Kralendijk- Popular Bonerian airline pilot Franklin ‘Kinkin’ Antoin has been appointed, per September 1, 2018 as the new Chief Pilot at local airline EZ Air. For Antoin, who until recently was employed by Insel Air as captain on the Fokker-50, the step is a logical continuation of his aviation career.
He previously flew as a captain on the Fokker100 of Dutch Antilles Express (DAE), but for a number of years he also worked for Divi Divi Air and the Bonaire-based Medicair; the parent company of EZ Air.
In addition to his work as a commercial pilot at various airlines, Antoin has also been active for several years now with his own Falki Aviation Curaçao, where he has trained various local pilots for a career in aviation. Flying is apparently in the blood of the Antoins; Antoin’s brother Danielson flies as captain on the Twinotter at the Windward Winair.
Antoin says he is looking forward to the new challenge. “EZ Air is looking towards a bright future as local airline. We are putting together a nice team of young and eager aviators and I can provide guidance to them. That is something I love to do”, says Antoin.
According to Antoin, EZ Air has already hired several Bonerian pilots. “A team of local pilots will also be hired on Curaçao,” says Antoin.
A first group of EZ Air pilots, including Antoin, has traveled to United States to achieve their type-rating for the Beechcraft 1900, which will be deployed by EZ Air for the short distance routes. “The training has a theoretical part and the flight simulator part,” explains Antoin. As soon as the group consisting of Antoin, Silié and Henriquez has finalized the training, a next team of 4 pilots will leave.
EZ Air boss René Winkel is also satisfied with the hiring of Antoin. “With Franklin we have a very experienced pilot in team . Our ambition level is high: We absolutely want to work with the best people in the field”. Winkel says that his company is receiving large amounts of applications. “Every week we get dozens of letters from pilots, ground staff and technical people. However, we are only a start-up airline and we expect to start with a maximum of 50 employees for now”, says Winkel, who used to fly as captain with the now-defunct ALM Antillean Airlines.
According to Winkel, the preparations for the start of the flights are going well. “The planes are almost ready to be ferried from Florida to Curaçao. Some tests will still have to be done locally. In addition, we are in the process of setting up our reservation system and other operational matters”, says Winkel. The entrepreneur does not yet dare to give a concrete date for the start of the commercial flights. “As soon as is technically possible. I can however not give an exact date yet”, says Winkel.