KRALENDIJK- Travelers hoping to get from Bonaire to Curaçao or vice versa these days are in for a treat. The demand for tickets between the two islands is so big that they are at times sold out for weeks in a row.
Those who want to fly from Curaçao to Bonaire currently on Divi Divi Air can fly no sooner than August 18, almost 3 weeks from now. EZ Air at present still have some tickets available from August 11, still almost 2 weeks from today.
Although both companies usually have enough seat capacity, this is clearly not the case during the summer holiday. While the scheduling of additional flights sounds simple, this is in practice not always the case. The airlines are currently confronted with limitations when it comes to available equipment, and -more urgently- available pilots.
Annoying is the lack of any alternative for residents. There is currently no alternative by sea, or other options on other airlines.
Unfortunately, the Dutch government in particular has been absent for a long time in the discussion about air transportation between the islands. Although many see airlift between the islands as a responsibility of the national government (Rijksregering), the latter has been careful not to touch the matter, and leaves the transport by air entirely to private market parties.
A report by the consultancy firm SEO, followed by a report by the Hartman Commission, made recommendations for entering into a Public Service Obligation (PSO) between the islands, which would control prices and allow the government to impose requirements on the amount of capacity deployed by the contracting parties.
The respective transport ministers are all to happy to postpone the decision-making process about the PSOs, which means that travellers between the two islands are in trouble, both in terms of prices charged, and the capacity deployed.