FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines said Tuesday that it will cut nearly 80 percent of its flights to Venezuela in a dispute over revenue being held by the South American country.
American said that beginning July 2 it will operate 10 flights per week instead of the current 48. And it will only fly to Venezuela from Miami, scrapping flights from New York, Dallas and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The airline says Venezuela is holding on to at least $750 million in revenue that American wants to bring back to the U.S.
Other airlines are locked in similar disputes. The International Air Transport Association, a trade group for major world airlines, said this month that Venezuela is holding $4 billion in airline money because of problems with the country's currency-control system.
Air Canada and Italy's Alitalia have suspended all flights to Caracas and Panama's Copa has reduced service. Several U.S. airlines have also restricted sales there because of the socialist government's refusal to turn over money from sales inside Venezuela.
Last month, the government announced a deal that would let six Latin American airlines including Colombia's Avianca and AeroMexico to repatriate revenue from sales in 2012 and 2013.
Other industries such as drug companies and carmakers have also run into difficulty getting dollars from the government's tightly managed currency system because of a shortage of U.S. dollars.
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