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Joost Meijs hands over chairmanship of the Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airports to Jonny Andersen
22 May 2024

WILLEMSTAD/ORANJESTAD – As Joost Meijs will be stepping down as CEO of Aruba Airport Authority N.V. in the summer of 2024, the six airports in the Dutch Caribbean have appointed Jonny Andersen, CEO of Curacao Airport Partners N.V., as the next chairperson of the Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airports (DCCA). This decision was taken unanimously in the DCCA’s collective meeting of March 11, 2024. Joost Meijs has served as chairperson since the establishment of the DCCA in 2021.

Since its establishment the six airports in the Dutch Caribbean are cooperating more intensively through exchanging knowledge, performing safety and security audits, and working closely with other stakeholders on an improved connectivity (affordable, efficient, and sustainable) between the Dutch Caribbean islands. DCCA serves as a central point of contact in the Dutch Caribbean for important aviation industry stakeholders. The DCCA wants to improve the connectivity between the islands and sees the Dutch Caribbean as perfectly positioned to become a front runner in the world of new sustainable ways of flying.

Every year the DCCA organizes with the help of the host airport the convention “A Flight to the Future”; In 2022 the convention was held for the first time in Aruba. During this edition the first electric aircraft ever took off into the Caribbean airspace. In 2023 Curacao Airport gave a follow up and organized the second edition of the convention with an impressive drone demonstration. On 18 and 19 November 2024 the third edition will be held in St Maarten. During these conventions the whole aviation eco-system in the Dutch Caribbean come together to discuss ambitions, actual topics and new trends and innovations in the (regional) aviation industry.

Joost Meijs, departing chairperson: “I would like to thank my colleague CEOs of all six islands and other stakeholders for the inspiring collaboration in the last years. It is great to see and entertain all the ambitions that the airports have, and I am sure that by an open collaboration we jointly can lift the airport sector in the Dutch Caribbean to new heights. Jonny Andersen is a seasoned international aviation professional, and I have all the confidence in the world that he will lead the DCCA with enthusiasm, energetically and with the highest level of professionalism”.  

Jonny Andersen, the incoming chairperson, extends his heartfelt appreciation to Joost Meijs for his visionary and outstanding leadership of the Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airports (DCCA). Under Joost’s guidance, the DCCA has become the voice of the Dutch Caribbean airports, representing the common interests of the six airports to governments, island communities, airline partners, and other stakeholders.

“On behalf of all six Dutch Caribbean airports, I want to thank Joost for bringing us together and for his visionary leadership,” Mr. Andersen said. “It is truly an honor to assume the role of Chair of the DCCA, and I am committed to continuing the work that Joost and the six DCCA airports have started. Together, we will further develop the Dutch Caribbean aviation sector, enhancing its safety, connectivity, ease of travel, sustainability, and relevance for the region.

Air connectivity, affordability, and ease of travel between the Dutch Caribbean islands will be among my highest priorities during my tenure as Chair of the DCCA. Currently, many find it too expensive and time-consuming to fly between islands, sometimes taking half a day or longer to travel between sister islands. This is a significant concern. We need to make air travel a viable option for our communities again. As a sector, we must do whatever we can to make inter-island travel more accessible, affordable, and convenient for the benefit of everyone in the Dutch Caribbean. As Chair of the DCCA, my goal is to make this a reality.”

For more information about the Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airport (DCCA) please check the: www.dccaairports.com 

21 May 2024
American Airlines in partnership with Bonaire introduces Daily MIA-BON service for the upcoming winter season
Tourism Corporation Bonaire in collaboration with Bonaire International Airport (BIA) and BONHATA is pleased to announce that American Airlines will significantly enhance its Miami to Bonaire (BON) route. Starting December 5, 2024, American Airlines will upgrade its current three-times-weekly winter-service to a daily schedule, utilizing a Boeing 737 aircraft. Additionally, the airline will offer two flights on Saturdays, starting December 7th, 2024, resulting in eight weekly flights. This expanded service, which will operate until May 4, 2025, is a significant boost for Bonaire’s connectivity. It will alleviate the need for double connections and increase sea availability for inter-island travel, enhancing the overall travel experience for visitors and locals.

