Airlift

Covid Test Center at Flamingo Airport will Facilitate Return of US Flights

Bonaire has not seen any direct US flights for over a year now. Photo: Harald Linkels

Kralendijk- A Covid test facility at Bonaire International Airport (BIA) will be instrumental in the ability of US carriers to restart direct flights to the island.

Since the closure of airspace for direct flight out of the US, the Government of Bonaire has been hard at work to enable the return of the flights, which are instrumental for tourism on the island. So far, the various test requirements were a big hurdle.

Due to some adaptations in current legislation, it will become possible to demand a Covid-test for arriving passengers. The goal is to have the new facility operation par May 25th. The first direct flights out of the USA are now scheduled for the first week of June.

Preparations

While the news still need to be officially communicated by Island Governor Edison Rijna, the BES-Reporter understands that preparation for the new facility are in ‘full swing’.

The tourism sector has sustained enormous losses since the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic. With the exception of 3 months with a total flight prohibition, the tourism flow out of The Netherlands has cautiously continued. This however represents only about 50% of the normal tourism flow. Contrary to the situation on Curaçao, which is heavily dependent on European tourist and Aruba, which is heavily dependent on US tourist, tourism in Bonaire is more or less evenly divided in tourists from Europe and the USA.

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