Dutch media reports on Insel Air ‘crisis’

AMSTERDAM–The grounding of the majority of the aircraft of the Curaçao-based airline Insel Air has caught the attention of the Dutch media. The national broadcasting company NOS and the financial newspaper Financieel Dagblad (FD) reported on the issue.

The NOS reported on Sunday that Curaçao aviation authorities had grounded almost all of Insel Air’s aircraft, mostly the jets, in Aruba and Curaçao because of safety issues. The NOS spoke of a “crisis” in the Curaçao aviation. On Monday, the FD had a similar article.

The media referred to the recent safety related incidents. Last week  an Insel Air flight from Miami to Curaçao made a precautionary landing after problems with the cabin pressure, while pilots of the airline refused to take off from St. Maarten because they deemed the aircraft unsafe.

According to the NOS and FD, Insel Air cancelled most of its flights on Saturday for technical reasons before the measure of the Curaçao Aviation Authority was announced to ground 80 per cent of the fleet. It concerns several MD-80 jets and a Fokker aircraft pending the necessary inspections. The media spoke of six aircraft in total.

The business travel news website zakenreisnieuws.nl reported on Sunday that the grounding of the aircraft came one day after the signing of the NAf. 33 million loan agreement between the Curaçao Government and Insel Air to keep the airline afloat and to prevent a collapse of the inter-island connections.

It is unclear how many passengers have been left stranded since the grounding on Saturday. The media stated that Insel Air’s website provided no information to the passengers, while many of them are stranded in Curaçao and other destinations. The already financially troubled airline has had to put large groups of passengers in hotels.

Surinam Airways SLM Director Robbi Lachmising announced in the Suriname newspaper De Ware Tijd that his airline is willing to help Insel Air with the transport of the stranded passengers. “We will certainly cooperate if they ask us,” he said. So far, Insel Air has not sought SLM’s cooperation. In 2007, SLM assisted by temporarily taking over the Insel Air network when the MD-83 of this airline broke down.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/63253-dutch-media-reports-on-insel-air-crisis