InselAir will open its long-planned Aruba base in December, as it continues expansion by adding Boeing MD-80s and Fokker 70s.
The Curacao-based carrier will launch its new Aruba subsidiary with one MD-80 and plans to add a second in March 2014, says its president and chief executive Albert Kluyver.
Aruba will also be the base for two of four Fokker 70s the airline is buying from KLM, he says.
The first Fokker 70 will arrive in April 2014 for certification purposes, with the second following in June and the final two in August, says Kluyver. The type will enter service with the carrier in June, he says.
InselAir flies seven MD-80s, three Embraer EMB-110s and three Fokker 50s.
The launch of the Aruba subsidiary comes more than a year after InselAir received traffic rights to fly to the USA and Venezuela, and two years after it announced plans for the operation.
The new aircraft will allow InselAir to continue growing passenger numbers by about 20% to 25% per year, says Kluyver. It plans to add destinations in South America – including Cali, Manaus and Costa Rican capital San Jose – and others in the Caribbean, including Havana, Punta Cana and San Juan, with a focus on flows between the two regions.
"We can do it," he says on the airline’s expansion plans. "The market is there."