Airline DAE practically dead

POSTED: 08/27/13 12:46 PM


A DAE-plane landing at Princess Juliana International Airport is almost certainly a thing of the past.

WILLEMSTAD – Airline Dutch Antilles Express is as good as dead, the Antilliaans Dagblad reported yesterday. Consultant Nelson Ramiz said it: “The airline probably dies.”

Last Friday three MD-aircraft the airline had at its disposal returned to Miami. The two Fokker-planes are grounded and the ATR’s are no longer used either. “I told the staff on Saturday to go home,” Ramiz said. “Only director Steve Sloop and a couple of managers are still working.”

The three McDonnel Douglass planes returned to Miami after DAE failed to arrive at an arrangement with Curacao Airport Partners for a debt of 156,000 guilders. Then CAP banned DAE from using Hato airport. An offer to pay 80,000 guilders and the rest in 15,000 guilders terms was rejected by CAP, DAE attorney Michael Bonapart told the Antilliaans Dagblad. “CAP wanted a one-time payment for the whole of the arrears,” Ramiz said.

On Friday evening Ramiz left for Aruba, saying he was pretty disgusted of all the people who tried in all kinds of ways to destroy DAE. “On Saturday my sons, my business partners, also came to Aruba to discuss the situation. I told them that I would be stupid to put any more money into DAE.”

Early last week an email-exchange between Nelson Ramiz and Stanley Betrian leaked. Betrian owns the legal rights to DAE. He talked to foreign investors about a takeover of DAE. In the leaked emails Ramiz threatened already that he did not want to put any more money into the airline. Now that the flights have been canceled, the moment has arrived for Ramiz to close the money-tap for good.

“Only when the government addresses Venezuela’s violation of the bilateral agreement am I prepared to do something. If DAE goes under and 350 people become unemployed it is the fault of Minister Balborda,” Ramiz said.

He has no confidence in Betrian’s plans to have foreign companies buy DAE. “One Clark contacted me via Betrian. I told the man that he should not talk to Betrian but to me, because he cannot sell the company.”

Ramiz was not impressed by Clark. “I need the proof that he indeed has the money to buy the business. Until now I am not convinced.”

Any party that wants to buy the airline will first have to come up with the $10 million Ramiz invested. The two lease companies have another $10 million outstanding. “If somebody offers serious money I am prepared to sell. Otherwise I won’t do that and that the business will go bankrupt. In that case we will all go under.”

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