Kralendijk- According to TCB-director Maurice Adriaens the ultimate goal of American Airlines is to have daily flights to and from Bonaire.
Although the start of the operation is quite limited with 1 weekly flight between Miami and Bonaire, according to Adriaens, that will most probably change quickly. “We have already agreed that if there is sufficient demand, the next step will be the addition of flights on Wednesday. But in the end, American is a carrier that has the ambition to carry out a daily return flight between Miami and Bonaire “, assured Adriaens.
Adriaens praised the fact that the entire sector had come together to get the necessary deposit, required for the start of the operation, on the table. Adriaens hinted that Bonaire received a favorable deal from the American carrier, but could not comment on the exact amount. “Part of our agreement is a so-called confidentiality agreement,” says Adriaens. Adriaens says that there is fierce competition between destinations and that Saturday flights in particular are rather desirable. “We really did get a very good deal,” said Adriaens.
Besides a word of thanks for the stakeholders on Bonaire, Adriaens also took the time to thank the Maduro & Curielsbank (MCB) for their support. “We have received a lot of support from them, said Adriaens”, who noted there was even support from the MCB head office. “Chicú Caprilles called me and told me that the MCB has confidence in Bonaire and that the MCB would ensure that this guarantee would come in some way”.
Adriaens also said that the agreement with American Airlines was an excellent year-end for tourism on the island, although American Airlines flights only start in June 2018. The TCB-director said that with the start of Sunwing flights between Toronto and Bonaire and the flights of American in the offing, important steps had been taken for the further development of the sector.
A bit awkward was the fact that neither American Airlines nor responsible commissioner Ibi Martis were present at the signing of the agreement. According to Adriaens it was difficult for the airline to get someone on Bonaire because of the holidays. He did not elaborate on the reason of the absence of commissioner Martis, but there is general speculation that this has to do with the fact that the commissioner would prefer to avoid critical questions regarding the prolongation of the contract with Adriaens, which is set to expire on 31 December.