In case of a water landing, your CADIVI cupo may be used as a flotation device

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dynamic-airways-guyana
An airline that serves four airports: JFK, Ft. Lauderdale, Georgetown (Guyana) and Maiquetía. Sounds legit to me!

Something about this story is…just not right:

Despite currency woes in Venezuela, a new low-cost airline plans to launch daily flights between Fort Lauderdale and the Venezuelan capital of Caracas starting July 17.

Dynamic International Airways, a former charter operator, is offering promotional fares on the new route from $599 roundtrip. Service on the route will include two bags free in economy class, plus a hot meal and beverage aboard a large, wide-body 767-300ER that can seat 242 passengers, executives said.

[…]

That’s because international airlines still are owed about $3.7 billion by the Venezuelan government, because they can’t convert the money they get in local bolivar currency into dollars at the rate they were promised. Exchanging bolivares to dollars on the open market would mean huge losses — up to 90 percent in some cases.

Dynamic is not worried by those legacy problems and will accept payment in bolivares, executives said Friday.

Theories?

1 COMMENT

    • but if it is a witch, she should be made of wood right?

      and if wood floats, then what else floats?

      ducks!

      and if the witch weights thee same as a duck, that means she is made of wood!

      therefore, she floats!

      therefore, burn the witches!!

    • It seems to me that a gigantic, empty discoteque is a far simpler way to launder money than running an airline service in and out of Venezuela, but maybe they plan a cargo service with that run as well, like for example the Air France cargo service of a couple of years back. Who knows.

    • Jeez…I just looked up tic prices..seems legit…although. ..I constantly get tic. Prices on major carriers for 950-1200 US…So I wouldn’t bother….it’s getting to Los Roque ..that’s the trick..lol…you have to wonder ..why bother at all?

  1. Seems to me that they are planning on selling tickets in USD only. With fewer seats available from the traditional airlines it is a safe bet to assume that these guys are betting only on their USD sales to keep the route afloat.

    I would probably be concerned about the overall conditions of those planes but other than that I do not smell anything fishy here.

  2. this is weird. it’s got the slickest website i’ve ever seen for an airline company. laundering makes sense to me.

  3. The reason I think it must not be a money laundering scheme is that it looks sooooo much like a money laundering scheme that if it is a money laundering scheme it will get found out and its principals will get marched off to jail in about 20 minutes.

    O sea, guys, you gotta be more subtle than this: they might as well have called it Godgiven Air.

  4. Try buying a ticket on the website.
    I can’t. It never even reaches the point where it asks me my name or for credit card information.
    The website is registered through domain discreet, hiding ownership.

    There have been a couple of new small airlines start flights recently.
    veca (which I have flown) only flies from san salvador to guatemala and SJO.
    http://vecaairlines.com/es/sv
    When they seat you with the 20-30 others on a 150 seat airbus, they group everyone together on an empty plane. Maybe it has something to do with balancing the plane or fuel, but I thought it odd that everyone stays grouped together rubbing elbows in 8 rows while the rest of the plane was empty.

    http://www.vivacolombia.co/
    Is another tiny new airline.
    Maybe they see a market shortage?

    But, If it was worth a new route from FLL to Caracas, I think that Spirit or Jet Blue would have done it.

  5. 600 bucks for a 3 hour flight, real dollars. Probably full planes. Cheap old 767s. Competition overcharging at 1100 bucks. Looks a hell of a business opportunity to an airline. No theories, just reality. It’s a very profitable route. Ask the current airlines, not looking at the past.

    • Just announced!!, a low cost norwegian airline is going to be offering trips from various cities in the US Coast to the Caribbean during the winter beggining at $79 the trip. their normal trips in europe fall during the winter and it pays to keep their airplane busy elsewhere. The US Airlines and Unions are up in arms that such trips have been authorized !! If its a business to the norwegians to fly people from Boston to Martinique at 80$ maybe its a business to the owners of the new airline to fly Venezuelans to Florida at $600. Of course most of the fares would have to be paid in USD for the business to work .!!

