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
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.
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao, Sep 22, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The recent signing of an interline agreement with US Airways and Curacao-based Insel Air has given travelers even more flexibility in planning their vacation to the island of Curacao. All US airways routes will be connecting seamlessly — within 1 1/2 hours — of Insel Air departures to Curacao from Miami International. The agreement also allows for passengers to book via Insel Air on www.usairways.com beginning Oct. 1, 2009. Passengers can also book on www.fly-inselair.com or through a travel agent.
“We are thrilled that US Airways now has the possibility to add Curacao to its list of Caribbean destinations. This agreement helps US travelers to become more familiar with Curacao, often referred to as the Caribbean’s hidden treasure because of our exquisite beaches, remarkable history and our capital Willemstad’s distinction as a UNESCO World Heritage site,” Evita Nita, Executive Director, Curacao Tourist Board said.
The interline agreement is also accompanied by the insertion of new aircraft — the MD-82, which arrived in Curacao last week — into Insel Air’s ever-growing fleet.
Prior to the signed agreement, Insel Air complied with all standards of IATA Clearing House, the international institute where transactions between airlines are cleared. The agreement has since been filed by IATA and published in the current IATA Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreement (MITA) Concurrences.
In addition to the daily service to Curacao on Insel Air via US Airways, starting November 19th American Airlines will offer twice daily service from Miami International (MIA); Continental offers weekly service from Newark (EWR); Delta Air Lines offers weekly service from Atlanta (ATL); and Air Jamaica offers connections twice weekly via Montego Bay from Baltimore/Washington (BWI) Philadelphia International (PHL), and Chicago O’Hare (ORD).
No matter what carrier travelers choose, the island’s popular Curacao Now promotion offers a $200-per-person airfare rebate, $200 food and beverage credit, a free night at participating hotels and more. Curacao Now is available for those traveling through Dec. 15, 2009. For a list of participating hotels and to learn more about Curacao Now, visit www.curacao.com/now.
With its pristine dive sites, secluded beaches, championship golf and rich local cuisine, Curacao offers a little something for everyone — from the adventure traveler to those who simply want to unwind (and enjoy its perfect climate). Curacao’s eclectic mix of history and culture is showcased in its capital city of Willemstad, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on the outer fringes of the hurricane belt this welcoming, unique island paradise is often referred to as the Caribbean’s hidden treasure.
To learn more about the island of Curacao visit curacao.com and to request a FREE Curacao information package click here or call toll free 1.800.328.7222.
SOURCE: Curacao Tourist Board
A KLM Boeing 747-400, registration PH-BFL performing flight KL-785 from Curacao (Netherlands Antilles) to Amsterdam (Netherlands) with 399 passengers, returned to Curacao when a fire was observed in the cabin. The airplane landed safely.
Passengers reported, that there was a fire in the internal wiring near the TV screen in the lower deck around seat row 51, flares were visible behind the overhead panels. The flight attendants used fire extinguishers and managed to quickly stop the fire.
A passenger – wanting to remain unnamed – told The Aviation Herald in a detailed report, that there was a strong diesel-like smell from the air conditioning while at the gate and thought, that service vehicles underneath the aircraft might be the cause of this. About 20 minutes into the flight the passenger noticed other people sitting ahead to look back towards the left side of the airplane near the first emergency exit behind the wing (editor’s note: row 51) and now saw about 5 overhead bins had been opened, a light haze appeared. A few minutes later flight attendants arrived with several small fire extinguishers. At that point a smell like candles arrived at the passenger’s seat. The captain requested all cabin crew to meet immediately at the purser’s station, then an announcement followed, that the airplane would return to Curacao due to a technical problem. The brace position was demonstrated and exercised, the emergency procedures were reiterated again. After the landing gear came down, at low altitude, the captain commanded “Brace for impact”, repeated by flight attendants. The airplane touched down very fast, not as hard as expected. The airplane slowed down and stopped, at which point the passengers broke into applause. The airplane taxied to the gate arriving there about 15 minutes later and the passengers disembarked. The flight was eventually cancelled, the passengers were shuttled to hotels and fell into bed around 4-7am. The passenger heard from sources at the airport, that an inboard light had shortened out and caused a fire, which was extinguished by cabin crew.
