Two Aruban Airlines Making Great Strides

July 25, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Airline News, Aruba News 

Last week, the official presentation of the Fokker 50 aircrafts to Insel Air International took place in Curacao. These are the new aircrafts acquired from KLM that will carry the Aruba logo. These aircrafts will be registered and stationed here on Aruba as soon as the AOC is completed. The Fokker 50’s will be part of the Insel Air International fleet along with their MD 80 which will all carry the Aruba branding. They will operate as a separate entity as Insel Air Aruba.

They are programmed to operate as of this year from Aruba to the following destinations: Curacao, Caracas, Barquisimeto, Miami, San Juan and Punta Cana. In the second phase, in 2012, they will begin flying to Sint Maarten, Valencia, Barranquilla, Medellin, Quito, San Jose and Havana, Cuba.

Insel Air also intends to lease a 737-800 aircraft with a seating capacity of 180 pax to fly to Newark and Sao Paulo, Brazil. As soon as the AOC is ready and they receive the ne­cessary permits from the US and Brazil these flights will begin operating.

Regarding Tiara Air Aruba with her two Shorts, they have received their Aruba branding and are in the process of acquiring the lease of a 737-300 aircraft with a capacity of 147 passengers. The new routes for Tiara Air Aruba are: Caracas, Fort Lauderdale, Valencia, Cucuta, Medellin and in the future Barbados and Boston.

Tiara Air Aruba is currently adapting their AOC to incorporate the operation of the 737-300 in their permits.

The government is extremely proud of the accomplishments and advances of these two airlines. The Minister of Tourism Otmar Oduber expressed praise for the cooperative agreement signed between Tiara Air, Insel Air and the government of Aruba last April 18. This agreement makes our local Airport a hub helping us to open new gateways in our region, but also at the same time serves our visitors and local population. We can now access destinations directly from Aruba with many more available seats.

Story courtesy of The Morning News

Superyacht Steel arriving in Willemstad, Curacao

July 25, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Boats, Yachts, Sailing and Surfing, Entertainment and Sport 

Steel is built by the Falmouth based shipyard Pendennis to a design by Liebowitz & Pritchard Architecture + Yacht Design Ltd. She is a 54 metre luxury explorer, of which little information has been released. She is built to +100 AL Lloyds, 1a ice class, and is also fully MCA compliant with long range capabilities. Steel is not the first collaboration between Liebowitz & Pritchard Architecture + Yacht Design Ltd, and Pendennis, they already worked together in 2004 on the47.5 metre superyacht MitseaAH. Steel is seen here late afternoon on sunday, when she arrived from Bonaire.

Man with loaded gun caught at Amsterdam Airport

August 4, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Law Enforcement and Crime 

A man carrying a loaded firearm was apprehended yesterday on Saturday, the 31st of July, 2010 when he tried boarding a plane. The incident took place at the Amsterdam Airport where the man in question was trying to board a flight to Curacao, an island which lies in the Dutch Caribbean. The man was apprehended at the Amsterdam Airport and then taken for interrogation.

The authorities at the Amsterdam Airport have issued a statement declaring that this man had not intended to carry out any act of terrorism and that he has not had a criminal history either.

The Dutch military police who later on took over charge of the interrogation of the man disclosed that the man had been cleared of any terrorist acts or intentions. The Dutch man is 35 years of age and we are still waiting for further details behind this news at the Amsterdam Airport.

Breezes Curaçao Rewards Families With an A+ Deal

August 4, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Hotel Overview, Press Releases 

HOLLYWOOD, FL–(Marketwire – August 2, 2010) – Families looking for a late summer or fall getaway can indulge in Breezes Curaçao’s wallet-friendly “Curaçao WOW” promotion. Guests visiting the Super-Inclusive resort August 15 through December 15 will enjoy five nights in the Dutch Caribbean and pay for only four, starting at just $580 per person per stay. Children 12 and under stay free with paying adults.

