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United Airlines reducing Venezuela flights

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CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines is the latest carrier to say it will reduce flights to Venezuela over a dispute about money trapped by tight currency controls in the South American country.

American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc. and several foreign airlines have previously announced cutbacks.

United Continental Holdings Inc. said that starting Sept. 17 it will reduce Houston-Caracas service to four flights per week from the current daily flights. A spokeswoman said the reductions were due to "current market economics."

The Chicago company reported a $21 million loss in the first quarter due to weakening of the exchange rate on about $100 million it held in Venezuelan bolivars as of March 31. United said at the time it was working with the Venezuelan government to repatriate the money.

United shares rose 53 cents to close at 45.70. They have gained 21 percent this year.

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