Curaçao Airport Partners reports 2014 traffic figures
4th Quarter 2014 set the stage very positively for 2015
WILLEMSTAD – The positive traffic results of the 4th quarter 2014 reflect the expected growth in the arrival and international departures forecasted by Curacao Airport Partners (CAP) based on a +5% increase in seat capacity for the quarter. The 4th quarter 2014 total passenger movements increased by +3% compared to the results over 4th quarter 2013. Both arriving and international departing passengers increased during 4th quarter 2014 compared to the same 2013 quarter with an astounding +13% and +8% respectively. Domestic departures, those to the Dutch Caribbean islands, decreased by -10% compared to 4th quarter 2013 and transferring passengers, those passengers that do not have Curaçao as their final destination, decreased with -20% compared to 4th quarter 2013. ArkeFly introduced the 2nd Dreamliner aircraft on the Amsterdam route, KLM launched two additional weekly flights from Amsterdam focused on the German market, and jetBlue Airways launched service from New York’s JFK airport. InselAir re-started Port of Spain service 3 times a week and launched twice weekly service to Georgetown.
Europe continues to be our strongest market and grew during the 4th quarter of 2014 with a +16% increase in departing passengers compared to 4th quarter 2013. The North American market decreased during the 4th quarter 2014 compared to 4th quarter 2013 by -2%. The decline is due to the transferring passengers to Venezuela from Miami via Curaçao. Even though JFK service was launched in December and the Canadian Charter service commenced strong, both impacts could not offset the decrease caused by the transfer market out of North America. The Latin American market decreased during the 4th quarter 2014 by -2% compared to 4th quarter 2013; the economic and political situation in Venezuela severely impact the traffic figures with Caracas and Valencia figures decreasing by -27% and -10% respectively compared to the same quarter in 2013. The Dutch Caribbean market continued to decline by -10% during the 4th quarter 2014 compared to 4th quarter 2013, the traffic from Aruba decreased by -15% during the 4th quarter 2014 compared to the 4th quarter 2013 suggesting that limited competition and high airfares, could be influencing leisure travel between the islands.
2014 Traffic figures reflect the sensitivity of key markets
Total passenger movements over 2014 decreased by -3% compared to 2013. Domestic departures, those to the Dutch Caribbean islands, decreased by -10% compared to 2013 and transferring passengers, those passengers that do not have Curaçao as their final destination, decreased with -25% compared to 2013. Curaçao managed to retain air service in Europe, North America, Latin America and the Dutch Caribbean whist at the same time diversify service in Europe and the United States and increased seat capacity from Europe, a new route from the United States and new routes from Latin America.
Europe, the largest traffic market for Curaçao, increased by 9% during 2014 compared to 2013. The growth was stimulated by a 7% increase of seat capacity from Amsterdam. The North American market decreased by -11% during 2014 compared to 2013. Traffic was impacted due to the volatility of Venezuela and a -20% decrease in seat capacity since the bankruptcy of DAE in 2013. The Latin American market decreased by -8% during 2014 compared to 2013 and the volatility of the Venezuelan market continues to impact the stay over visitors. The Dutch Caribbean market decreased by -10% during 2014 compared to 2013 due to the decrease of leisure travel between the islands.
“2014 was generally a challenging year in our air service results but we are very pleased and encouraged by the positive results of the 4th quarter and, barring any significant global economic turmoil, we are looking forward to more robust international passenger traffic in 2015”, said Ralph Blanchard, CEO Curaçao Airport Partners. “The fact that we were able to retain, diversify, increase seat capacity and launch new routes has us excited and looking forward to a strong 2015”, Blanchard continued to say. “With our air service development potential well understood, and our interaction and relationships with international and regional carriers on a solid footing, we will continue to work very closely with our tourism partners, CTB and CHATA to develop a synergistic policy to optimize demand for the destination and, also continue to work to provide a superior hospitality product for our visitors”.