Venezuela still blocking US$4.1b owed to airlines

International capacity to and from Venezuela is down 49 per cent from peak service levels offered last year and 36 per cent lower year-on-year.


blocked funds government IATA International Air Transport Association repatriate Venezuela


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the Venezuelan government to honor the commitment it made in March to permit airlines to repatriate, in full and at fair exchange rates, airline funds being blocked in the country. While the government has permitted the repatriation of US$424 million shared among a number of airlines, continuing sales in the country have seen the total amount owed grow to a staggering $4.1 billion.

Airlines can no longer afford the risk of not being paid when providing services to Venezuela. International capacity to and from Venezuela is down 49 per cent from peak service levels offered last year and 36 per cent lower year-on-year, IATA said.

The blocked monies are from ticket sales in Venezuela and are being held by the government in breach of international treaties. Considering that the global air transport industry is expected to post a collective $18 billion profit this year, the outstanding $4.1 billion is significant.

“Airlines cannot offer service when there is no certainty of payment. The Venezuelan government has made many promises to abide by its obligations. But $4.1 billion remains unpaid. Confidence in the market is falling sharply. Most carriers are limiting their risk with reduced capacity. Several have completely pulled out. Venezuela risks becoming disconnected from the global economy,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.