Free The Funds


IATA chief Tony Tyler has once again called on Venezuela to free the $3.7 billion in blocked funds owed to airlines, saying the poor state of the country’s economy is no excuse for hanging on to the cash, reports Press Today’s Mike Dunbar from this year’s IATA AGM in Miami.

IATA wants the government to end differential exchange rates whereby carriers are forced to sell tickets at a rate of 12 Bolivars to the US but pay their in-country bills at a floating rate that’s currently 199 to the dollar.

IATA also wants Venezuela to establish a payment schedule and promise to consult the industry before imposing any new charges or taxes.

For the first time since IATA started keeping records, the industry is earning enough money to cover its cost of capital.

Director general Tony Tyler told member airlines in Miami that the industry will likely post a $29.3 billion collective profit on revenues of $727 billion. And the good news for Canada’s carriers is that half the profit will be made in North America.

Tyler dubbed the turnaround in Canada and the US the industry’s “most impressive turnaround story.” But the IATA boss also noted that Apple earned $13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2015 alone.

IATA chief economist Brian Pearce told a press briefing that member carriers will achieve this year’s result by making $8.27 on each departing passenger.

And he added, “Compare that to the $177 Apple made in Q1 on each unit — iPhone, iPad or Mac — sold.