Insel Air: Stimulate regional air traffic

In a press release Insel Air communicates their concern that airlines and passengers are currently taxed and charged disproportionately by governments, causing ticket prices to rise and consequently resulting in a decrease in the number of arrivals. The carrier of Curaçao and Aruba therefore supports the policy being carried out in other countries including Brazil, which serves to promote regional traffic.

This involves making a distinction between regional and international flights regarding taxes and charges. In some cases even up to 70 per cent less in fees is charged for regional flights, which leads to lower ticket prices for customers.

According to the airline, such a system would work well in the Caribbean region as ticket prices will drop and there will be an increase in regional traffic. “Such a ‘regional’ policy
should also apply to flights between the ABC-islands and St. Maarten, all within the Kingdom of the Netherlands,” said Chief General and International Affairs Edward Heerenveen.

“Passengers travelling from Aruba to Amsterdam pay US $34.25 in taxes for a nine-hour international flight and our passengers pay the same amount for a 25-minute regional flight from Aruba to Curaçao!” According to Heerenveen, InselAir provides airlift to everyone, regardless of their income. This means that everybody should have the opportunity to purchase tickets at an affordable price, which is currently impossible due to the high government charges and taxes.

To provide everybody the opportunity and in some cases meet their need to travel, InselAir rolls out its special fares a few times a year with the well-known “Blowout Sale.” The carrier also offers last-minute rates via its website. “We do this is at the expense of our own margins,” said Heerenveen, “but we want to be accessible to everyone, so we always have a standard number of seats available at an extra low rate,” he added.

“As an example, a ticket from Curaçao to Aruba with a Fokker 50 starts at $209 of which as much as 30 per cent consists of taxes and charges. If we were to adopt the Brazilian model in this region this ticket price would be at least 15 per cent cheaper, namely $ 178. “In this example we have only taken into account the departure tax and the Air Traffic Control charges which are much lower in Brazil for regional flights.

The local authorities in the Caribbean complain that regional ‘arrivals’ are decreasing while their own policies are the root cause of this,” explained Heerenveen. “In the above example 30 per cent directly goes to government and of the remaining 70 per cent InselAir has to cover its complete operation.

In 2014, InselAir paid more than 30 million guilders in taxes and charges to the government and other organisations in Curaçao via its passengers,” the release states.

In the case of a Saba – St. Maarten flight with Winair, you are charged as follows:

Winair ticket price

But there are additional costs, not included yet included in above Winair’s price summary from their site. You have to add $ 10 for cash payment costs  at the airport and $10 departure tax when leaving Saba. This brings the total price to $ 158.91.

This holds that you pay $67.91 in taxes and fees on a ticket of $91 for a  two times a 12 min flight.

 

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