First WestJet flight from Toronto arrives in Bonaire

KRALENDIJK – On Tuesday, December 12, the first flight arrived from Toronto (Canada) to Kralendijk. The full flight was enthusiastically received. With one scheduled flight per week, tourists from Canada seem to have found their way to Bonaire.

The scheduled flight from Toronto to Kralendijk took 4.5 hours. Passengers of the WestJet aircraft WJA2550 landed twenty minutes early. Nevertheless, the atmosphere at Flamingo International Airport was no less festive. Many had come to the airport to catch a glimpse of the aircraft, which had not previously had a full flight to a new destination.

Canadian fans of WestJet were present at the airport in Kralendijk.

Opening ceremony in Toronto

Two happy visitors, Zane and Wendy Elliott, were among the first passengers to come out of the terminal. This was their first visit to Bonaire. When they saw there was a flight from Toronto to Bonaire, they booked immediately. Wendy Elliott was pleased with the flight, which was special for her: “It was a nice flight. There was even an opening ceremony in Toronto, attended by a delegation from Bonaire. We had a pleasant flight. A year ago, we wanted to come here. But then, the flight was too long.”

Zane and Wendy are looking forward to enjoying their week. The current temperature in Toronto is -1 degrees Celsius. In Bonaire, they want to enjoy snorkeling, windsurfing, hiking, and exploring special places that are not too touristy. Wendy Elliott explains: “We probably won’t go diving. But we’re really looking forward to discovering different places here.”

Other passengers who arrived on the first flight from Canada were also delighted with the new option to fly to Bonaire. One of them told “Normally, we pay around 1700-1800 dollars for a flight from Toronto to Bonaire with a stopover in America. Now it’s much less. We pay about 800 dollars. Additionally, the flight is much faster.”

New Market

Indeed, tourists usually have to make a stopover in America. The total travel time can then be up to fourteen to twenty hours. With the new scheduled flight, it’s just 4.5 hours. For Bonaire, a new opportunity seems to have arisen to attract new tourists. Miles Mercera, the director of Tourism Cooperation Bonaire, is also enthusiastic about the new development: “We are working on diversifying our tourists. By that, I mean that we want to target new markets. The focus is not only on America, the Netherlands, and dive tourism. We are looking around to see where opportunities lie. Everyone thought we only focused on South America. I believe that North America, and thus Canada, is also interesting for Bonaire.”

With the first WestJet flight, a first trajectory with long preparations seems to have come to an end. However, Mercera believes that the process is still in full swing: “For direct scheduled flights, we deploy our marketing resources. So, we will start promotions in Canada for vacations in Bonaire. Whether other countries will soon fly directly to Bonaire? That’s not the issue right now. I do think the Brazilian and Colombian markets are interesting for our island. Perhaps that’s an option for the future.”

The WestJet aircraft will stay one night in Bonaire. On Wednesday, December 13, the WestJet crew will take the plane back to Toronto at 09:00. Whether the plane will have as many passengers heading to Canada is not known.”

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