Germany: Lufthansa to suspend flights to Venezuela
May 29, Berlin: The German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG, has announced that it will temporary suspend flights to Venezuela from 18 June due to economic difficulties in the country and problems converting local currency into dollars.
The company also said currency controls in Venezuela made it impossible for airlines to convert their earnings into dollars and send the money abroad, reports said.
International airlines have for years struggled to repatriate billions of dollars in revenue held in the local bolivar currency due to exchange controls, prompting many to limit service and require that passengers pay fares in dollars.
Venezuela's economy has been hit hard by a sharp drop in the price of oil - the country's main source of income. The country has high inflation and severe shortages of basic goods.
In a statement, Lufthansa said that it "will be forced to suspend our service between Caracas and Frankfurt as of 18 June".
It noted that the demand for international flights to Venezuela had dropped in 2015 and in the first quarter of the current year.
Strict currency controls were first imposed in Venezuela in 2003 by late President Hugo Chavez.
The Oslo Times