US Airways cancels code-sharing agreement with Insel Air

POSTED: 10/14/11 12:16 PM

WILLEMSTAD – The United States Federal Aviation Administration issued a negative advice about the code-sharing agreement between US Airways and Insel Air. As a result, US Airways has stepped away from the agreement.
The FAA gave Curacao 90 days to upgrade its facilities; this term had not expired yet and the Hato airport has not been downgraded, but the FAA still gave a negative advice about the code-sharing agreement. US airways informed Insel Air in writing about the decision.
The code-sharing agreement made it possible for passengers to fly on one ticket to several destinations in the United States. Insel Air invested 2 million guilders in the project. Insel Air’s International Affairs manager Edward Heerenveen said. “That investment was necessary just to be considered and to meet all requirements for a code-sharing agreement. We invested in Iosa-certification and we meet therefore international standards.”
Heerenveen said that he heard several times that in case the Hato airport is downgraded to category 2, only Insel Air would be affected, because the code-sharing agreement would become void and the company would be unable to offer new routers within the United States. “People ought to be aware that airports in Botswana and Haiti end up in category 2. This does not only have negative consequences for us. St. Maarten has remained under the Aviation department of Curacao after the constitutional change. It has done a study into the possible implications of a downgrade in Curacao for St. Maarten. The study shows that this could result in ten percent less visitors.”
St. Maarten only has one small air line, Winair, Heerenveen said, and the island is dependent on external flights. “I wonder how this will translate to the situation in Curacao. The impact on our tourism industry will probably be even larger. Then you will see that surrounding countries and airlines will anticipate this situation by putting extra flights on our routes. It is like a boxing match whereby the arms of our boxer are tied.”
The transportation Security administration TSA audited the security at Hato airport, among others on aspects like terrorism, and the smuggling of arms and drugs. “Insel air was also audited and the results were good,” Heerenveen said. “But it’s just too awful to think about the possible result for the airport. If this is negative it means for instance that planes from the United States are still allowed to land here, but they are no longer allowed to take off. No airline is crazy enough to schedule flights to Curacao under those conditions.”

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