Pressure Group Wants Action Against Unfair Airport Tax Practices

KRALENDIJK – Transit passengers from Bonaire are burdened with a hefty 63-dollar airport tax when transferring in Curaçao, prompting the formation of a pressure group to address this issue.

The newly formed group, known as “Airport Tax Busters Bonaire (ATBB),” comprises individuals including Harald Linkels, Lisandro Cicilia, and Angelo Engelhart. The group aims to rectify the unchecked collection of departure taxes from Bonaire residents who use Curaçao as a primary transit hub since the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.

“Previously, passengers from Bonaire paid a modest transfer fee of 5 dollars when traveling through Curaçao’s airport. However, this fee has progressively increased to 9 dollars and now stands at 15 dollars per person, per passenger, per transfer”, says Harald Linkels. However, in addition to the 15-dollar departure tax from Bonaire, transit passengers now find themselves burdened with an additional 63-dollar Curaçao Airport departure tax embedded in their tickets from airlines like Avianca, Copa, or SLM, as explained by Linkels.

In total, each passenger departing from Bonaire and transferring to another airline in Curaçao must bear a minimum of 98 dollars solely in airport taxes for a round-trip ticket.


The issue of high airport taxes hampers the efforts to foster seamless connectivity among the islands, according to Lisandro Cicilia. Taxes often account for as much as one-third of the total ticket costs. Furthermore, individuals traveling from Bonaire to destinations such as Colombia must purchase additional tickets to facilitate their connecting flights in Curaçao or Aruba.


Angelo Engelhart highlights the financial strain placed on many families, particularly those with limited incomes. “A family of four planning a vacation and requiring travel through Curaçao would face airport taxes amounting to nearly 400 dollars, without considering the actual ticket expenses”, says Engelhart.

Visitor Entry Tax

In addition to departure taxes, the pressure group is also addressing the implementation of Bonaire’s Visitor Entry Tax (VET). The introduction of a 75-dollar fee for Bonaireans living or studying abroad to enter their birth island is deemed unfair and inhumane. Similarly, tourists visiting the island and embarking on short or day trips to Curaçao or Aruba face a recurring 75-dollar fee each time they enter Bonaire.

ATBB highlights that although the previous Executive Council acknowledged some unintended consequences of the VET, no changes have been made to rectify the situation a full year after introduction of the tourist tax. “Promised adjustments are yet to be realized, significantly impacting certain visitors to the island”. 

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