Published On: Mon, Sep 24th, 2018

Pathway for the future of the aviation in Curaçao

Curacao airportThere have been a lot of events happened to the aviation in Curaçao for the last 6 years. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded Curaçao to Category 2 along with St Maarten. This restricts Curaçao carriers from operating flights to the US destinations. The government of Curaçao needs to provide Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) staff with adequate training to meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards which shall also clear the way for Curaçao to be cleared for Category 1 by the US FAA through its IASA (International Aviation Safety Assessment). ICAO has the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) and it checks oversight issues of Civil Aviation Authorities around the world. Both programmes of FAA and ICAO are based on oversight issues of Civil Aviation Authorities, not on individual airline entities. International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is focused on each airline’s safety and it is a prerequisite for an IATA member carrier. Insel Air is currently IOSA certified carrier and its current certificate shall expire on 17 September 2018. FAA Category 1 allows access to the US destinations and its IASA checks on the competence of the Civil Aviation Authority and its compliance with ICAO regulations and standards. Curaçao with Category 1 rating will boost Curaçao’s economy, the profitability of airlines of Curaçao with direct flights to the US destinations.

Curaçao needs a reputable airline with great services recognisable by travelling public. Skytrax’s Insel Air page contains loads of complaints against Insel Air by its passengers. I am not sure Insel Air would fill the position desired under current circumstances. Geographical location of Curaçao offers great opportunities to Curaçao-based airlines with the hub and spoke system linking Caribbean, Americas and Europe. It should aim to be like Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates and so on. They are based in city-states and small countries with small populations which can’t support such large carriers by themselves. They became world class carriers by deploying the hub and spoke system carrying passengers through their respective hubs. Curaçao can be a major hub if it is properly organised by the government and carriers. The carrier with the hub and spoke system in Curaçao should be able to offer affordable fares beyond its direct flight destinations with establishing commercial relationships with partner carriers.

People need to go through service minded training courses to be able to offer good services on the ground and in the air, preferably high standard service quality matching those of Asian carriers. It should make air travel a pleasant, memorable experience not stressful, frustrating event. Such service quality can only be achieved by people who provide services, it has come from their heart.  I have been contacted by a party in the region for a possible new airline venture recently. I do not know much about it yet but I hope this new venture become successful and create a new aviation history in the region. The success needs coordination with the government to resolve the issue with FAA and courting a US immigration pre-clearance facility to Curaçao to enable Curaçao based carriers to achieve great success with US routes.

ACQUISITION RESTRUCTURE AND EXPANSION PLAN ON INSEL AIR revised

START-UP AIRLINE GUIDE V2

James Stewart Kim
Group Managing Director Avcon Worldwide

(This article is exclusively for Curaçao Chronicle)

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