Willemstad- Embattled carrier Insel Air has started today with the laying-off of in total 250 employees. The lay-off is directly related to the “back-to-basics” contingency plan the airline has had to implement over the last few weeks.
Under the implemented plan, the company flies just between the ABC islands and Sint Maarten with 3 Fokker50 aircraft registered in Curaçao. The company now has not been able to use their MD82/83 aircraft or their Fokker70 aircraft all registered in Aruba under the P4 registration.
The BES-reporter understand emotions were running high under employees receiving notification of their dismissal. Unfortunately, for many employees the mass lay-off is a ‘deja-vu’ of similar happenings at the former ALM and Dutch Antilles Express (DAE). Insel, after initially starting out with a small team of employees, expanded to over 600 employees and a rather large network.
The carrier yesterday filed for bankruptcy protection in Curaçao, barely 1 week after bankruptcy protection was granted by the court in Aruba for sister company Insel Air Aruba. The difference between the situation in Curaçao and Aruba is that the government of Curaçao has provided (financial) support for the local carrier and as such, Insel Air International is said to have chances of survival. Even if income has dwindled, tickets are still being sold. The situation at Insel Air Aruba is more dramatic as no support has been received from the government and the company has not had any income for weeks.