Delta Air Lines announced Monday it is cutting its flights to Venezuela to one a week amid a dispute over Caracas's unpaid $4.2 billion debt to international airlines.
Delta was the latest in a string of airlines to cut back or halt service altogether to Venezuela, which is in a deepening economic crisis despite its vast oil wealth.
The airline said its daily flight will be replaced with weekly service between Atlanta and Caracas starting August 1.
"Delta Air Lines has provided uninterrupted service to Venezuela for 15 years. We value our longstanding commercial relationship with the Venezuelan government and we are committed to serving the Venezuelan market," the company said.
Delta did not disclose how much it is owed by Venezuela.
American Airlines, which has $750 million in unpaid bills, slashed its flights to Venezuela on July 2 from 48 to 10 a week.
Caracas has promised to repay the airlines in phases but at a discount rate.
Air Europa and Aerolineas Argentinas have agreed to the settlement, but not the airlines with the largest unpaid debts, like American, Copa ($500 million), Avianca ($300 million), Air France ($270 million) and Iberia ($200 million).
Venezuela, which has strict exchange controls, requires that airlines sell tickets in bolivars and then go through a long bureaucratic process to convert the proceeds into dollars.
But payments have been paralyzed for the past year as the government has faced a foreign currency crunch.