DAE, Korpodeko negotiating airline’s future

POSTED: 06/20/11 1:07 PM

WILLEMSTAD – Curacao’s Minister of Economic Affairs Nasseer El Hakim has now left it to Dutch Antilles Express and the Curacao Development Bank (Korpedeko) to find solutions for the airline’s problems. The announcement followed a meeting Friday attended by the airline’s Board of Directors and roughly a month after El-Hakim brought the airline and development bank together to save the jobs of the airline’s 200 staffers.

Though he’s walking away now, El Hakim says he’ll be willing to assist again if it becomes necessary.

“I will continue this role to play because DAE is seen as important and we want to ensure the money Korpodeko invested will be paid back. Incidentally, I play a mediating role for every company that approaches me for help. I do not only intercede for DAE. In fact just yesterday I mediated for three other companies,” El Hakim said.

He also explained that negotiations between the Development Bank and the airline are in full swing.

“We can now only work to finding solutions. So ultimately it is now up to the two parties to reach a proper solution,” El Hakim said.
Early in June Korpodeko gave DAE 1.5 million guilders in two tranches in exchange for the remaining shares in the company. Korpodeko had already lent the airline 6.9 guilders last October. The two tranches were sufficient to pay creditors and to cover the salaries of the approximately 200 employees. Because the shares are now held by Korpodeko, they now have the ultimate responsibility for the management and direction of society.

DAE’s managing director Stanley Betrian would not talk about the progress of the negotiations.

“We have a mutual agreement with the stakeholders to not speak to the media. I can tell you though that business is continuing as usual and the flights are being conducted as normal. There are still four groups interested in a ‘strategic partnership’ and that’s what we’re discussing,” Betrian said.

The interested groups are from Venezuela, Colombia and the United States.


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