Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Air Canada May Resume Flights to Venezuela If Outstanding Issues Addressed

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Air Canada May Resume Flights to Venezuela If Outstanding Issues Addressed

Article excerpt

Air Canada may be open to Venezuela return

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MONTREAL - Air Canada says it may resume flights to Venezuela that were suspended in March if outstanding issues, including passenger revenues being held by the South American country's government, are addressed.

However, the airline on Monday denied a published report in Venezuela that said it had informed the government of its intention to resume scheduled service.

"Once we are satisfied circumstances permit and the repatriation of funds is addressed, we would certainly evaluate the re-introduction of flights with the objective of resuming operations," spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur wrote in an email.

The South American country's tourism minister, Andres Izarra, was quoted saying Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) had sent three letters expressing its interest in resuming flights.

He added that airlines will never shut down their operations to the "buoyant market."

An international association representing global airlines says US$1.4 billion of revenues are being held by the Venezuelan government in breach of international treaties.

IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler recently said there is little chance of Venezuela's economy recovering unless air transport resumes.

"Air transport is a catalyst of economic growth and is a critical component of Venezuela's economic well-being and a vital link to the global economy," he said in a news release. …

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