ORANJESTAD – Aruba Airport Authority N.V. (AAA) since the start of the crisis has been in close contact with all airline partners and stakeholders who were affected due to the global impact on air travel. AAA will continue to communicate with transparency by providing general updates on the destination and air service as AAA continues to actively evaluate re-opening strategies. As tourism is the lifeline of Aruba’s economy, AAA will continue to play an integral part of the Economic Recovery process.
All eyes are turned towards the aviation industry as to when we can all take to the skies again. On May 8th, the Government of Aruba announced that the borders will tentatively be re-opening for inbound travel between June 15 and July 1, 2020. Of course, this will come with an extensive implementation of stringent health and safety protocols which are already well underway on island amongst all industry partners.
Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA Airport) is happy to share a positive sign. Certain airline partners have already announced that they will resume international trips as early as this summer, while following social distancing rules of both local and international health authorities. 17% of the total pre–Covid19 weekly service, which stood at 246, have so far been confirmed by existing airline partners. Below is a break down on an airline-by-airline case, focusing on level of service:
American Airlines: Daily flights Miami and Charlotte (14x) / Delta Air Lines: 3x weekly Atlanta / United: 1x weekly Newark / JetBlue: 9x weekly flights from New York (4x) and Boston (5x) / Sunwing: 1x weekly from Toronto / Air Canada: 1x weekly from Toronto
Avianca: 2x weekly from Bogota / Copa: 2x weekly from Panama
Aruba Airlines: Daily(7x) flights from Curacao
With these confirmed operations AUA Airport expects to process an estimated 2000 passengers per week. It will be interesting to see how the pandemic impacts air travel long term with changes in customer behavior in the short term.
According to Jo-Anne Meaux Arends, AAA’s Air Service Development Manager: Communicating regularly with stakeholders and creating a positive understanding to assure the trust in the destination can play a vital part in keeping them “on board”. Now is the time to intensify collaboration and fortify its commitments and efforts. The magnitude and impact of the crisis hasn’t changed our relationships with airlines, in contrary we have strengthened the airport-airline bond by identifying shared goals and values. Our main message as destination is that we want to work with carriers as proactively as possible.