CARACAS May 14 Italian airline Alitalia on
Thursday confirmed that it is suspending service to Venezuela
between the start of June and the end of October because of
growing disputes over delays in repatriating revenue under the
country's currency controls.
Venezuela owes airlines some $4 billion, according to the
International Air Transport Association (IATA), because the
airlines are required to sell tickets in the local bolivar
currency but the government has not granted them approval to
repatriate that revenue.
Alitalia did not explain the reasons for suspending service.
It had been running five flights per week between Caracas
and Rome until May, when it reduced service to only two.
President Nicolas Maduro has promised that airlines will be
able to repatriate revenue, but has also threatened to kick out
airlines that suspend service.
Air Canada halted its operations in March, citing
security concerns related to street protests, and Venezuela
immediately cut ties to the airline.
Major airlines flying to Venezuela include American Airlines
, Lufthansa, Delta, Avianca
(Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by