Business Association very worried about unreliable airline service

Passengiers impatiently wait on a flight to Bonaire. The flight was supposed to leave at 3.40 PM but was delayed first to 6.10 PM and later to 7.30 PM. Photo: The BES-reporter.

Kralendijk- The Bonaire Business and Employers Association (BBE) is very worried about the situation with the air transportation to especially Curaçao and Aruba. On Thursday, January 26, BBE sent out a great number of emails both to local- as well as Kingdom government representatives. BBE says the situation is deteriorating fast and nothing is really happening to remedy the situation. “We know that Insel Air has little attention for the airlift to Bonaire” writes BBE-president Anja Romeijnders on behalf of the BBE-board.

Romeijnders states in her letter that the bad connections do not only hamper tourism, but also the ability of entrepreneurs to conduct business on the neighboring islands. “Often day-trips are no longer feasible, unless someone has the money to charter a plane” according to BBE.

Romeijnders also points to the fact that the situation has become so extreme now that even making a same-day connection when traveling abroad is no longer guaranteed with the current situation at local carrier Insel Air. Although BBE sees Divi Divi Air as a reliable and high-frequency alternative, the business association also points to the lack of capacity at the small airline.

BBE feels that talk of new initiatives often lead to nothing or fail to get past a “rumor” state. The employer’s association says to fear that the lack of cooperation between local and Kingdom government is one of the factors why initiatives do not materialize. BBE is there for urging both local government and the Kingdom government to come together and start working seriously on an alternative to guarantee reliable connections to especially Curaçao and Aruba.

It is known that both Bonaire International Airport (BIA) as well as the Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) are in favor of establishing a local carrier to ensure reliable transportation to and out of Bonaire. However, establishing an airline requires a lot of capital, while it is also not easy to meet requirements for needed permits. BBE calls on the two governments to install a committee on the short term to work on concrete alternatives for air transportation to and from Bonaire.

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