Miles Mercera, CEO of Tourism Corporation Bonaire, stated, “This increase in flights is a game-changer for Bonaire, providing more convenience and accessibility for travelers. We are excited to welcome our visitors to our island.” American Airlines has been a long-term partner and is now offering daily connections to North America via its Miami gateway, which means more choice for travelers. The second Saturday flight is scheduled for the late afternoon, after peak hours”, said Maarten van der Scheer, CEO of Flamingo Airport, adding “More direct flights mean less need to travel via other islands”.

Tickets for these new flights are now available for booking, with round-trip fares starting at approximately $480. For more information, visit American Airlines Newsroom or aa.com
Bonaire & JetBlue Announce Year-Round Flight Service from New York JFK This Winter
08 May 2024

New airlift provides more travel options to Dutch Caribbean Island

Kralendijk, BonaireMay 8, 2024 – Tourism Corporation Bonaire, the Public Entity of Bonaire, Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA), and Bonaire International Airport (BIA), in collaboration with JetBlue, announced today its first year-round non-stop service from New York (JFK) to Bonaire (BON). The new flight joins the diverse portfolio of US airlines currently offering airlift to the island to meet the continued demand of travelers seeking to visit the Caribbean destination known for its incredible shores – ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling – growing culinary scene, and endless off-the-beaten-path adventures. Tickets will go out for sale later this month at www.jetblue.com.

“Connecting JFK with Bonaire marks a pivotal next step in the route network development of Flamingo Airport.

We are delighted to welcome our guests to our island with all it has to offer,” said Maarten van der Scheer,

CEO of Bonaire International Airport. “This new year-round service from New York JFK’s Airport will expand travel options for US visitors from New York and the northeast to fly to and from the island.”

According to Miles Mercera, CEO at Tourism Corporation Bonaire, whose team has continued to collaborate closely with the Public Entity of Bonaire, BONHATA, and Bonaire International Airport to increase airlift options to the destination: “We are elated that those looking to travel to Bonaire, whether new or returning, will now have more options from this key US hub to easily discover all that our Caribbean gem has to offer.”

More flights will bring a boost to Bonaire’s economy as well. Clark Abraham, Commissioner of Economy and Tourism, is looking forward to welcoming more guests to the island. “We’ve had many exciting developments on the island this year,” said Abraham. “Ranging from new restaurant openings and renovated hotel and resort product to nature-inspired activities and adventure tours; all of which we are excited to showcase alongside our longtime commitment to sustainability, our local culture, and untouched nature.”

“This milestone underscores the joint dedication of both public and private sectors on the island in enhancing our tourism industry and uplifting the economy,” said Veroesjka de Windt, CEO at BONHATA. “With JetBlue’s arrival, we foresee a significant positive shift in our tourism landscape, but the real work lies ahead. Let’s embrace the promising future ahead and work together to realize its full potential.”

About Bonaire

The world’s first Blue Destination, surrounded by shores renowned for unrivaled scuba diving as well as year-round sunshine, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire is a blissful beach escape bursting with history and culture as colorful as its architecture and tropical fish. Long recognized as a diver’s paradise, Bonaire’s renewed focus on celebrating its pristine ocean, abundant nature, and rich heritage, has helped evolve the destination into one of luxury, culture and adventure. Now home to a burgeoning culinary scene, the likes of Michelin star talent have anchored some new brilliant options for foodies on the island, while elevated accommodations from luxury villas to beachfront boutique hotels, are attracting a variety of sophisticated travelers from around the globe. Bonaire’s animal sanctuaries, National Parks and interesting landscapes, ranging from salt flat coastlines to cactus-filled stretches of desert, are a must visit for nature lovers. Abounding with outdoor activities such as kayaking, caving and kite surfing, the island is also a hotspot for adventure seekers ready to explore. As the destination continues to grow, the island’s sweeping conservation efforts go beyond the regeneration of its spectacular coral reefs, to include a commitment to the sustainable use of ocean resources and a pursuit of conscientious social and economic development, positioning Bonaire as one of the Caribbean’s most eco-friendly islands.