For fun in the sun, Breezes offers a private white-sand beach and three swimming pools. While mom and dad enjoy some peace and quiet, little ones are kept very happy playing with their peers at the resort’s Kids Club. A daily nanny-supervised nursery for infants and toddlers up to 2 years old is also available on a complimentary basis. The inclusive resort also boasts an arcade and professional Circus Workshop for teenage guests and those young at heart, with flying trapeze and juggling lessons.

Those in search of serenity can escape to the tranquility of the on-site Blue Mahoe Spa, where varieties of à la carte treatments are available. For the active among us, Breezes offers guests a myriad of activities including snorkeling, pool volleyball, kayaking, basketball, sailing and more.

Breezes guests also have the opportunity to explore the island and Willemstad with free shuttle service. For an up close look at the island’s wonderful sea life, guests can visit the Curaçao Seaquarium, which is right next door to the resort. Here visitors can see dolphin and sea lion shows, pet a shark and even swim with giant sea turtles.

The all inclusive resort boasts five restaurants, including the beachfront Starlight Grill serving fresh fish, and the outdoor Munasan restaurant, where hibachi chefs cook dinner right in front of you. Breezes’ Bon Bini atmosphere pervades the evening entertainment with live music from resident bands, well-known local entertainers, and plenty of room on the poolside dance floor.

A three paid-night minimum stay is required for the “Kids Stay Free” promotion. When booking five nights or more, guests receive one night free as part of the “Curaçao WOW” offer. Trips must be booked by September 1 and travel is valid August 15 through December 15. To book your vacation at Breezes Curaçao all inclusive resort, please visit, call 1-877-BREEZES (273-3937) or contact your local travel agent. You must reference CWOW to receive this offer.

Refinery Status: Valero May Restart Aruba Refinery In September

July 30, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Aruba News, Business and Economy, Oil Industry, Press Releases 

Valero Energy (VLO) Tuesday said its Aruba refinery may resume operations after completing turnaround maintenance in September if it is profitable to do so.

Operations at Valero’s Benicia, California, refinery will return to full operating rates by late August following about 60 days of unplanned maintenance at a coker unit, the co. said Tuesday. The coker was shut June 19-20 and was originally expected to return to service by early August. Also, work continues to install an emissions-reducing scrubber at the plant; that project will be finished by the end of the year.

Valero will proceed with hydrocracker projects at its St. Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana, to be completed in late 2013 and at its Port Arthur, Texas, plant that will be completed in late 2012, the co. said Tuesday. The FCCU at St. Charles will be revamped during the 2nd quarter of 2011. Also six coke drums will be replaced at Port Arthur.

And plant-wide turnaround is expected to take place at Valero’s Ardmore, Okla., refinery which will impact 1st quarter 2011 results.

Sunoco Inc. (SUN) Sunday shut the smaller of two FCCUs at its Philadelphia, Pa., refinery for one week of unplanned maintenance to repair a leak, a person familiar with operations at the plant said Monday.

A sulfur recovery unit at Pasadena Refining’s Pasadena, Texas, oil refinery will continue to operate Monday while repairs are made at an associated quench tower, a filing with environmental regulators said. The work to replace a valve at the tower will take approximately 12 hours.

Valero Energy (VLO) Friday reported maintenance at an exchanger in Complex 2 at its Texas City, Texas, oil refinery. The work, at an unspecified unit, started at around 10:00 p.m. Friday and will end at about the same time on Aug. 4, a filing to environmental regulators said.

The 13th edition of the Ennia Kids Triathlon will be held this Sunday June 13th.

June 9, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Entertainment and Sport 

The 13th edition of the Ennia Kids Triathlon will be held this Sunday June 13th. This year it will take place for the first time at Blue Bay Curaçao! Your board has decided to extend extraordinary permission for this positive, sporty event for children, since it will be positive promotion for Blue Bay Curaçao. The competition will take place between 16.00 and 19.00 hours and will be concentrated around the beach and the last holes of the Golf Course.

There will be around 55 children participating in this competition. Of course they will be cheered on by their families and friends. Measures will be taken to prevent possible nuisance as much as possible. Naturally, you are more than welcome to cheer the children on and to experience the event yourself.

