Aruba Airlines welcomes first aircraft

ORANJESTAD — The first aircraft of charter company Aruba Airlines was flown in from Chicago.


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It regards a Piper Chieftain PA31-350, for maximum seven passengers. The arrival was an occasion to celebrate. Overall, it had taken the company four years to get started.

For that matter, they still require permission from the Directorate of Aviation. Director Onno Swart expects that they will receive the Airline Operator Certificate in three week’s time. The next step regards an agreement with the airport. After that, they will be officially present on the airport Reina Beatrix with a check-in counter.
In view of the aforementioned, the aircraft had landed on the airport space for non-commercial air traffic, General Aviation, yesterday evening a little after seven in the presence of founders Swart and Jairo Dania of Aruba Airlines. Several of the pilots who will soon navigate the aircraft, were also present – accompanied by their family.

Swart explains once again that Aruba Airlines had filled the gap of the charter traffic. He is not afraid of competition from the other Aruban airline company Tiara Air, or of the Curaçao airline companies Insel Air and DAE who fly to the other islands on a daily basis. "We are a charter, and will not be flying to Curaçao on a daily basis. It depends what the passengers want." Nevertheless, from a cost-effective point of view, Aruba Airlines will only fly to destinations in the region – popular with the Arubans, such as Punto Fijo, Maracaibo or Caracas, but also the Antilles. Ticket prices are not known yet, but will be similar to those of other airline companies, says Swart. Passengers can order the tickets online or at the in-check counter. Aruba Airlines has an office in the Cayena Mall, but that is mainly for the management and administration.

The Minister of Tourism, Labor and Transport, Otmar Oduber (AVP) is very pleased that since a long time, there is an airline company carrying the name Aruba again. He is currently in the United States for an extensive promotion tour of Aruba, but had stated earlier that he appreciates seeing aircrafts flying under the Aruban flag. Swart had heard that the Minister was very enthusiastic, "but we have not had any contact on this topic yet".
For that matter, Aruba Airlines will not remain the only airline company with such a name. Other airline companies targeted towards Aruba and bearing Aruba in their company name appear to become active again. Swart confirms this as well, but in any case ‘his’ company was the first yesterday in a long time after the bankruptcy of Air Aruba. In a previous report in this newspaper, Swart had already stated that he particularly wished to start small-scaled to prevent something like this from happening again. This explains why the first aircraft, which had arrived yesterday, is being leased. Therefore, the Aruban flag (the logo of the charter company) will not appear on the outside of the aircraft. "This will be done as soon as we acquire a larger aircraft", says Swart optimistically.