AVA Airways Economic Permit rejected in Curacao

POSTED: 05/7/15 1:18 PM

St. Maarten – The economic permit for AVA Airways has been rejected by Curacao, according to Interim Minister of Traffic, Transportation and Urban Planning, Dr. Jose Jardim. AVA Aiways is a new airline company hoping to operate in St. Maarten and Curacao. The company has also requested a permit to operate in St. Maarten, but a decision on this request is still pending. Minister Jardim said during a televised interview that the AVA’s economic permit was rejected, because the airline did not have all the necessary documents for this permit.

On December 30, 2013, AVA Airways officially requested its economic permit according to the laws of the country. On May 22, 2014, AVA received a letter from the Director of the Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA), Oscar Derby indicated that they have received the letter and that AVA’s request is being processed according to the Curacao’s chronicle.

In August of that same year, CCAA and its Director, indicated that they have requested the assistance of the Government Accountants Bureau (SOAB) to do a research on the business plan presented by AVA in December 2013. Derby also informed the President of the Supervisory Board, Giovanni Atalita that it’s the best business plan he has ever seen.

On November 27, 2014, a delegation representing the airline met with the CCAA and also the SOAB. On this occasion, the Chairman of the airline, Olivier Arrindell gave a detailed explanation of the business plan. Derby then proceeded to send the minutes of the meeting indicating that all points in the business plan were closed.

All points were closed, except for one, which is not required by law. AVA had to indicate who the investors are. “It is important to explain that the law only has four requirements for an economic permit. These are: 1. The business plan has to be beneficial for Curaçao. 2. The majority of the shareholders must have the Dutch citizenship. 3. The majority of the Directors must have the Dutch citizenship and registered in Curaçao. 4. The company must demonstrate that it has a lease agreement for aircrafts that it will operate,” said the Chairman of the airline.

Despite the fact that the law does not talk about the company’s investors, on January 17, 2015, former Minister Earl Balborda received a letter in which the investors informed the government of their intentions to invest 100% in the AVA Curaçao project.

This is contrary to what AVA heard on television, when Minister Jardim announced that the airline’s permit was rejected because they did not meet that requirement.

“AVA will not lose its focus. AVA is a tremendous project, which will be very beneficial for Curaçao. AVA’s competition will not be InselAir, but other companies in the region such as Copa Airlines from Panama,” Arrindell stated.

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