Aeropostal Drastically Cuts Routes Amid Shambolic Economy

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Aeropostal Drastically Cuts Routes Amid Shambolic Economy

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Dec 17, 2016

https://caribaviation.net/2016/12/16/ae ... ts-routes/

Aeropostal Venezuela Drastically Cuts Routes Amid Shambolic Economy
2016/12/16

(CARACAS)

Aeropostal – Alas de Venezuela (VH, Caracas Simón Bolivar) is set to cut half its route network in a bid to curb its exposure to the increasingly difficult domestic Venezuelan market.

La Verdad Vargas newspaper reports that flights from Caracas Simón Bolivar to destinations like Barquisimeto, Cumana, and Maturín are to be eliminated leaving only Maracaibo, Porlamar, and Puerto Ordaz/Ciudad Guayana.

Reasons for the dramatic cutbacks include a decline in passenger loads as well as difficulties in accessing foreign currency needed to service its grounded fleet. At present, only three of Aeropostal’s six MD-82s are operational while its only MD-83 is also inactive.

The carrier is, therefore, looking to expand into the international market where inbound traffic may generate sufficient foreign currency to sustain its operations.

As the Venezuelan government regulates the price of air tickets, their availability on the open market is difficult to come by. A review of the most recent prices indicates that Aeropostal’s flights from Caracas to each of Maracaibo, Maturin, and Puerto Ordaz are benchmarked at around VEB11,250 or USD1,126 at the official government exchange rate. In terms of real currency value i.e. that of the black market, the price equates to USD3.44.

Venezuela is currently in the throes of one of the worst ever economic crises it has ever experienced caused primarily by the collapse in the price of oil, the country’s primary export. Aside from galloping inflation, the local economy has been wracked with severe shortages of basic commodities and foodstuffs which Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government has blamed on a conspiracy between local right-wing businessmen and US intelligence agencies.

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