Friday, June 20, 2014

American Airlines Cuts Flight Schedules To Venezuela

Major US airline American Airlines announced that it will trim its schedule from the United States to Venezuela significantly starting in July, apparently due to an alleged dispute in ticket revenues.

American Airlines, headquartered in Forth Worth, Texas, said it will cut 38 of its 48 weekly flights to the South American country and totally end its Caracas – Dallas / Fort Worth and San Juan – New York JFK service after 1 July.

In a statement to Flightglobal, American Airlines said it will continue to serve Venezuela through tits eight weekly flights between Caracas and Miami and two weekly flights between Maracaibo and Miami.

The airline pointed out that the significant reduction of its flights to Venezuela was due to unresolved debt and “substantial outstanding amount”. It had USD750 million in cash trapped in the South American country at the end of March.

American Airlines is the biggest international carrier that serves the US – Venezuela route, accounting for 45.2 percent of the total seat capacity between the two countries, said.

It was not the first time though that an international airline has discontinued service to Venezuela. Recently, Alitalia and Air Canada have totally discontinued service to the country while Copa Airlines trimmed the number of flights.

IATA lambasted Venezuela for not playing by the rules when it failed to pay airlines. Director General and CEO Tony Tyler said that when airlines do not get paid, their service will be affected.

“The Venezuelan government has responded but with more promises than action,” Tyler stressed.