A replacement Boeing 747-400 registration PH-BFG was dispatched to Curacao as flight KL-7421 on May 1st and delivered the passengers to Amsterdam in the morning of May 3rd with a total delay of 48 hours.
A statement by KLM, promised for this Monday, has not yet reached The Aviation Herald.
The Curacao Tourism Corp. said Curacao’s national carrier, Insel Air, will launch flights between Miami and Curacao on Friday.
Until the end of November, Insel Air will fly the route three times per week on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. In December, the flight frequency will increase to four times per week — Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
The flights are operated with McDonnell Douglas MD 83 aircraft.
As an incentive to travelers, the Curacao Tourist Board is offering U.S. residents who book a flight on Insel Air a $100 air credit rebate. Travelers must stay a minimum of four nights in paid accommodations to receive the rebate. The incentive runs until Jan 15. The Airfare Rebate Form and instructions for redemption are available for download on Fly-InselAir.com
source: The Miami Herald
Filed under: Airline News, Press Releases, St. Maarten News
CURACAO/AIRPORT–The woes of Dutch Antilles Express (DAE) passengers have now turned into a Halloween nightmare. The airline has cancelled all its flights between St. Maarten and Curacao from yesterday until November 4. The first flight should be airborne on November 5.
Roy Mingo of airline agent Arrindell Aviation Services told The Daily Herald the airline had issued a bulletin Monday afternoon informing all travel agents and ticketing counters that one of its aircraft would be taken from Colombia to Mexico today for an engine change.
With DAE cancelling its flights many travellers wishing to move between St. Maarten and the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) had to resort to more expensive flights via Puerto Rico.
DAE’s ATR aircraft is undergoing its regular maintenance in Texas, which is taking longer than expected.
The airline has a fleet of five aircraft: three ATRs and two Fokker 100s. With these five aircraft, DAE carries out more than 210 flights per week. To guarantee punctuality, DAE fully deploys three aircraft and sometimes a fourth one, depending on the day, under normal circumstances. This means that two aircraft are on stand-by most of the time.
According to a press release from DAE, passengers who already have tickets or parts of tickets can get a refund, cash or a travel voucher. For those who accept a travel voucher, DAE will ‘throw in’ an additional 25 per cent, a refund of 125 per cent, for future travel.
Flights to and from Bogota, Colombia, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, have also been affected.
Last week’s solution of a chartered Laser aircraft from Venezuela was not possible this week because of maintenance work on that aircraft, explained DAE Managing Director Floris van Pallandt. Laser executed 42 flights for DAE, including some on the St. Maarten route. Passengers on the Sunday and Monday flights were transferred to Insel Air.
Van Pallandt stressed that aircraft were pieces of machinery that required maintenance and sometimes they broke down. This case, he added, was a typical example of “Murphy’s Law.” He reminded the public that, in the past two years, DAE had executed flights with a high rate of punctuality and with very few cancellations.
DAE apologised for the inconvenience and said it would do everything in its power to resume regular operations as soon as possible.
Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten
Filed under: Airline News, St. Maarten News, Travel and Tourism
AIRPORT–A tired little boy hoping to travel to Curacao with his parents and sister for a relaxing weekend had his expectations dashed twice by the grounding of Insel Airs only aircraft linking St. Maarten and Curacao.
His mother, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the family had been booked to travel to Curacao on Insel Air on Friday, but learned when they arrived at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) that the flight had been cancelled and alternative arrangements would be forthcoming.
After struggling for some time, the family headed home and the mother tried to obtain an update on their trip. Their next airport trip was on Saturday and again they were told the flight was not coming in and to just wait for a call.
This call never came and the family, after spending most of their weekend at PJIA, had to settle for Sunday at home. My son, as little as he is, looked at me and said, Mommy this is the second time Insel Air cant take me to Curacao, the mother said.
These four passengers were not re-accommodated aboard the Dutch Antilles Express (DAE) outbound flight to Curacao on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Roy Mingo of Arrindell Aviation, the local DAE agent, told The Daily Herald all DAE passengers booked to leave St. Maarten or travel here had been taken care of, along with those from Insel Air who could be accommodated. There were all full flights on the three days, he said.