Brazilian Gol Flies to Aruba and Curacao

February 7, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Airline News, Travel and Tourism 

Brazilian Airline Gol saw a demand on it route network grow by 32.1% in January over the same period last year (31.4% in the domestic market and 36.9% in the international market). It was the second consecutive month to record a year-on-year upturn.

According to the company, the key factor behind the upturn was the improved economic scenario in Brazil and South America, especially in regard to consumer confidence, and Gol’s strategic positioning in its operational markets.

Gol points out some of the factors they see contributing to the growth: high flight frequency between main airports, rewarding clients who schedule their trips in advance with lower fares, encouraging demand and reducing the number of available seats on flights where advanced booking is rare.

Specifically in regard to the international market, they say that the increase in demand was also due to adjustments to the international route network, which now includes new routes from Brazil to the Caribbean with flights to Aruba and Curacao and the integration of Gol’s and VRG’s reservation systems in January 2009.

Demand grew by 8.5% over December 2009 (5.3% in the domestic market and 35.3% in the international market). The international market growth drivers also included the 19.1% appreciation of the Brazilian real against the dollar over January 2009, which was a key factor that contributed positively to this growth, and the new Caribbean routes, which reached their sales peak in January.

As a result, the Company delivered a total load factor of 77.9% in January 2010 (77.3% in the domestic market and 81.8% in the international market), and the international market was 24.5 percentage points more than the 57.3% recorded in January 2009, and 11.5 percentage points up on the 70.3% registered in December 2009.

Dutch Government pys off debt of St. Eustatius

February 7, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Business and Economy, Press Releases 

THE HAGUE–Dutch Government announced on Friday that it has started the reorganisation of the backlog in payments of the Island Territory of St. Eustatius to the general Antillean pension fund APNA.
The amount of the money is NAf. 6,686,652.15, almost 2.3 million euros, and involves the backlog up to and including 2005. The backlog in payments of 2006 and 2007 will also be paid as soon as the Council for Financial Supervision CFT renders a positive advice. The amount for 2006 and 2007 is NAf. 1,384,667 (55,280 euros).
The debts of the Island Territory of Curaçao will also be paid of the Country the Netherlands Antilles, it was announced in a press release issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK on Friday.
The reorganisation of Curaçao’s debts was agreed upon in the most recent Political Steering Group (PSG) meeting on December 9, 2009.
In the near future, an amount of more than NAf. 43 million (some 15.5 million euros) will be paid to Curaçao so the debts of Study Financing Foundation Curaçao SSC, the garbage collection and waste processing company Selikor, the drug rehabilitation foundation FMA, the educational centre Feffik, the road fund Stichting Wegenfonds Curaçao and the bus company Autobusbedrijf Curaçao could be paid.
The Netherlands is reorganising the debts so the new entities, Countries Curaçao and St. Maarten, and the BES islands – Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba – as part of the Dutch Constellation, could start with a clean sheet when the Country the Netherlands Antilles is dismantled October 10, 2010.
As agreed upon in the Final Declaration of November 2006, there are conditions attached to the debt reorganisation, such as financial supervision and good governance codes. State Secretary of Kingdom Relations, Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, has ceased payments to Bonaire “because it is unclear whether the island wants to stick to the earlier agreements,” it was stated in the press release.
Bijleveld-Schouten starts a five-day visit to Aruba and Curaçao this Monday. On Monday, she will first visit Aruba where she will meet Governor Fredis Refunjol, several members of the cabinet, Chairman of Parliament Andy Lee and the faction leaders of the political parties. On Tuesday, she meets with Aruba’s Council of Ministers and will visit the Police Force.
On Wednesday, Bijleveld-Schouten will be in Curaçao. The main agenda point during that visit will be the progress of constitutional reform in the Kingdom. On Thursday, there will be a political consultation with the Country the Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
On the agenda of the PSG will be the cooperation of the police forces of the new countries and the corps for the BES islands, as well as the joint facility to combat organised and international crime. Bijleveld-Schouten will return to the Netherlands on Friday.


