Tony Tayler, warned that Venezuela was risking becoming disconnected from the global economy. “Airlines cannot offer service when there is no certainty of payment [and] confidence in the [Venezuelan] market is falling sharply. Most carriers are limiting their risk with reduced capacity. Several have completely pulled out,” he said.

IATA estimates that international capacity to Venezuela has fallen by more than one-third year on year.

In a fourth letter to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro discussing the blocked funds, Tyler has requested a meeting with Maduro to scope out grounds for a potential agreement between the government and the two dozen airlines whose money continues to be held.

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