WestJet announces a second season, YYZ-BON 
16 April 2024
Starting December 10, 2024 – Winter Season 2024/2025 
Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB), together with the Bonaire Government (OLB), Bonaire International Airport (BIA), and Bonaire Hotel and  Tourism Association (BONHATA) announce the launch of a second season with WestJet from Toronto to Bonaire following the success of the inaugural season that started in December 2023.
Starting December 10th, 2024, WestJet will resume the winter season schedule with flights to Bonaire on Tuesday, departing Toronto at 10:10 am, arriving in Bonaire at 4:30 pm, and departing Bonaire on Wednesday at 09:00 am and arriving in Toronto at 1:29 pm. The season will run until April 30th, 2025. Miles Mercera, CEO of TCB, said: “We are excited about continuing our successful partnership with WestJet for another season of flights. This partnership provides convenient connectivity for Canadian visitors to Bonaire, and we eagerly anticipate another successful season ahead.” 
“It’s great to welcome WestJet back to Flamingo Airport this upcoming winter season, bon bini! This follow-up proves the route’s success and indicates robust demand from Toronto to Bonaire. The weekly route will start a little earlier, and this early announcement gives everyone enough time to book tickets. The route has increased Bonaire’s popularity in Canada, and we are very happy to welcome these visitors back to the island,” said Maarten van der Scheer, CEO of BIA. 
“We are delighted to welcome our visitors from Canada to share with them the unique experience of Bonaire. We are looking forward to continuing to work with WestJet on a mutual beneficial and continual cooperation towards receiving our Canadian friends year-round,” said Commissioner Clark Abraham. 
Veroesjka de Windt, CEO of BONHATA, said: “We are very pleased with the continuation and expansion of the partnership with WestJet. This extension enhances our seasonal offerings and marks a step closer to future opportunities to welcome visitors from  Canada throughout the year. We look forward to welcoming both repeat and new visitors  who wish to discover the unique charm and warm hospitality that Bonaire has to offer.  This partnership is a testament to the collaboration with our island partners and our  commitment to making Bonaire accessible and appealing to a wider audience, ensuring  a memorable experience for every traveler.”  For more details and to book your flights, please visit the WestJet website at www.westjet.com
DCCA expresses its concerns with regard to the possible impact of aircraft movement restrictions at Schiphol
21 June 2023

ORANJESTAD – Last year the Dutch Government presented an intended decision to restrict the number of flight movements at Schiphol Airport to a maximum of 440 thousand per year (currently maximum of 500 thousand per year).

This restriction may potentially have a negative impact on the capacity or air traffic flying out of Schiphol Airport to the Dutch Caribbean islands and vice versa. As an interested party the Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airports (DCCA) recently submitted its concern in relation hereto to the Dutch Government. The DCCA is a cooperation between the entities that manage and operate the 6 airports of the Dutch Caribbean Island, namely Aruba Airport Authority N.V., Bonaire International Airport N.V., Curacao Airport Partners N.V., Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V., the Public Entity Saba, and the Public Entity St. Eustatius.  

The concerns are related mostly to the economic and social effects that the intended decision of restricting the number of movements at Schiphol may have on the region of the Dutch Caribbean.  Airlines would possibly also need to decrease flight frequencies to the Dutch Caribbean. As a result, an increase in ticket prices between the Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean, is quite possible. Less air capacity and, potentially, higher ticket prices may have negative impact on all three segments of travelers: business travel, leisure and visiting friends and relatives (VFR). This will have a negative impact on the economy and the connectivity of social and family networks.

“This potential effect on capacity and on ticket prices is a cause for concern in our region. Based on the information we have; we are assuming that the calculation of the impact of a shrink of Schiphol does not consider the potential effects in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom. By expressing our concerns, we trust that the interests of the Dutch Caribbean will be taken into account in further decision making of the Dutch Ministry”, said Joost Meijs, CEO of Aruba Airport Authority N.V. and Chair of the DCCA.

The DCCA, seeing the possible negative impact on the economy and social welfare of the Dutch Caribbean, has urged the Dutch Government to ensure that the capacity between the Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean will not be reduced as a consequence of the intended decision making.

About the DCCA

The Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airports (DCCA) is a cooperation between all six Caribbean Airports within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. DCCA’s objective is to improve the general quality of each individual airport by facilitating mutual assistance and efficient exchange of information, transfer of knowledge and sharing of expertise with the goal of achieving economies of scale. DCCA aims to present future focused alternative air transportation options to improve interisland connectivity between the Dutch Caribbean Islands.

Date: June 20, 2023

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