  6. See my twitter stream https://twitter.com/guacamayan where I’ve been going on about this company since last night. The website works. The interface is weird but I was able to get to the point of it asking for a credit card. Very nice site, once you learn to use it. But tickets online at least are only in USD. I suspect they aren’t accepting bolivares and that the executive was confused, or misquoted, or something.

    In an case it is super dodgy. Someone certainly needs to go try to buy a ticket in Caracas.

  7. I think I’ve figured it out. Pay attention here. In 3 months the Chavista’s know that the entire economy is gonna collapse. Right? So, You get this silly airline to charge 250,000 Bolivars for a one-way ticket, then multiply that by 5 million wannabe Venezuelan refugee’s. What you got here is your classic two birds with one stone. G’billions of useless Bolivars removed from the system and 5 million less opposition voters. I’m not sure whether I’m serious here or not. Is it this possible….?

  8. Very good business plan if you buy your jet fuel in bolivars, pay your staff in bolivars
    Send people and dope north
    Food and medicine south
    And pay your taxes as you pass over the caymans

  9. Enchufado Air.

    Half the price, 90 times the arbitrage.

    I wonder if they will run a promotion offering frequent flier bolivars? You want to redeem your 2800 FFBs from your last flight? Here’s five bucks, but first you pay the $10 redemption.

  10. Flying an american airline from Ecuador or Colombia to Florida has always been much less expensive than flying from Caracas , despite the distance being longer, Airlines fares are set independent of costs or travel time or distance following the principle that fares ought to be as high as the market will bear , Because Venezuela has been a country where people have traditionally had more money than people from other lat american countries and with a strong taste for travel it wouldnt surprise me if the fare is actually in USD that charging 600$ per fare could be good business specially if fuel costs are down, the number of travelers high and the siting at Ft Laurdale cheaper than MIA . Remember JD Rockefellers old dictum that the price of oil should be ‘whatever it can fetch’. Same thing applies to airline fares. The much revered notion that competition keeps the businessman honest in what he charges is sometimes pure hokum.!!

    • No, you’re wrong.

      Back in the old pre-Cadivi days, a typical airfare between Venezuela and Florida used to be over $300, $470 being the costliest ticket you could generally purchase (excluding Y-fares). Deals were not unheard of and sometimes a $99 fare ticket could be found. I know it firsthand since I got lucky once.

      The reason is simple: Venezuela used to be the second Latin-American country with more flights to the US —Mexico being the first. Every Latin-American capital city has direct flights to Miami but few do to New York, Dallas, Houston, San Juan, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Newark, Boston and San Francisco, as was the case of Caracas.

      • Your probably right that way back when fare tickets were more reasonable , Its just that some years ago I had a colleague in Ecuador who had to fly to Florida and discovered that his ticket flying direct from Quito was half the one he would have to pay flying to Caracas !! Since then more people have told me the same thing .

        • Ok, I can vouch for your colleague’s testimony. Nowadays it does work that way. My chip in the shoulder is that you wrote, quote, “has always been”, which is a generalization error I’ve already made evident.

    • The price of airfares to/from Caracas are high because:

      1. Flights are highly subject to delays for any number of reasons including GN luggage searches, maintenance delays, or just plain airport management incompetence. The delays force the airlines to constantly reroute planes to cover their routes.

      2. Even the scheduled turnaround time at the gate is much higher than at other international airports. Planes sitting on the tarmac don’t make money. They only make money when they are in the air.

      3. Dealing with the Venezuelan bureaucracy is costly.

      4. Maintaining a professional staff in Maiquetia with the current labor laws and conditions is a nightmare.

      5. They are still pissed off about all the money they are still owed by the government and are trying to recover the losses.

      I could probably come up with other reasons if I gave it some thought.

      • Sounds logical Roy, but that only tells you why costs are high and not why prices are high. Prices are high for one reason only: there is high demand and low supply.

        People believe that cost determines price but it does not, at least not directly. Supply/demand determines price, once price is determined cost determines how long can an operation stay in business. If the operation produces little or no revenue then it has to be reduced or closed altogether. This in turn will increase price indirectly by reducing the supply and increasing the competition between the buyers and reducing competition between sellers.

