American To Resume Caracas-JFK Flights

July 13, 2015

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American Airlines said it will restart its Caracas-New York route on December 17, even though it has not repatriated more than half a billion dollars in revenue trapped in Venezuela as a result of currency controls.

American and other international carriers have cut flights to Venezuela, which required tickets be priced in the local bolivar currency and then made it difficult for the funds to be reconverted into dollars.

American Airlines, which cut almost 80 percent of its weekly flights to Venezuela last year over the dispute, said it would offer service between the Venezuelan capital and New York's JFK Airport five times a week, and that bookings could be made immediately.

Airlines have around USD$3.7 billion from ticket sales trapped in Venezuela because of the country's 12-year-old currency control system, IATA said in June.

"We continue working with the Government of Venezuela to reach resolution on the outstanding amount owed to us," an American Airlines spokeswoman said.

There currently are no direct commercial flights from Caracas to New York.

Airlines still flying to Venezuela now tend to price their international routes in hard currency, putting them out of reach of most Venezuelans amid an economic crisis that has led to a sharp drop in the value of the bolivar on the black market.