Published On: Fri, May 24th, 2013

Dutch Antilles Express continues with expansion plans

DAEWILLEMSTAD - Regardless of Venezuela 's unilateral sanctions to the Curaçao airline, the airline will continue with its expansion plans  to Manaus, Bogota, Cartagena, Punta Cana and other gate ways in United States.

"Venezuela is an important market and due to the  commercial aviation crisis in that country, where 64% of the Venezuelan fleet is grounded due to lack of maintenance and spare parts and  with the  oldest fleet in South America, it can't  serve the demand of passengers forcing travelers, wanting to travel  abroad, to seek other countries to get to their destinations, specially to the united state who's TSA (transportation security agency) has declared a status quo for all Venezuelan airports so no new entrant airlines can serve those airports with flights  to and from USA," Ramiz assert.  "So airlines in Curaçao, Bogota, Panama and Aruba feed from this deficiency in the air service of Venezuela and becomes an important part of any airline market. The problem arises when these international airlines need to repatriate their sales income in Venezuela. Some airlines find themselves waiting about 6 to 8 months and the business becomes less lucrative. So while we will continue serving Venezuelan cities of Caracas, Valencia and return soon to Maracaibo, we will not expand seat capacity or gateways to that country.

"DAE made its decision last year to grow away from Venezuela and expand its business to more stable countries like USA, where the other local airline is unable to grow  and where Curacao has become very well known, and Colombia where we are requesting authorities to operate to Medellin, Cali, Bucaramanga (where we will link with Easy fly to serve other cities via code-sharing) and Cucuta," Ramiz explained.

“DAE will grow  its participation of the USA tourist market eager to come to Curaçao and to neighboring islands. Our efforts have been concentrated in the USA  passenger market for the past year through our Miami sales office where DAE has hired experience ex AA executives and sales and marketing staff. The Dutch Caribbean has a great potential to grow and DAE is the only airline in Curaçao able to benefit from this growth and we will expand  our operation in USA both in frequency of flights and gateways in these lucrative and hard currency market. We added 3 MD-83 to DAE fleet to operate to and from USA. Additional aircrafts are readily available from our sister company Falcon, if we need to expand to other gateways or add additional flights or as back up if the need should arise,” Ramiz informed.

“Our fleet for the rest of the summer will remain with 9 aircrafts, the 3 MD-83, 3 ATR 42/72 and the 3 Fokker- 100 and we will continue our project for  the A-319 for DAE and the A-320 Falcon/DAE  for next year. The employees, its lessors, banks and investors remain fully committed to DAE and to Curaçao.

While others have made this incident with Venezuela a circus by talking about what they have no clue and spreading unfounded rumors, We at DAE are united, committed, focused and busy working even harder with our minds towards a sustainable future,” Ramiz concluded.

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