Willemstad– Many travelers flying to or back from Sint Maarten these days feel thrown back more than 10 years in time to the times of BonaireExcel and Dutch Antilles Express, now that the route between Curaçao and Sint Maarten is being maintained by Insel Air’s 2 Fokker50 Turbo-prop airplanes.
The BES-Reporter, talking to the ground staff understands that many travelers are quite unhappy with the change of planes on the route. Using the Fokker50 propeller planes mean that the travel time is now a full two hours, instead of the normal 1 hour and 20 minutes by MD80 aircraft. “We have people who refuse to get on the plane, when they realize they have to fly on the Fokker50 to Sint Maarten”, says a male passenger handling agent who asks not to be named in the article.
On the other hand, there are also passengers who like the fact that they can now choose to leave in the morning or in the afternoon for a flight to Sint Maarten or back to Curaçao. Now that Insel is no longer depending on third parties, the airline no longer incurs in the enormous losses caused by wet-leasing aircraft and crew from other airlines.
Under the back-to-basics plan Insel Air only executes flight between Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba and Sint Maarten. The airline says it hopes to expand back to a more normal schedule with flights to at least Suriname and Miami by June of this year.