Switching from the Antillean guilder to the US dollar

January 17, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Business and Economy, St. Maarten News 

The discussion about switching from the Antillean guilder to the US dollar in Curaçao and St. Maarten when the Netherlands Antilles ceases to exist has died down somewhat since a symposium on the subject at the end of last year. However, preparations for “dollarisation” continue unabated behind the scenes in financial circles in Willemstad, confirmed director Chicu Capriles of Maduro & Curiel’s Bank (MCB), the parent company of Windward Islands Bank (WIB), during a recent interview on TeleCuraçao.

The banker was quite candid about it, saying the move made sense considering the strong economic ties to the US. He added that the public would be duly informed in due time and every effort would be made for the process to go as smoothly as possible.

The fact that the BES islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, which are to become special overseas bodies of the Netherlands, have already chosen for the US dollar – rather than the euro, which says a lot – plays a role as well. Maintaining an Antillean guilder only for the two islands in the process of becoming autonomous countries in the Dutch Kingdom simply is not worth it, also because the dollar already rules in St. Maarten. The latter is definitely the case and has been for years. In fact, if it were not for government and people having to pay a one per cent foreign exchange licence fee at the bank every time they take out dollars, most likely even fewer guilders would be in circulation on the Dutch side.

That’s why it’s hard to understand why the local political establishment appears to be dragging its feet on this issue. After all, a switch to the dollar on “The Friendly Island” with its one-pillar tourism economy and North America as predominant source market most likely would be much easier and less cumbersome than in Curaçao. Not only that, but if Curaçao goes the dollar route it would leave St. Maarten little choice, because an own currency just for the island considering the widespread use of the dollar is hardly worth considering. In addition, the agreement for the two future countries to continue sharing the Central Bank would lose much of its value, because the role of that institution would be severely diminished in case of ”dollarisation” and it probably would be replaced by a much smaller and less influential regulatory board to supervise the financial sector.

It’s noteworthy that Central Bank President Emsley Tromp is the main proponent of switching to the dollar, despite the strongly limiting effect it would have on the very institution he heads. His position apparently has been adopted by financial circles in Willemstad to the point where work is already underway it make it a reality.

St. Maarten should waste no time in doing its own homework. A switch to the dollar would indeed seem to make every sense in the world and at least would spell an end to the current undesirable practice of penalising local residents with a licence fee for doing business in the predominant currency.

Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten

Venezuela protests to US on claimed air incursion

January 12, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Government & Politics 

CARACAS, Venezuela — AP. Venezuela made a diplomatic protest to the United States and the Netherlands on Monday, saying a U.S. military plane violated its airspace last week after taking off from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao. A U.S. diplomat denied it.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro called the purported incursion “an attempt to provoke some type of incident.” He presented a protest letter to John Caulfield, charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, and to Dutch diplomat J.G. van Vloten Dissevelt.

Maduro expressed concern about the Netherlands’ role, saying that “we are worried that their territories are being used by the United States to make illegal incursions into our airspace.”

Caulfield denied the accusation, saying a U.S. military plane has not strayed into Venezuelan airspace since 2008, when the U.S. acknowledged what it called an accidental incident involving a Navy plane. Caulfield noted U.S. and Venezuelan officials discussed that incident in 2008.

“We have not had any other event of a violation of Venezuelan airspace by American planes,” Caulfield said.

In making the allegation last week, Chavez accused Washington of trying to provoke his government by sending an American P-3 plane from Curacao to twice enter Venezuelan airspace Friday. The plane was met by Venezuelan F-16s and escorted out of Venezuelan airspace, he said.

Venezuelan Vice President Ramon Carrizalez appeared on state television Monday to present what he said was evidence of the alleged incursion. Flanked by military officials, Carrizalez showed diagrams of what he said was the route taken by U.S. aircraft after its takeoff from Curacao.

“We are showing the country and the world that incursions into our airspace are occurring to provoke us, to test our reaction and possibly, at any moment, to launch an attack,” Carrizalez said.

U.S. officials have said the American military’s use of airfields in Aruba and Curacao for counter-drug flights poses no threat to Venezuela.

Next Page »