There is no great stagnation, Venezuelan edition

Why are American airline companies fleeing Venezuela when the air there is so clean?  At least in the airport!  BusinessWeek has an article giving us the details.

First, the facts (plus conjecture).  Flights from the US are down “by more than 80 percent.” Jesus Ernesto Ortiz, president of Caracas travel agency Happy Tour Group argued that “Venezuela is going to receive less flights than Cuba or Haiti.”  The drop in the number of flights is being blamed by the President’s decision to place currency controls on international airlines, preventing them “from repatriating what they make from selling tickets in Venezuela.”   Definitely not a well-thought out policy.

Second,  “from July onwards, anyone flying to or from Simon Bolivar International Airport of Maiquetia in Caracas is going to have spend 125 bolivars — roughly $20, depending on the highly variable exchange rate — on what the airport has called a “breathing tax.”

As the article notes, the tax is supposed to pay for the “state-of-the-art” air purification system, which “deodorizes” and “sanitizes” the building.”  Awesome.  I’m sure tourists will be lining up to come to Venezuela for the clean airport air.

I love the understatement of the second part of the following sentence: “The move has caused a furor on social media in Venezuela, where people are already pretty unhappy with the government of Nicolas Maduro.”

Indeed, they are pretty unhappy!



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