KRALENDIJK – The Airport Tax Busters Bonaire (ATBB), a pressure group against high airport taxes, is urging the airports in the Dutch Caribbean to take immediate action that will lead to better connectivity between the islands and lower ticket prices.
In a letter addressed to Joost Meijs, Chairman of the Dutch Caribbean Airports (DCCA), ATBB points out that the efforts of the collaborative partnership seem to primarily focus on future developments, particularly electric flying. While ATBB acknowledges DCCA’s efforts, the pressure group emphasizes the need to address the current issues that travellers face on a daily basis.
“We would like to express our deep concern regarding the apparent lack of effort by the DCCA in addressing the prevailing conditions for travellers between our islands, with particular emphasis on the issue of sometimes exorbitant airport taxes and other imposed fees. It is an undeniable fact that primarily residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba heavily rely on transit airports, specifically Curaçao and St. Maarten, to access connecting flights.”
ATBB points out that residents of the three BES islands are disproportionately affected. Passengers not only have to purchase additional tickets to reach Curaçao or St. Maarten, but they also face double taxation.
68 dollars in extra tax
Recently, ATBB highlighted that passengers traveling through Curaçao with airlines such as COPA, Avianca, and Surinam Airways are required to pay an additional $68 in airport taxes, while there is also a transit fee of $15 that is consistently not applied.
“Familial connections play a significant role, as your organization is well aware. There are deep-rooted familial connections between residents of the ABC islands and the SSS islands, leading to frequent travel for social and familial events such as weddings and funerals. It is disheartening to observe that in certain instances, such as the Curaçao to Aruba route, airport taxes alone constitute approximately one third of the overall ticket expenses.”