A delegation from Bonaire comprised of Airlift Committee Chairman, Michael Nicolaas, CEO Bonaire International Airport, Maurice Adriaens, CEO Tourism Corporation Bonaire, Irene Dingjan, CEO BONHATA and Candice Adams Kimmel, the TCB Representative in North America, traveled to the US headquarters of the three legacy US airlines, Delta, United and American early in May.
Meetings were held with the Network Planning, Revenue Management and Sales Teams of all three carriers. The sessions with Delta and United focused on reinforcing our partnerships to maximize lift and explore opportunities for expansion, while discussions with American Airlines focused on the potential of starting service to Bonaire.
“We were gratified by the welcome extended to us by all three carriers” said Michael Nicolaas, Airlift Committee Chairman and CEO of the Bonaire International Airport. “Their commitment to spending the time with us and the warm, forthright nature of the discussions is a testament to Bonaire’s relationship with the carriers and our growing importance in the marketplace,” he concluded.
A short video and destination presentation highlighting Bonaire’s upcoming airport expansion, growing accommodation sector and product enhancements updated the airlines on the anticipated increase in demand for the island. Discussions on how each of the individual airlines would handle the growing demand followed.
Delta and United both confirmed their schedules going forward and noted that they had the flexibility to put a larger plane on the Bonaire route should demand warrant more inbound seats. They also revealed aircraft interior updates that included the installation of new slim line seats that would automatically increase the seat capacity of current planes by 12 to 19 seats.
At American Airlines, the Network Planning Team was very interested in the projected growth for Bonaire as outlined in an independent study commissioned by Bonaire International Airport, as well as the upcoming airport, accommodation and product innovations. American committed to evaluate the proposal for service put forth by the Airlift Committee and come back with their recommendations for moving forward.