The only Caribbean airline with Fokker 70 declares bankruptcy, and the region loses another operator

This Tuesday, the 18th, the Court of First Instance of Curaçao declared United Caribbean Airlines B.V. and JetAir Caribbean B.V. bankrupt, which operate jointly under the name JetAir.

JetAir is the only airline based in the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire with jet aircraft, offering regular and charter flights from and to Curaçao to Aruba, Bonaire, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. Maarten, Suriname, and Colombia. Shortly after obtaining the required permit in November 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic began. This had far-reaching consequences for the startup.

See Also: Jetair Caribbean suspends its flights to the Dominican Republic

Post-pandemic, it aggressively resurged with flights from and to Curaçao to Colombia, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and St. Maarten. However, the growth of local airlines Winair and Z Air, as well as the emergence of the low-cost Arajet and the expansion of Sky High, began to affect JetAir’s limited operations.

Additionally, its fleet of Fokker 70s became costly to operate, forcing one to be grounded for use as a source of spare parts. In recent months, the company has been negotiating a transition to ATR 42/72 turboprops or smaller jets like the CRJ and ERJ.

See Also: The Fokker 70 on the brink of extinction: the only airline in the Caribbean flying it seeks a replacement

According to Expreso Curaçao, the airline has accumulated losses of 2 million Aruban florins (ANG), equivalent to 1.1 million dollars, during the first quarter of 2024.

The same outlet reported that the board forced the cancellation of operations and grounded its only Fokker 70 (PJ-JAB). In this initial phase, the airline must inform passengers, employees, and other stakeholders, store assets, and investigate if it is possible to restart flights in the short term.

The situation of JetAir joins other Caribbean companies that have declared bankruptcy, such as Air Antilles and LIAT, although both have resurfaced with new investors.

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