Published On: Thu, May 23rd, 2013

El Nacional: aircraft fleet has dropped with 52.3% over the past four years

Aeropuerto-MaiquetiaCARACAS - The newspaper El Nacional published Thursday that the president of the Higher Council of Tourism, Julio Arnaldes, said: "In 2009, Venezuela had a fleet of 130 commercial aircrafts, however, it currently consists of 68 aircrafts".

He also said that the remaining aircrafts are inoperative, therefore "the country's airports are constantly crowded. There is an increasing demand for tickets, but there are very few aircrafts to serve the number of passengers. "

Meanwhile, a source consulted by the newspaper said that "under normal conditions, air operations in the country were attended by 62 aircraft, which results in a decrease of 52.3% in the fleet with respect to what it was in 2009".

Then the text published by the media:

In 2009 Venezuela had a fleet of 130 commercial aircrafts, however, currently it consists of 68, said the president of the Higher Council of Tourism, Julio Arnaldes.

He said that the rest of the planes are inoperative and not likely to return to the air. "Therefore, we see constantly crowded airports throughout the country. There is an increasing demand for tickets , but there are very few aircrafts to serve the number of passengers, "he said, adding that sometimes the number of aircrafts flying reaches 50 because of routine checkups to which the equipments must be submitted or because there is a lack of spare parts.

Another industry source, who requested anonymity, confirmed the reduction. He said that, under normal conditions, air operations in the country were attended by 62 aircraft, which results in a decrease of 52.3% in the fleet with respect to what it was in 2009. Of these, 54 serve domestic routes and the rest internationally.

"Much of the air fleet is grounded for lack of dollars for maintenance and to import the parts. Many other, the older ones, are not operating because they have not renewed the permit airworthiness ", the source said.

Venezuela has the oldest fleet in Latin America, on average an aircraft has 27 years of operations. Arnaldes added that the Executive did not facilitate anything for business owners to renew their aircrafts. "We cannot buy them with preferential dollars."

Conseturismo President recalled that two years ago the government signed an agreement to bring about 20 Brazilian Embraer aircraft for Conviasa. However, Only 3 or 4 came. "We should have them all, according to the agreement," said Arnaldes.

In the round of meetings with the productive sector which the Government began this week, it is now airlines’ turn. The delay in the allocation of foreign exchange is one of the issues of greatest concern to the industry.

The source who declined to be identified said there are companies that did not receive dollars since August 2012, and that there are severe cases in which the assignments are not done since March last year. In total, the debt to the sector surpasses 1 billion dollars, according to the source.

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