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TCB and the Island Government signs agreement with American Airlines

Just before New Year's Eve, Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) and the Island Government signed the agreement with American Airlines. With the signature it is agreed that on June 9th 2018, American Airlines will start a weekly direct flight between Miami and Bonaire. Maurice Adriaens, Director of Tourism of TCB and Gerald Silberie, on behalf of the Island Government, or Deputy in charge of tourism, Hubert Martis, who could not be present, have signed the document. Because of the busy holiday season it was not possible for a representative of American Airlines to be present. The signing took place at Eddy's Restaurant in the presence of different stakeholders.

For the signing of the agreement Maurice Adriaens used a special pen that has sentimental value. It was one of the pens that was manufactured on the occasion of the signing of the agreement with American Eagle in 2001. Thinking back said Adriaens that all efforts are made by TCB to move with flights from American Airlines to Bonaire. That is why this agreement is very important for Bonaire, said Adriaens.  Adriaens: “We already had American Eagle in 2001, which had to cease its operations because of problems. But it's a nice reminder that American Eagle started its direct flights to Bonaire also in the month of June in 2001. The agreement with American Airlines means that the airline also start in June with the flights.”

Adriaens pointed out that it was not an easy task to convince a major airline like American Airlines to fly to a small island like Bonaire, especially considering the marketing budget of Bonaire. “With marketing one must endeavor to fill the aircraft. The airlines prefer routes as Aruba and Curaçao with marketing budgets of millions of dollars. We don’t have the power to decide who comes to Bonaire. It is the consumers who decide where they want to go. And that question helps an airline in deciding which route to add capacity,” said Adriaens. Adriaens also said that he is happy with every bit that the stakeholders have contributed to the requested guaranteed amount. That's a big task for a small island like Bonaire. According to Adriaens one can only succeed by joining forces. He also expressed its appreciation for Michael Nicholas, ex-CEO of Bonaire International Airport, which has done a lot to persuade American Airlines to fly to Bonaire. He also mentioned the support received from the beginning of this project, from MCB-bank and Bonaire Holding Maatschappij.

Gerald Silberie congratulated TCB with the good work that has been done. Also the Island Government is pleased that many stakeholders were present at the signing ceremony, said Silberie. “It is the stakeholders that should help TCB in promoting the flights, so that these can be filled, in order to do the next step, expanding the number of flights per week,” said Silberie. “It is now the task of the Island Government to sit down with TCB to see how TCB can be helped when editing of the market. Bonaire has the potential. If American Airlines sees that, others see that too,” said Silberie.