Further to my post the other day on Air Canada and how it’s embarrassed my country, here’s a little something which shows the larger picture…and just how it plays into the whole putschist mess that Venezuela is still mucking its way through:
The Administration and Services Commission of the Venezuelan National Assembly held a meeting on Wednesday with representatives of national and international airlines and travel agencies to discuss the situation of the sector amid numerous denunciations received from users, in particular concerning the lack of tickets offered for flights out of country, and high prices.
The president of the commission, deputy Claudio Farías of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), stated that they would propose to the national executive that they examine in depth the fare issue, since they had received denunciations that the airlines are only selling the most expensive tickets.
“We have cordially solicited that they look into this situation, and we have approved raising this situation before the national executive so as not to affect the passengers, and we will study the possibility of working on a law that might regulate aeronautical services,” said the parliamentarian.
“Concerning prices, there is no logical explanation. For that reason we have brought up the possibility of an in-depth review of the topic of the offers they make. Supposedly every airline has a policy in this area. We intend that this should be regulated and normalized in Venezuela,” Farías added.
The case of Nancy Landaeta exemplifies this situation. Although she was able to travel to Madrid last year with a ticket that cost her 9,000 bolivars with Air Europe, at the beginning of this year she tried to buy a ticket with the same destination for next April, and quote she received a few days ago set the price at 50,000 bolivars and no guarantee of a return allowance.
In the meeting in the National Assembly, airline representatives said that bilateral treaties have for decades defined a fare system which offers low costs to those who buy well in advance.
However, this does not seem to be an option for Venezuelans. Sandra González, of the Venezuelan Association for Travel and Tourism Agencies (AVAVIT), said that the activity of these companies is threatened because since the end of last year, airlines have been blocking the possibility of buying tickets in advance, and only allow them to be sold a maximum of 30 days before the trip. This therefore implies that one can only buy a ticket at the highest price.
“There are 15,000 jobs in danger because airlines keep presenting failures at the moment of ticket sales,” González said.
During the meeting, representatives of the airlines spoke of what they called the “distortion” of the sector in 2013. There was a great demand for tickets, which exhausted quotas rapidly, with many sold to passengers who did not arrive, and who only bought the ticket to take advantage of the travel allowance granted by the state, and thus illegally convert it into dollars.
A second element was the massive sale to persons from other lands, who bought in bolivars in order to take advantage of the exchange rates.
Giovanna Petrillo, of Avianca, commented to the Commission that as a result of this situation, there were flights with as many as 60% of seats vacant, even though all had been sold.
Both issues have tended toward normalization this year, according to the airlines who attended the meeting, thanks to measures adopted in conjunction with the government.
Farías denounced that the entire fare rise follows a speculative line and also carries a political intent: to generate ill-will in users, so as to create a crisis in this sector in Venezuela.
“The exit of Air Canada has an intention, it’s a political exit. Canada has a policy against Venezuela, and Air Canada obeys this policy. We will not fall into this trap, and for that reason, it is important that airlines make clear their situation today. All have stated that they will continue to operate in Venezuela,” said the deputy.
On Tuesday, the minister of Aquatic and Aerial Transportation, Hébert García Plaza, informed that Venezuela had terminated commercial relations with Air Canada, after that airline had decided unilaterally to suspend flights to and from Caracas.
The meeting, incidentally, was attended by representatives of Aserca, Iberia, Margarita International Airlines, Aerolíneas Argentinas, American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, Avianca and Taca. All of them — yes, even AMERICAN Airlines — are still operating normally, and advance tickets are being sold as far ahead as a year from now. So you can see that Air Canada’s unilateral decision to chicken out of flying to Caracas is even more ridiculous now. If even the Yanks aren’t sanctioning Venezuela, what the fuck is up with Canada?
Well, I can tell you exactly what’s up. We have a bunch of fascists and putschists squatting on Parliament Hill right now. They straight-up STOLE the federal election of 2011, fraudulently “winning” as many as 200 ridings even though Stephen Harper was already massively unpopular (and is even more so today). Now, they are unilaterally imposing their will on us Canadians. They’ve quashed demonstrations with police brutality, and we’ve even been told, flat out, that this is not Canada anymore. And they’re trying to prevent Elections Canada from stopping any further such frauds in the future. So it stands to reason that they will get their corporate cronies to line up.
And of course, they will do so with particular regard to all countries where the “tyranny” of a good example reigns. So naturally, Venezuela, with its internationally certified free and fair elections, where the good guys have overwhelmingly won for the last 15 years, gets kicked in the teeth. Including, of course, in the travel sector.
Can’t have Canadians sampling the sweet taste of Bolivarian socialism and actually LIKING it, now, can we?
PS: Looks like I’m not the only Canadian disgruntled with our so-called national airline. There’s a whole tweeter devoted to, well, how Air Canada sucks. There’s also a website totting up the reasons why. Ha, ha.