Key Points:

  • The US Department of the Treasury's OFAC has relaxed sanctions against Venezuela's Conviasa, specifically for its fleet of Embraer E190 jets.

  • The authorization permits maintenance and non-commercial flights for Conviasa's E190s outside of Venezuela, without incurring penalties.

  • While the easing applies to the Embraer fleet, sanctions continue for Conviasa's older Airbus A340s and the ATR 42, which have ties to Iranian support.

Easing of Sanctions on Venezuela's Conviasa for Embraer Fleet

The United States government has taken a step towards easing sanctions on Venezuela's national carrier, Conviasa, particularly regarding its fleet of Embraer E190 jets. The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has granted the airline permission to conduct maintenance services on these aircraft and to transfer them to facilities outside Venezuela without facing penalties.

Modernization of Conviasa's Fleet under Relaxed Sanctions

Conviasa's Embraer E190 jets, acquired from Embraer in the early 2010s and delivered between 2012 and 2015, represent a more modern segment of its fleet compared to its older Airbus A340 aircraft and a single ATR 42 turboprop. The US government's measure specifies that Conviasa can undertake all transactions necessary for the general maintenance and repair of the specified E190 aircraft. The authorization, issued on November 16, also permits these aircraft to perform non-commercial flights between countries outside the US.

Limitations and Ongoing Restrictions for Conviasa's Fleet

Despite the relaxation of restrictions for the Embraer jets, the US government's easing of sanctions does not extend to Conviasa's Airbus A340 widebodies and the ATR 42. These aircraft continue to face sanctions, partly due to their age and support received from Iranian companies, which are also under US sanctions. The E190 jets, predominantly composed of components supplied by US companies, including CF-34 engines manufactured by GE, are the primary beneficiaries of this policy change, offering Conviasa an opportunity to maintain and potentially enhance its operational capabilities with these newer aircraft.