Published On: Thu, Mar 13th, 2014

Arrindel: ‘Curacao needs a new airline’

Olivier ArrindelWILLEMSTAD – “Curacao needs airlift. The island cannot be dependent upon Venezuela anymore. The situation in that South American country is getting worse by the day and I don’t see it getting better any time soon.” This is according to Olivier Arrindel, owner of AVA Airways.

Recently Mr. Arrindel presented his plans to the Minister of Economic Development, Stanley Palm. “One of our main objectives is to learn from the past and to propose a bold new direction for commercial aviation in Curacao. Curacao’s economic situation needs this at the moment. Curacao’s only local airline, Insel Air is going through some financial tough times. This doesn’t give much hope for the airlift and the economy of the island,” Arrindel stated.

“Right now, the fastest growing market for Curacao and the Caribbean is Latin America and it’s mostly premium traffic. I mean, Latin America does consist of more countries and not only Venezuela. I understand that Curacao has a historical connection with Venezuela, but right now it’s time to expand our borders. There are other markets out there,” Arrindel indicated.

Olivier Arrindel has been in the aviation business for almost a decade now. He said that one of the things he always sees is that companies do not focus on new ideas. “It feels like the airlines, especially in the Caribbean are stuck in time. “They tend to follow the same ideas that others have done in the past. This does not work anymore. You have to be innovative. This is the only way you will survive now,” Arrindel said.

“AVA Airways will be a pioneer in the Caribbean. From the way we sell our tickets to the services we offer on our aircrafts, to even which type of aircraft we will use, will be completely innovative, especially for an island like Curacao,” Arrindel stressed.

“Curacao needs this. The tourism sector on the island is complaining. Right now there are hotels with an occupancy rate of 30%. That is low! Those hotels will not survive. I really hope that the government is doing something about this. When we presented our plans, the Minister of Transport and Traffic, who is responsible for the aviation sector, came on television to tell us that for a new airline to get and Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) it will take at least a year. This is not true! If the airline has all its documentations ready, it doesn’t have to take that long. Curacao cannot wait another year for more airlift,” Arrindel stated.

 

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