Welcome to the 95th instalment of the Caribbean Aviation Thread. The island to which this thread is dedicated is the hub for a tiny, but efficient airline known as Tiara Air. Therefore, that makes the fun and sun island no other than ARUBA!
Aruba is a 33 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela and approximately 130 km east of the Guajira Peninsula (Colombia). Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles.
Aruba enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean region including a low unemployment rate. About three quarters of the Aruban gross national product is earned through tourism or related activities. Most tourists are from Venezuela and the United States. Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather.
Palm Beach Aruba!
Aruba's path to the present day is marked by the mystery of ochre-colored rock drawings left behind by island shamans, the enterprising spirit of European adventurers and settlers and the diverse experiences and traditions brought by the many nationalities that have since sought out the island as either a new home or temporary resting place. The look of the people, the languages they speak and the innate hospitality that manifests itself in the Aruban psyche is the result of a multi-cultural mix that reflects a rich past.
The Caquetio Indians of the Arawak tribe from the South American mainland were Aruba's first inhabitants. During the Pre-ceramic Period of habitation (2500 BC – 1000 AD), they were fishers-hunters-gatherers who depended on the sea for survival and used tools of roughly flaked stones and shell. They lived in small family groups and fished along Aruba’s coast at locations now named Malmok and Palm Beach.
When Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda discovered Aruba in 1499 and claimed it for the Spanish throne, he named it la isla de los gigantes (Spanish: the island of giants), the tall Indians descended from Aruba’s very first settlers. After a decade, Aruba’s moniker was changed to isla inutíl, a useless island, as no gold or treasures were found.
Aruba’s strategic location was recognized by the Dutch who initially occupied the island in 1636 to protect their salt supply from the mainland and establish a naval base in the Caribbean during their 80-year war with Spain. Further economic development continued through the Dutch West India Company located on the neighboring island of Curaçao. Aruba remained in Dutch hands, except for a brief hiatus under English rule from 1805-1816, during the Napoleonic Wars.
(Courtesy Aruba's Official Tourism website)
QUICK ISLAND FACTS
Airport: Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)
Majot Industries: Tourism, Petroleum, Mining
Tiara Air's newly leased B733 (P4-TIC) arrives in AUA. Second B733 expected to arrive in May. Airline plans to operate routes into Colombia, Venezuela and South Florida with their jet equipment.
St. Lucia and Dominica to invest in LI
CUR and SXM downgraded to Category 2 by FAA.
CAL drops its 4x weekly KIN-MIA-KIN flight
Air Caraibes to begin SDQ-ORY service with A333 on March 25
Air Panama looking at 2x weekly service PTY-GCM on F70/100
KX will begin service to both PTY and DFW
Sunquest to operate 2x weekly YHZ-NAS with 217-seat B752
CAL leases AtlasAir B744 to operate during Carnival season
LI returns 3 aircraft (2 DHC8-100s, 1 DHC8-300) as part of "refleeting process"
CAL inaugurates daily POS-SLU service with DHC8
CAL to get first ex LAN B763 in April
Dispute between Grenada and Taiwan may result in airport closure
Redjet accuses CAL of deceptive advertising
Tiara Air takes delivery of first B733
Redjet to begin 2x weekly service to SXM.
DAE announces on FB page an array of new routes planned for 2012