ORANJESTAAD, Aruba–The Aruban airline, Tiara Air recently filed for an automatic stay which will prevent creditors and collectors from trying to collect debts from the ailing air company. Tiara Air N.V., operating as Tiara Air Aruba, is an airline headquartered and based on the grounds of Aruba, in the Dutch Caribbean, which began operations in 2006. The airline currently operates scheduled flights to Bonaire, Colombia, Curacao, Fort Lauderdale and Caracas, Maracaibo and Punto Fijo in Venezuela. The airline operates a fleet consisting of the Shorts 360 and one Boeing 737-300 aircraft for passenger operations, with a Learjet 35 for ambulance and private operations. The airline has been camping with financial trouble for a while now. The government headed by Prime Minister Mike Eman has recently approved a bridge loan from a special emergency fund to keep the airline operating while waiting for the Venezuelan Commission for the Administration of Currency Exchange (CADIVI). CADIVI is one of the main causes of financial problems for various airlines in the Caribbean region, including the Curacao airline Insel Air. According to CADIVI reports, Venezuela owes Tiara Air about 40 million dollars.The automatic stay will give the company the required space to adjust its operations and to reduce its flights to Venezuela. The airline announced that it will increase its operations to Curacao, Bonaire and Colombia. The airline had expansion plans into Panama and Costa Rica, but at the moment new routes are not considered. The Netherlands Antilles have lost several national airlines: ALM Antillean Airlines (Antilliaanse Luchtvaart Maatschappij) that ceased operations in 2001, Air Aruba that ceased operations in 2000 and Dutch Antilles Express ceased in 2013.
PARAMARIBO, Suriname — The board of directors of Surinam Airways (SLM: Surinaamse Luchvaart Maatschappij) has approved the acquisition of an additional aircraft to SLM’s fleet to complement regional routes, according to chairman of SLM’s Supervisory Board Gerard Brunings. Brunings said, “This decision has nothing to do with the pending discussion to fly to Haiti. Haiti has yet to be settled.” He said that the two Boeing 737s that SLM currently has in its fleet aren’t enough to service regional routes and that a third aircraft is needed to ensure a seamless operation. SLM will acquire a Boeing 737-3Q8, similar to the two Boeings in its current fleet in mid-April. The new aircraft will receive a major overhaul and will be repainted in SLM’s livery. By mid-June the aircraft will be ready for commercial service. According to vice president of SLM, Clyde Cairo, this third Boeing will serve as a backup to stabilize regional operations. Cairo added that the additional aircraft will be used for charter operations, SLM tours and increase frequency.
“In addition, we look to increase frequency on existing routes and expand to other locations, where SLM later in the year will make more announcements,” Cairo said. There is speculation that SLM will later in the year fly to New York, Haiti and more cities in Northern Brazil. Flights to New York will be operated via Guyana. There is talk about additional SLM flights out of Guyana to Miami with the addition of this Boeing. DELTA Airlines is leaving Guyana in May and the government of Guyana has offered SLM incentives to fill this void. A DELTA employee familiar with the Guyana route, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “Many DELTA flights in and out of Guyana face problems; there are baggage issues, theft, drugs and fines and it’s costing the airline a lot of money.”This source also confirmed that the load factor on DELTA’s Guyana route is very good. SLM’s operation regionally and the trans-Atlantic routes have often been disrupted due the lack of a back up aircraft and has been costing the airline heavily. The transatlantic route, where only one aircraft is deployed, an Airbus A-340-300, often experiences delays and cancellations. This, compounded with hefty EU fines, has cost the airline a lot of money. Once the lease of the Airbus 340 expires, SLM is looking to acquire two Boeing-767s, according to information coming out of Paramaribo.