WILLEMSTAD – The European aviation company Air Berlin has asked for an additional 2.6 million euros as guarantee for one additional flight from Germany to Curaçao.
The Ministry of Economic Development indicates that this amount is too high for an already existing route. “If it was a new route, we would have considered it, but the route already exists. We don’t see why we have to pay extra for it,” said a representative of the Ministry.
In the last three years, the Curaçao Tourism Bureau (CTB) has paid approximately 2 million euros in guarantee to cover this weekly flight. The route has become a success with numbers showing a good 80% of available seats full. In the aviation sector, this is a profitable route, according to experts in this area.
Due to this success and also the desire to increase the number of visitors to the island, Curaçao has approached Air Berlin with the request for one additional flight per week. To do this, the airline asked for 2.6 million euros. This additional flight will be operated only during the winter months.
Experts in the tourism sector indicated that the guarantee should not be taken as something structural, but as a means to attract new airlines to the island. “We have to look now towards other companies and offer them the guarantee.”