The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed its recent positive engagement with the government of Venezuela with the aim of supporting the conditions necessary to the rebuilding air connectivity to the country. Discussions have been held in a constructive and open atmosphere, aimed at fostering a stable and reliable regulatory and operational framework.
In recent months some air services between Venezuela and Colombia as well Europe have already resumed, while capacity has been increased on existing routes. However, to create sustainable market conditions, the following framework must be put into place:
1. Repatriation of funds: The airlines must have the certainty of being able to repatriate the income generated by sales in Venezuela. Likewise, in the medium to long-term an agreement must be reached with the authorities in order to resolve the remittance of outstanding funds to the respective airline head offices.
2. Removal of COVID-19 restrictions: Globally most COVID-19 travel restrictions have been lifted. Hence, Venezuela needs to suspend the requirement for COVID-19 on arrival testing against payment, at least for those passengers who are vaccinated.
3. Operational Safety & Oversight: Safety is the number one priority in aviation and the local authorities must work together with the industry to ensure that the regulatory framework and operational oversight aligns with globally agreed standards and recommended practices.
Aviation has always been a catalyst for socio-economic growth and an integral part of the tourism value chain. This is especially the case across many countries in Latin America where aviation fulfils a public transport role in the absence of viable ground transportation alternatives. Improving Venezuela’s air connectivity and harnessing aviation’s economic contribution to the country will be possible if the above-mentioned challenges are addressed.