LATAM Airlines Accepts Payment Offer From Venezuelan Government

LATAM Airlines Group S.A. (LFL) accepted an offer from the Venezuelan government to repatriate accumulated debt owed to the company for operating in the country last year.

Total debt of $148 million will be repaid to LATAM through a plan offered by Venezuela, the Santiago-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Details weren’t revealed.

More than a dozen airlines, including U.S. carriers United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL), American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) and Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), have reduced capacity, sales or service in protest of currency controls in Venezuela that require government authorization to repatriate earnings from tickets sold there.

Venezuelan inflation is running at an annual rate of 61 percent, whittling away at the value of revenue denominated in bolivars. Airlines had the equivalent of $3.9 billion stuck in bolivars as of April, according to the International Air Transport Association trade group.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pietro D. Pitts in Caracas at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at Mike Millard

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