Published On: Mon, Jan 21st, 2013

Airline Groups have urged the Government to take the necessary steps to make tourism in Curacao more competitive

MIAMI, Florida – A coalition of aviation groups consisting of Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), Curacao Airline Association (CAA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) once more have emphasize their concern for the significant increase in the “landing fees” and also in passenger’s handling which is imposed on the aviation companies and the passengers traveling to Curacao. These costs definitely are affecting the demands in tourism.

In a meeting with the honorable Earl Balborda, Minister of Transportation in Curacao, the coalition notified that these increases, which are being imposed by the Curacao Airport Partners (CAP) with only three days notice without first consulting or any transparency, represent a burden of additional costs for the airlines and passengers visiting the country. While major funds paid by the airlines are in the hands of Curacao Airport Holding without being used but still dividends are paid to CAP’s shareholders. CAA’s members in aviation opposes these increases in airport fees and navigation imposed by CAP lacking transparency, since the new terminal was built. There are costs which have even doubled and this is against international regulations and recommendations. Notwithstanding this increase, the airlines don’t see anything in return on the quality or the quantity.

The coalition urges the Government of Curacao to work with the aviation sector to find solutions which will reduce the total operational costs in Curacao and make the necessary changes to fix the infrastructure and also independently introduce a clearer view on costs and infrastructure.

Alex de Gunten, ALTA’s Executive Director said, “We appreciate the efforts the authorities are making to listen to our point of view as an industry and we also thank Minister Balborda for his attention and urgency in listening to us. Aerial Transport and tourism go hand in hand. We have to be conscious of the consequences that the increase in costs for the tourist will have on the industry and the economy of the country.”

Patricia Sepulveda, Regional Vice President, Latin America and Caribbean said, “The aviation sector contributes with $2.5 billion to toe Gross National product in the Caribbean region and offers employment to 112,000 people. If we add the multiplying effect that tourism has, these numbers will increase to more than $15 billion and 845,000 additional jobs. Tourism is vital for Curacao’s economy and all concerned entities in the sector must work together to insure that aviation continues to play an important role in the economy of the country.”

Germain Richie, President of the Curacao Airline Association adds, “At the moment we have an economic crisis around the world, it’s when a country must become creative in finding ways to stimulate the economy, not only does Curacao have one of the most expensive airports to operate, but with the downgrade to CAT II by FAA because we didn’t follow the rules and procedures, which is still the case after the downgrade. Still we want to promote Curacao’s airport as a hub in the region. We have to stop the way things are going and bring transparency which is vital in our negotiations with all entities involved.

Click Tag(s) for Related Articles: