Not good enough

Not good enough

Curaçao Minister of Traffic, Transport and Spatial Planning VVRP Charles Cooper confirmed denying Winair permission to – following the bankruptcy of JetAir – increase flights from St. Maarten (see Friday/Saturday edition) longer than two weeks starting today, July 2. The MFK minister in charge of the Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority CBA reportedly said this is because United Caribbean Airlines BV, the company of JetAir, would not get the same additional landing rights.

That seems strange to say the least. While there are apparently plans for a restart of the defunct Curaçao-based carrier, 14 days is hardly a realistic time-frame for that to fully materialise.

In principle such inter-island flights should be reciprocal if both parties have an airline able to offer the service, but that’s currently only the case for St. Maarten. While one can understand the desire to defend a possibly-to-be-rescued local carrier, the general interest of providing sufficient transportation particularly between two Dutch Caribbean countries that are – after all – in a monetary union, must prevail.

Reservations could – for example – be made regarding the frequency, depending on developments and efforts to maintain an airline in Curaçao. However, a more acceptable term of at least several months would appear needed to justify Winair’s investment in material and human resources.

Further talks seeking agreement should be pursued, because two weeks is very short. And a simple “no” is, under the circumstances, just not good enough.

The Daily Herald

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