        This can be better understood when you see the different prices offered by different airlines for the same route MIA-CCS: they range from $463 (Avior) to $1316 (American) with an average of $735 and a median of $722. The differences cannot be because of cost, specially considering that the cheapest of the lot has a stop and is still cheaper than a direct flight $742 (Dynamic).
        http://www.kayak.com/flights/MIA,nearby-CCS,nearby/2015-10-30/2015-11-10

        For comparison flying to Bogota where there is a lot more supply the prices go from $283 (Spirit) to $1014 (LAN Ecuador) average $497, median $456.
        http://www.kayak.com/flights/MIA,nearby-BOG,nearby/2015-10-30/2015-11-10

    • Bill
      You misunderstand how competition affects prices. There are two types of competitions: sellers competition and buyers competition. When the planes are full the buyers are competing, the prices go up, this is called a sellers market because the seller can hike the prices as high as they want, and of course they will, wouldn’t you? That does not make them dishonest, it makes them good business men.

      The other competition is when the planes are half empty, then the sellers compete among themselves and the prices go down. That is called a buyers market because the airlines bend over backwards with good service, promotions etc to get the few travelers. It does not make the buyers dishonest either.

      In theory when there is a lot of demand for a good at high prices more entrepreneurs will enter the market with lower offerings because they also want a slice of the pie. BEHOLD, that is exactly what is happening here: a new airline, Dynamic Airs, enters the market with a lower price. It is still a sellers market but thanks to competition the prices are going down. So, does it work or not?

  11. Before I tell you why this MAY not be a money laundering play (I have no direct knowledge that it isn’t), I’ll suggest some of the people with comments above look into working with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones….I’m sure he’d pay good money for those stories, especially if you can find a remote link to ISIS, Jade Helm, Fukushima, 2nd amendment rights, gay marriage or any of those hot topics

    Now onto Dynamics’ venture into Venezuela….This makes business sense to me. Whether its money laundering or not, I have no idea. Seems like there’s 2 issues raising flags here: Price and Payment in VEF.

    600 bucks for round trip to FLL:

    If you look at price, 600 bucks is not that crazy. About 10 years ago I could fly from any major airport in the US west coast directly into CCS for about 750 bucks at a time when oil prices were sky high. A trip from FLL to CCS for 600 bucks doesn’t sound that out of whack these days. Look at current prices for a similar route (MIA instead of FLL) from other carriers …you can get the exact same ticket for about 740 bucks with American or Santa Barbara. So we’re really arguing about 140 bucks difference here. American is probably making up for the huge losses they’ve had so far and Santa Barbara probably has higher costs than American, but also consider difference in overhead cost, blah blah blah. In both cases they are also probably taking advantage of the shortage to make money. My point is, 600 bucks looks like a pretty good deal to me but not oh-my-gosh-this-is-too-good-to-be-true-must-be-money-laundering-dame-dos-papa.

    Payment in VEF:

    Yes, this sounds more like a 2008 CADIVI feast to me. But 2 things we need to consider (someone already mentioned it). 1) Dynamics (whoever they are) still need to pay for certain stuff locally even if they don’t open a local office and everything through a remote call center. It’s not like you need to stamp printed versions of electronic tickets to get your CADIVI (yeah I know it’s still in place but really guys, you think’re actually getting it? And if so, Dynamics doesn’t give a rat’s ass, take it or shake it.). Think groound crew, food, gas, taxes, bribes, commissions, more bribes, and then some vacunas too for the local pran. 2) They haven’t announced if there will be a limit in the number of seats they will sell in VEF or more important….drum roll….wait for it…..wait for it……THE EXCHANGE RATE THEY WILL USE TO CALCULATE YOUR PAYMENT IN VEF!!!!! CADIVI? SIMADI? RECADI? CHINCHURRI? DOLARTODAI? CUCUTADI? Maybe the corruption case here is the venezuelan government allowing them to charge at a black market rate their tickets…but that wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone of us. Point is, the numbers make sense to me but I’m sure there’s someone somewhere getting paid for letting something happen here, this Venezuela after all.

