Lufthansa Says Venezuela Owes It More Than $100 Million

May 30, 2016, 2:20 PM UTC
Lufthansa Pilots Launch Two-Day Strike
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 21: A man walkes in front of Lufthansa airplanes at the Frankfurt Airport on October 21, 2014 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Vereinigung Cockpit, the labor union that represents the pilots, launched the two-day strike yesterday that has been expanded from short and medium-distance flights on the first day to long haul flights today, affecting over 100,000 passengers. This is the seventh strike by Lufthansa and Germanwings (a Lufthansa subsidiary) pilots this year as the union attempts to maintain the Lufthansa pilots' early retirement guarantee, a benefit that Lufthansa is trying to cut. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
Photograph by Thomas Lohnes — Getty Images

Venezuela owes Lufthansa more than $100 million in ticket revenue, the German carrier said on Monday, following news it was suspending flights there next month.

Like other airlines, Lufthansa (DLAKY) has struggled to repatriate revenue held in the local bolivar currency due to exchange controls and had reduced flights to Venezuela to limit its exposure, before its weekend announcement of a suspension.

A Lufthansa spokesman said that the Venezuela government owed it a “low three-digit million” amount, later adding that the amount had already been written off.

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been pushing Caracas to free trapped airline revenue.

“What we want is to keep the place connected. Venezuela’s economic difficulties will only get worse if they are isolated even more and unable to participate in trade because airlines aren’t flying there any more,” IATA Director General Tony Tyler said on Monday.

Struggling Latin American economies are likely to be a topic of discussion when airline chief executives meet this week in Dublin for the annual IATA summit.