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9H Changes Name To Bonaire/CuracaoExpress

Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:24 am

It was stated in the Antillean newspaper Amigoe of Febuary 17th that BonairExel and CuracaoExel have officially changed their names to BonairExpress and CuracaoExpress respectively. This was done to distance themselves from the financially troubled Exel Aviation Group. They have also taken over the lease contracts of their aircraft and have leased them directly from ATR for the upcoming period of eight years.

The story can be found below, however it is in dutch, but for those of you who do not understand I have basically given you an idea about what the article in question entails.




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RE: 9H Changes Name To Bonaire/CuracaoExpress

Sat Feb 19, 2005 5:05 am

Is this the new Caribbean KLM subsidiary? Because I read KL wanted to start its own regional airline in the Caribbean, I think a couple of weeks ago in "De Telegraaf" (Dutch newspaper).
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RE: 9H Changes Name To Bonaire/CuracaoExpress

Sat Feb 19, 2005 8:07 am


The 'new' BonaireExpress and CuracaoExpress airline is not the KLM subsidiary, although they will most likely be working closely with KLM as a feeder airline between the islands. So far, no news on KLM's Caribbean plans. KLM indicated a few weeks ago they would like to start Caribbean operations in the second quarter of this year, hope it will materialize.

TUI which took over HollandExel (the only profitable subsidiary in the Exel Aviation Group) also indicated they will keep competing with other airlines on the Amsterdam-Antilles route, and the TUI Group is a large tour operator group which gives more stability and competition on the Amsterdam-Antilles route. We'll have to wait and see what KLM will eventually do with the islands and mainly Curaçao. Having KLM as the 'new' airline for Curaçao will give us a more stable airline, which is something the island needs.

What roll Air France will play in this, I do not know but I do think Air France influence regarding this will be minimal. Air France already has their own Caribbean network which operates in a different Caribbean market (french). KLM's Caribbean operations will focus more on the Latin American/spanish speaking countries & islands which won't cross Air France's Caribbean operations, because of the different destinations these two operations will be operating in. They can, however, cross-feed each other and bring in more tourists for both the french and dutch Caribbean islands. One thing we do have keep in mind is the longer term availability of capacity of both airlines. If KLM doesn't have the necessary number of aircraft available for the Caribbean, Air France might step in, but I don't think this will happen. If the TUI Group wants to start Caribbean operations, this would change the picture for KLM (more competition) but this also I do not see happening so fast. Than again, who knows anything is possible in the aviation business.... Big grin