    Okcham’s razor guys…fewest assumptions, keep it simple!

      • There is no way that these fellows got their route authorized except by rewarding the generosity of some of the bosses !! So Francico is right , at some point there had to be some hanky panky dealing with some one important !!

      • Guys,
        Of course there is no way ANY business enterprise in Venezuela (of a decent size, not bachaqueros) can be viable without government “help”. Not in the 5th Republic, not in the 4th Republic…That’s a given in Venezuela and many other countries. Remember the Siemens bribery case? Venezuela was one of many countries where they had to “pay-to-play”. Besides from getting the details on the “who” and “how much”, there’s really nothing new about this case. In Don Henley’s words: just another day in paradise!

  12. William of Ockham’s rundown sounds viable. There are still people flying in and out of Ven all the time. Someone figures out a way to game the system involving exchange rate shenanagans, and buying in Ven what (gas, staff, etc.) would cost far more elsewhere, and this outfit gets the lion’s share of the little business that is left. What’s more, with diminishing opportunities for the gove to skim off foreign businesses, this brings some new greenbacks into the country. Wonder how long it will last. Feels prtty risky even if the business model is viable.

    JL

  13. The below exceprt from their website is irrefutable proof that there is some Venezuelan guiso behind this whoe thing:

    “Exceptional Bar Service

    A wide selection of excellent wine and other spirits are available on your flight, just in case you want to take the edge off or enhance your trip”

  14. It’s paranoid yet not entirely implausible to think that the biggest unofficial partner of Dynamic is Cartel de los Soles, C.A.
    Since the military has already been caught smuggling drugs through Air France and private charters, wouldn’t it be a logical step for Diosdado to make his own airline with blackjack and hookers?

    • Nope, El Cartel is clear on this one. We have concluded extensive investigations and Dynamic Air is relatively clean: bunch of rednecks, risk-taking millionaires. Just minor Tigritos at the Guyana and Kleptozuelan end.

      We are much more concerned about Los Soles’ trademark involvement in the Lago de Maracaibo modern piracy operations.

  15. Well guys let me know if you find if they are kosher. have to fly to CCS in august. Seems a great price and convenient for me FLL-CCS -FLL G’night

  16. Fare search for Dynamic Airways:

    From CARACAS S BOLIVAR (CCS)
    To FT LAUDERDALE (FLL)
    Departure 02 Aug 2015 18:20:00
    Arrival 01 Aug 2015 22:01:00
    Fare USD 182.00
    Tax USD 185.44

    From FT LAUDERDALE (FLL)
    To CARACAS S BOLIVAR (CCS)
    Departure 15 Aug 2015 12:30:00
    Arrival 15 Aug 2015 15:10:00
    Fare USD 182.00
    Tax USD 92.54

    Flight total: $641.98

    Same search for American Airlines:

    Fare Amount
    Adult
    1 × $542.00 USD
    $542.00 USD
    Taxes & Carrier-Imposed Fees
    Taxes
    $192.30 USD
    Carrier-Imposed Fees
    $0.00 USD
    Price and Tax Information
    Flight Subtotal
    $734.30 USD

    Same dates from Bogotá on American Airlines:

    Fare Amount
    Adult
    1 × $222.00 USD
    $222.00 USD
    Taxes & Carrier-Imposed Fees
    Taxes
    $146.70 USD
    Carrier-Imposed Fees
    $0.00 USD
    Price and Tax Information
    Flight Subtotal
    $368.70 USD

  17. Take the bus to San Antonio del Tachira, then pass on foot or take a taxi to Cucuta , then take a bus to Cucuta airport and buy the Cucuta -Bogota – Fort Lauderdale ticket — cheaper (if you forget about cadivi / cencoex dollars) …

  18. Oops not that cheap, $875, better take a boat ride from Guiria or from Tucupita and fly from Port Spain, Trinidad $ 630 on Jet Blue Airways …. leaving 01-Aug and returning 15-Aug …

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