It is not certain how long Insel Airs lone aircraft will be out of service and how passengers already booked on the flights will be accommodated.
Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten
Filed under: Airline News, Entertainment and Sport, Events, Travel and Tourism
Celebration like no other in the Caribbean The Caribbean’s biggest festival of the year is being prepared on the island of Curacao.
Karnaval will begin on January 2nd, 2008, saturating the island with colour and costumes for a “month-long cultural mash-up”.
Featuring local dance, food and entertainment, the festival builds up to the Grand Farewell Parade on February 5th.
“Karnaval is a pure celebration of our culture,” commented Eugene Rhuggenaath, the island’s commissioner of economic affairs and tourism.
“The energy builds throughout the month to a glorious eruption of joy during the Grand Parade,” he added.
Curacao’s native music, Tumba, provides the official soundtrack to Karnaval, incorporating musical competitions for parents, children and teenagers.
UK Holidaymakers can find all they need for the perfect exotic trip on the island, from “pristine diving locations”, secluded beaches, a championship golf course and “amazing world-class fishing”.
British Airways recently unveiled a number of special offers to the Caribbean, with holiday prices starting at £745 for a week-long trip.
There has been an increase in the number of British and Irish visitors to the Caribbean in recent months.
Between January and May this year 74,000 Brits holidayed in Jamaica alone, compared to 64,893 during the same period last year.
Source: Holiday Hypermarket
Filed under: Airline News, Law Enforcement and Crime, St. Maarten News
PHILIPSBURG–Customs on St. Maarten are investigating three female drug mules who were caught at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) trying to board KLM and Air France flights with cocaine bolitas, to see if they are linked to each other.
Chief Customs Officer Anthony Doran told reporters the cocaine and cocaine base confiscated from some 200 bolitas weighed around 2.5kg.
He identified the suspects as I.R.B. and A.H.B.A., both born in Santo Domingo and living in St. Maarten, and F.S.A.F. of Curacao. He said they all had been caught during controls at the airport this past week.
He said F.S.A.F. had arrived in St. Maarten from Curacao and had been about to board an Air France flight that would have taken her to Paris, France, when Customs officers found reason to suspect her of having swallowed bolitas. She was taken to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) where she was X-rayed and found to have a large quantity of bolitas.
The other two suspects had been in St. Maarten for some time and were about to board a KLM flight that would have taken them to Amsterdam, Holland, via Aruba, when they were caught by Customs.
Doran said further details regarding the cases could not be released at this stage, as the investigation was still ongoing.
Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten
Filed under: Airline News, Press Releases, Travel and Tourism
MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Curaçao Tourism Board announced that Delta Air Lines will be offering non-stop service from Atlanta effective December 22, 2007, making travel to Curaçao even easier for tourists nation-wide.
“We are thrilled that U.S. travelers will have another alternative that will facilitate their visit to Curaçao,” stated Evita Nita, Executive Director of Tourism for Curaçao. “We are confident that they will fall in love with Curaçao, and that they will enjoy everything that makes Curaçao Real. Different.”
Delta offers convenient weekly connections via Atlanta from over 40 U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C., Boston, Hartford, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Non-stop service to and from the island will be available on Saturdays on the following schedule:
Flight Departs Arrives
653 Atlanta at 9:45 a.m. Curaçao at 3:10 p.m.
652 Curaçao at 4:00 p.m. Atlanta at 7:40 p.m.
In addition to Delta’s new service, Continental Airlines flies non-stop weekly from Newark and American Airlines offers easy connections daily from cities nationwide.
The Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao is located off the coast of South America and on the outer fringes of the hurricane belt. Curaçao offers a melting pot of diversity of history and culture. It boasts more than 35 beautiful beaches, some of the world’s top dive sites and is a UNESCO World Heritage City thanks in part to its authentic 17th century Dutch architecture. You can visit museums and art galleries, experience fine dining and local cuisine, and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and biking. To learn more about Curaçao or to receive a free destination DVD, contact 1-800-328-7222 or visit www.curacao.com.
For Curaçao Tourism Board, Miami
Hill & Knowlton SAMCOR
Cori Zywotow Rice, 305-443-5454