KLM regional partner Air Exel Netherlands is to start a Caribbean shuttle, BonairExel, due to fly between its base on the island of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles and other Dutch islands in the region.

The carrier will start services in December from Kralendijk, Bonaire's capital. Air Exel, which flies services for the Dutch flag carrier in Europe as KLM Exel, will transfer two of its six 46-seat ATR 42s and two 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets to the new airline.

The services will be operated under codeshare with KLM, which has changed its Caribbean schedules so that it can connect with the new carrier, which will operate under its own identity. The airline will fly from Flamingo Airport in Bonaire to the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten, as well as Barcelona in Venezuela, and Miami. The airline will launch services to Paramaribo, Suriname, other South American mainland destinations, and nearby Trinidad and Tobago next year, it says. KLM is to drop the island-hopping extensions of its long-haul flights from Amsterdam, adding direct services.

Source: Flight International