American Airlines to axe newly reinstated Caracas-New York route
By Girish Gupta
CARACAS, March 8 (Reuters) - American Airlines said on Tuesday it will axe its Caracas to New York route on April 4 due to low demand just over three months after reinstating it.
The surprise move comes amid a years-long battle between American Airlines Group and the Venezuelan government in which the world's largest airline says it has not been able to repatriate revenue.
In January, the Forth Worth-based company wrote off $592 million which it said was stuck in Venezuela due to the government's failure to exchange it for hard currency.
President Nicolas Maduro's cash-squeezed socialist government has said it is negotiating solutions.
"We are suspending service on the JFK-Caracas route until market conditions improve," said Martha Pantin, a spokeswoman for the airline. "This suspension is due to demand not being strong enough to support this route."
Since reinstating the flight in December, many seats have remained unfilled except around holiday periods.
Caracas was American's first South American destination nearly 30 years ago and a major hotspot for business and tourism. The supersonic Concorde jet used to fly to its main international airport.
Now that airport is described by pilots as a "graveyard" as Venezuela undergoes a severe economic crisis and recession, which has hit tourism and business. Continuación...