Kralendijk– United Airlines has brought more passenges to Bonaire in the first quarter of the year. According to figures from the Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB), the island had an increase of 7.6% in passengers coming from Newark and 14.8% in passengers coming from Houston. From these numbers it can be concluded that the strategic marketing was successful.
The new approach to marketing included a new collaboration between TCB and US travel agencies and also the focus on Boston where Bonaire participated in the Boston Globe. This fair reached travelers traveling on the United flights from Newark and Houston. On social platforms, Bonaire is running a digital marketing campaign that focuses on US areas with the most potential. Different press and social influencers will be visiting the island and ensuring through this way more increase in these two flights.
TCB at the same time indicates there was a temporary decrease from passengers coming from Atlanta with Delta, namely a minus of 13.9%. The decrease according to TCB is a consequence that this year Delta didn’t have a third flight during Spring break, which we did have last year. Also, as TCB notes, Easter was in April this year (second quarter) and in 2016 this was in March (first quarter). This means that it might be possible that this will show an increase in the second quarter. Comparing the previous year passengers traveling during Easter holidays reflected in the first quarter. The first quarter of 2017 had 12 Saturdays and in 2016 it had 13. This also has a disadvantage when comparing the amount of passengers coming to Bonaire in the first quarter.
TCB says they note that the airlines made use of a dynamic strategy, changing the type of planes used to accommodate more passengers in times of more demand. Delta used two planes with 3 different configurations, a Boeing 737-800 with 160 seats and a Boeing 757 with 180 and 199 seats respectively.
United used two different planes from the model Boeing 737, the 737-800 with 166 seats and 737-900 with 179 seats. While Newark lowered the amount of flights to Bonaire it still surpassed this year’s amount of passengers coming to Bonaire in comparison with last year from 1734 to 1866 passengers.
TCB concludes that it is necessary to expand airline sources with more flights from North America, taking into account the amount of passengers on the different flights to the island.