Venezuela Blocked Funds
Last month, IATA launched a communications plan to address the difficult situation the airlines are facing in Venezuela, where the government is blocking the repatriation of roughly $3.8 Billion of airline funds. The campaign kicked off with a primetime interview on CNN’s Spanish-language channel with IATA’s Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler. Two days later, the Venezuelan government called the affected airlines to a meeting and made verbal commitments to release the blocked money.
During a visit to Santiago, Chile in the last week of March, Tony Tyler again raised the issue in a speech at the Wings of Change airshow and also during a press conference with journalists from around the America’s region. Once more, the Venezuelan government called the airlines to an urgent meeting and provided further details of the payment schedule and began approving the release of some of the money.
Throughout the campaign IATA spokespeople have proactively placed stories in the media to draw additional attention to the issue with the goal of coaxing the government into releasing all of the airlines’ money. While we believe it is difficult to achieve this fully, we are confident our strategy has been effective so far and plan to continue to draw attention to the plight of the airlines in Venezuela until an appropriate solution is reached.
In parallel, our local teams in Miami and Caracas have continued to lobby the government for transparency and a clear timeline for the payments.