Published On: Mon, Jan 28th, 2013

DAE’s CEO Nelson Ramiz explaining the airline’s future on Facebook

We have found a conversation on facebook between Dutch Antilles Express (DAE)’s CEO Nelson Ramiz and other facebook users about the status and future of the Curacao based airline.

Ramiz: Our first ATR72 with 64 seats American registration N407 will be in operation depending on the aviation authorities mid February. We are already inspecting for the delivery , we are naming the N407 "TULA " and N377 that should be in Operation mid March "Karpata " (after the two Curacao slave heroes).  The first aircraft will help us retake the ABC island market. We will improve our on-time performance and completion rate (less cancelations ) by having two aircrafts (the ATR 42 300 already here and N407 ) able to operate between the ABC’s , the two ATR 72 will operate in April 2013 Santo Domingo to St Maarten daily, St Maarten Curaçao two flights daily , St. Maarten Barbados twice weekly , St Maarten Port of Spain twice weekly , St Maarten Port au Prince three times weekly , and Curaçao Barranquilla twice weekly. Additional ATR72 are been negotiated and by year end our fleet of ATR’s will be composed of 2 ATR 42 and 6 ATR 72.

Another answer Mr. Ramiz gave was; “We will improve our on-time performance , by introducing additional ATR’s to our fleet which will improve the Island service. We already have parked at the Curaçao airport an MD-83 Registration number 836 RA to serve as a backup for our longer routes (we can't use the MD-83 to fly to Aruba and Bonaire for 15 passengers ). We were doing very well till November 2012. In December we experienced a fuel leak in one of our Fokker- 100 that merit to send the aircraft to San Antonio Texas . The ATR 72 should have been delivered in December before the Christmas but that will happen now.  These two issues, the delay and the fuel leak, caused us all that Domino effect in December . We will improve our performance and regain our customer’s trust. In the mean time we have to continue building this great airline. We have an excellent group of young and professional staff and we are investing in training to better use the passion and energy of our young staff. Our results have been tremendous . We transported in 2012 55% more passengers than in 2011, we have gone from 8 daily flights to 31, from 2 aircraft in 2011 to 6 today, from 172 members to 322 in 2012, from 2 destinations in 2011 to 8 at the end of 2012 and total revenues flown from $28 million in 2011 to $49 million dollars in 2012. It takes time to straighten out a crooked tree but we are doing it. Trust us we are building a great airline a block at a time.

Mr. Ramiz was asked about why he’s using ATR’s to Sint Maarten and not the MD’s. To this question he answered: MD is not the right aircraft to Sint Maarten and the Fokker not the correct one. Our business plan calls for more frequent direct flights to our hub. The MD is too big and too costly to operate between the Islands and the Fokker 100 has too many seats. We will operate the ATR and will offer a great and convenience service. Largest aircrafts will be used to longer flights like Haiti, Montego Bay, Bogota, Lima, Quito, Havana, Manaus, Orlando and Houston in the near future. We are building a great airline and we know how.

It takes time to build an airline. We already have two MD’s here N836RA and N120MN. We have 3 Fokker 100 and One ATR. That picture that we have posted of our second ATR is not a lie. I don't think you can call us liars. We are the only airline that have grown in Curaçao.

Mr. Ramiz concluded by saying: “I know that DAE is a hard rock in our competition’s way and they will love to kick us some time even using our own staff, but we know what we are doing. We have an objective, a well defined plan and a goal. Several hundred proud employees are proud to call themselves DAE. We will be the first and largest airline in Curaçao very soon and one of the most important in the Caribbean. In a year we have accomplished more than anyone could have imagined and we are proud of it . Because we never never give up!

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