Tourism June 19, 2024 | 1:04 pm

JetAir declared bankrupt by Curacao court

The Court of First Instance of Curacao has declared United Caribbean Airlines BV and JetAir Caribbean BV, collectively operating as JetAir, bankrupt.

JetAir was the sole airline based in Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire with jet aircraft, offering scheduled and charter flights connecting Curaçao with Aruba, Bonaire, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. Maarten, Suriname, and Colombia.

The airline received its operating permit in November 2019, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely impacted its initial operations. Post-pandemic, JetAir aggressively resumed its services, targeting routes from Curaçao to Colombia, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and St. Maarten. However, the expansion of local airlines Winair and Z Air, alongside the emergence of low-cost Arajet and the expansion of Sky High, constrained JetAir’s limited operations.

Additionally, the high operating costs of its Fokker 70 aircraft forced JetAir to ground one for spare parts. Recently, the airline was negotiating a transition to more cost-effective ATR 42/72 turboprops or smaller jets like the CRJ and ERJ.

JetAir has reported losses amounting to 2 million Aruban florins (ANG), equivalent to 1.1 million dollars, in the first four months of 2024, as per Expreso Curaçao. The same source indicated that the board of directors compelled JetAir to cease operations and ground its sole Fokker 70 (PJ-JAB). Initially, the airline will need to inform passengers, employees, and other stakeholders, secure assets, and explore possibilities for a short-term resumption of flights.

JetAir’s bankruptcy aligns with the financial struggles of other Caribbean airlines such as Air Antilles and LIAT, both of which have since re-emerged with new investors.

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Paul Tierney
June 20, 2024 8:07 am

This company was operating with a fleet of two Fokker 70 aircraft. The Dutch Fokker company went bankrupt in 1996. No other company took it over. It is no wonder there were high costs of maintaining the planes. The obtaining of replacement parts, if any, had to be difficult or downright impossible, How JetAir, founded in 2006, was permitted to fly those planes under those circumstances defies explanation.

This a word of warning to the flying public. Be knowledgeable of the risks of travel from airline and aircraft you book on.