Flamingo Airport shows significant recovery in the second half of 2021

Flamingo Airport shows significant recovery in the second half of 2021

KRALENDIJK- Bonaire International Airport (BIA) has experienced a growth in passenger numbers after a long period of a major decline in the second half of 2021. The number of passengers even increased in the last 2 months of 2021 to the level of 2019 in the same period, when the pandemic was not yet present.

In the first half of 2021, BIA processed more than 34,000 arriving and 34,000 departing passengers. In the second half, this number was almost 95,000 arriving and slightly more than 93,000 departing passengers respectively. This brought the total to 256,000 passengers, 129,000 arriving passengers and over 127,000 departing passengers. The number of transit passengers was over 157,000

This is a growth of more than 62% compared to 2020 but still 49% less than in 2019. The growth in the second half of 2021 shows that BIA is on the way to returning to the “old” level. It is not yet clear in what year this will be achieved.

Test location

During the year, almost all existing routes were restarted and the frequency of a number of routes was increased. American Airlines and Delta airlines started flying again in June, with United Airlines following in November. The entry conditions of Bonaire could be met in part by making a test location on airside operational in June. The American flights subsequently had a very high occupancy rate, but passengers on the other flights also knew how to find Bonaire.

DIVI-DIVI air and EZAir also saw their flight frequency increase, along with passenger numbers. EZAir took two Saab 340 aircraft into service in 2021. The share in cargo also increased and Nesaviation started as a new carrier of cargo. Finally, we were also able to greet SkyHigh and Winair at the airport again.

The seat capacity also increased significantly due to, among other things, the use of larger aircraft, KLM switched from the Airbus 330 to the Boeing 777 and in December numerous extra flights were carried out by KLM, American Airlines and Delta airlines, among others.


Expectations for 2022 are high. For example, the overnight capacity on Bonaire has increased considerably due to expansion at existing resorts, as well as the opening of new resorts. In particular, the opening of the Chogogo resort, in collaboration with TUI, with 195 apartments and five villas significantly increases the capacity. “BIA is cautious about the forecasts for 2022, but the flight schedules and tourist developments on Bonaire look positive,” said CEO of BIA Jos Hillen. “A higher number of passengers than in 2021 should be possible if stricter entry conditions do not apply during the year.”

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