BERLIN, Sept 22 International airlines have
requested anti-trust immunity from the United States to allow
them to discuss routes to Venezuela, which is blocking ticket
revenues from leaving the country, the International Air
Transport Association said on Thursday.
Airlines are banned from coordinating routes and pricing
with rivals under U.S. anti-trust rules.
Airlines have around $3.8 billion in revenues trapped in
Venezuela due to currency controls. Several, including American
Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa
, have cut back on routes or stopped flying to the
IATA said airlines did not want to harm competition and
that holding discussions on routes would allow them to keep
flights going to Venezuela.
"We urge the US government to quickly grant airlines
immunity to discuss joint action to keep Venezuela connected,"
IATA Director-General Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement.
The request, for immunity for one year after the date of
approval, is for airlines authorised to provide services for
Venezuela and is not limited to U.S. carriers, a spokesman for
The Venezuelan currency restrictions mean airlines need
government approval to get money out of the country.
IATA, which represents around 265 airlines accounting for 83
percent of global air traffic, said Venezuela had approved one
request to repatriate funds in 2015 and only one so far
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan)