Category Archives: Air Travel

Bonaire’s Royals Get Ready for Babies

Springtime heralds the breeding season for Bonaire’s terns.

Love is in the air, but no, we are not discussing whether Bonaire’s Royals, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, are expecting!  Instead, we are referring to Bonaire’s Royal Terns, as well as other species of terns found on Bonaire.

Springtime on Bonaire, as in many other locations around the world, signals the breeding season for many animals.  Bonaire’s population of terns, usually made up of Royal Terns, Caspian Terns, Least Terns, or Common Terns, and occasionally other species of terns, are also feeling the urge to propagate their species.

On a recent birding excursion to Bonaire’s south leeward coast, I was surprised to see a large number of terns and laughing gulls on a very small piece of dry real estate, just off the side of the road.  There were so many seabirds on such a small islet,  I had to stop to take a longer look.

Tern courtship includes offerings of fish, dancing, and posturing.

Much to my surprise, I found some real courtship behavior in full swing.  The first behavior which caught my attention was the offerings of very fine fish dinners.

Courtship feeding is frequently seen in terns. For instance, in an effort to lure females to their territories in the nesting area, a male tern may carry a fish around the breeding colony and display it to prospective mates. After a pair bond is formed, during the “honeymoon period” the male tern can actually feed the female, and soon thereafter they begin to copulate.

As I watched, I saw many examples of fish being offered, always proffered with the fish crosswise in the mouth, but the females seemed to be playing hard to get, with all offerings ignored.  In some cases, the male would fly off to another female on the islet to see if he could find a more willing prospective mate.

The size of the proffered fish might be a determining factor as to whether the female accepts the food or not.  In an older study of Royal Terns in another location than Bonaire, on 23 occasions in which the female accepted the food, the proffered fish was 7 cm. in length or longer.  In seven refusals of food, the fish was only 5 cm in length or smaller and very slender. This leads to speculation that the function of courtship feeding may give the females the opportunity to assess potential mates as future providers for chicks.

Males were busy with other courtship displays, including some high-stepping “Happy Feet” dancing in front of females, as well as unmistakable posturing of the male, with his neck extended and slightly back, and with the bends of the wings out like a skirt.

I was enthralled by the show these seabirds were putting on for me, and several other cars with visitors pulled off to the side of road and joined me in watching.  It should be said that any time you are observing nesting birds on Bonaire, it is best to keep your distance and use a spotting scope or binoculars.  This is for the safety of the future chicks, as, should your motions scare the nesting female off the nest, the egg could be preyed upon, or even over heat and cook under Bonaire’s sun.

However, after about an hour, in which I did not see one female accept an offer of food, I continued on my way.

New chicks are on the way.

Terns on Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean) exhibiting courtship behavior (copulation)

But I was curious to see what the outcome would be, so I visited the islet again the next day.  Although about 30% less populated, those remaining were very busy with some real courtship!  It seems the females’ defenses came down within those 24 hours, and copulation was repeatedly occurring.  When looking closer through binoculars, I could already see some eggs laid in the nesting colony, so we should expect to see some tern chicks in coming days.Terns on Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean) exhibiting courtship behavior (nesting)

So what is the moral of this story?  I would normally encourage everyone to stop and smell the roses, but since roses are not common on Bonaire, I will instead encourage everyone to stop and watch the terns courting!  Keep your eyes open whenever you are driving around Bonaire as you never know what royal experience you may encounter in Bonaire’s nature.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, Stanford University, Searchable Ornithological Research Archive – UNM)


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


KLM Offers Five Days of Fare Sales, Including Tickets to Bonaire

KLM has Bonaire on sale for only five days.

KLM has just announced a five-day airfare sale, and one of the destinations from Amsterdam is Bonaire!  For those wishing to plan a last-minute vacation, act soon to get your reduced fare ticket locked in, which can be as low as € 498.

Capacity on the sale is limited and reservations must be made by May 22nd, 2017.  Quotes for roundtrip fares are the lowest available for your chosen dates, but exclude a €10 booking fee (and any credit card fee).

To check the fares for your chosen dates, visit the KLM website.

(Source:  KLM)


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


Canadian Airline Sunwing to Begin Direct Flights from Toronto to Bonaire

Sunwing will offer direct flights from Toronto to Bonaire and return beginning mid-December, 2017.

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) has announced that Sunwing will commence flights to Bonaire in mid-December 2017 by offering a weekly non-stop service from Toronto to Bonaire every Sunday on a Boeing 737-800 with a capacity of a 189 seats.

Sunwing Airlines is Canada’s leading leisure airline and is the proud recipient of the Consumer Choice Award for its Toronto operations for four years running.

Bonaire International Airport's approach to the runwaySunwing’s commitment to launching this route demonstrates the airline’s confidence in the Bonaire tourism product and will provide Bonaire with greater exposure in the Canadian market and provide travelers with a convenient connection to Bonaire.

The Sunwing Travel Group specializes in all-inclusive vacations and will offer Bonaire vacation packages in cooperation Buddy Dive Resort, Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino, Delfins Beach Resort, and Plaza Beach Resort.

(Source:  TCB)


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


KLM Has Bonaire on Sale, Book By March 13th, 2017

News Flash:  KLM fare sale to Bonaire.

KLM has announced a five-day fare sale, and roundtrip Amsterdam-Bonaire-Amsterdam can be as low as €599.00.  All travel must be booked by March 13th, 2017 to receive the sale fares.

KLM fare sale to BonaireLowest available fares, including taxes and surcharges, excluding €10 booking fee (credit card surcharge may apply) are provided when you check your travel dates. Prices shown may vary depending on fare availability. You will see the exact total price when selecting your payment method.

For additional information, or to check costs for your travel dates, visit KLM’s website.

View information about which airlines fly to Bonaire.

(Source:  KLM)






InselAir Temporarily Suspends International Flights

InselAir is only flying within the Dutch Caribbean.

As a direct result of the continued grounding of a part of its fleet by the Aruban Civil Aviation Authorities since January 26, Curaçao-based InselAir says it has no choice but to temporarily suspend flights to all destinations outside of the Dutch Caribbean effective Wednesday, March 8.

International flights are temporarily suspended.

The measure includes service to Barquisimeto, Caracas, Georgetown, Haiti, Kingston, Las Piedras, Manaus, Medellin, Miami, Paramaribo, Port of Spain and Santo Domingo. Inter-island services to Aruba, Bonaire, and St. Maarten will remain in place. As soon as aircraft become available again, the carrier will look into re-launching some of its routes. In this case, passengers will be informed accordingly. Management expects to return to regular operations again by June of this year.

InselAir suspends international flights.Passengers are being protected or refunded.

Passengers who are in possession of a ticket purchased via an InselAir ticket office or online via, will be granted a full refund, and will be contacted by the Customer Relations Department. Passengers who have purchased a ticket via a travel agent are strongly advised to contact their travel agent to have the refund processed.

Passengers who have already started their journey will be transferred to another airline and will be informed accordingly.

How can passengers contact InselAir?

The InselAir Customer Relations Team will use the contact details that passengers have provided upon their reservation/booking. Travel agents will also be informed by InselAir.

In case passengers did not provide personal contact details upon their reservation/booking, it is advised to contact InselAir via +599 9 737 0444 (Monday through Friday 7AM – 8PM and Saturday through Sunday 8AM – 8PM, UTC/GMT-4  local time) or via

InselAir regrets that it is forced to take these measures and sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience caused. InselAir’s teams will do their utmost to inform and support the affected passengers.


(Source:  Curacao Chronicle)


Drones on Bonaire–Think Twice Before Packing Your Drone

Drones on Bonaire?  Well, not really.


Bonaire International Airport recently published some information regarding the use of drones on Bonaire as regulated by The Netherlands.  These remotely piloted vehicles are becoming very popular for aerial photography, and so some passengers may want to bring their drones to Bonaire for their vacation.  However, you may wish to think twice before you pack your drone in your suitcase.

RPAS – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (Drones)

Drones are not allowed in Bonaire's prohibited airspace.This data provides information about the use of drones for either recreational or professional purposes in The Netherlands, which includes the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba.

The airspace above the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) is prohibited airspace or controlled airspace (control zone ⇒ CTR or aerodrome traffic zone ⇒ ATZ). It is not allowed to fly here with aircraft, including remotely piloted aircraft or model aircraft, without the permission of ATC or AFIS.  At this moment, ATC and AFIS are not able to grant any permits. So please, leave your drone at home or keep it safely stored in your suitcase during your stay.  Enjoy Bonaire the old-fashioned way, on the ground!

Bonaire's Designated Prohibited Airspace

Click map to view an enlarged version.

More detailed information about our airspace:

The Flamingo CTR at Bonaire is visible on the map at right. It is the large area with the mark 25 NM TNCB ARP. The area TNP-1 and TNP-2 are prohibited for all aircraft. The space between these two areas is only available for manned aircraft with a clearance of ATC.

Additional information can be found on the website of Bonaire International Airport, also commonly known as Flamingo Airport.

(Source:  Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport via Bonaire International Airport)




Update on Insel Air Operations

Update on InselAir Flight Operations.

InselAir landing on Bonaire.

InselAir landing on Bonaire.

InselAir is currently experiencing delays and interruptions in service due to the maintenance inspections on some of their planes.  On January 31st, 2017, InselAir posted the following information to provide passengers with the proper contact information, should their flights be affected.

The following information is quoted from InselAir:

Update on InselAir flights

“The inspections by the Department of Civil Aviation of Aruba (DCA) on 3 of our aircraft is directly impacting our operations (press release). We realize that this is a very unpleasant experience for our passengers and for our staff and we are doing our utmost to resolve this matter as quickly as possible. However, at this moment we do not have a specific date and/or time when we will be fully operational again. In cooperation with DCA we trust to have our aircraft back in the air again shortly.

Fokker 50 and 70 operational

The inspections do not concern our Fokker 50 and Fokker 70 aircraft; these flights are operational according to the regular schedule. Fights from Curacao to Sint Maarten (and v.v.) are, in absence of 3 of our MD type of aircraft, being operated by Dominican Wings (wet lease) and flights from Curacao to Miami (and v.v.) are being operated by Swiftair.

Information for our passengers

Passenger who are affected will be contacted by our Customer Care Agents via:
1. the email address or phone number provided upon reservation/booking
2. at the Flight Status section
3. our staff on the airport of your departure
4. the travel agent through which you purchased your ticket

In case you did not provide any contact details upon your reservation/booking, we advise you to contact InselAir via the contact details below.

How can I contact InselAir?

  • Contact Center Aruba: (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM/Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM ) +297 582 1200
  • Contact Center Curaçao: (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM/Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM ) +599 9 737 0444
  • Contact Center USA: (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM/Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM ) +1 855 493 6004
  • Contact Center Venezuela: (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM/Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM ) +58 212 720 4787

(Source:  InselAir)




KLM Pronounced Safest and Most Punctual Airline!

KLM Wins Two New Awards.

With barely a fortnight into 2017, KLM has already won two awards.

KLM at Bonaire International Airport

KLM at Bonaire International Airport

KLM declared the safest European airline.

The German Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) has declared KLM the safest European airline. KLM comes fifth in the JACDEC worldwide rankings.

KLM also declared the most punctual airline.

KLM is also the most punctual airline, Flight Stats recently announced. This aviation insights company publishes an annual list of international airlines with the best on-time performance records. FlightStats compares airlines on punctuality, flight schedules, and flight times. KLM holds first place for global arrival performance.

KLM President and CEO, Mr. Pieter Elbers, stated,

This is a marvelous start to the new year. I see this as a wonderful acknowledgement of all our efforts in safety, punctuality, and customer focus. We want to continue to give our customers a safe and pleasant travel experience in 2017.

KLM has been connecting Bonaire with the European Netherlands for 80 years.

(Source:  KLM via Bonaire International Airport)



Snapshot of Airline Flights to Bonaire from USA for 2016 and 2017

Getting to Bonaire from the USA.

Many of Bonaire’s visitors from North America like to get a jump and book their flights well in advance of their planned travel.  To assist with plans for the coming year, here is a snapshot of available services from the U.S. carriers which fly to Bonaire.

Note:  Flight schedule valid as of November 28, 2016

Delta Airlines.

December 3, 2016 – December 10, 2016
ATL BON Saturday 0945-1449 DL380
BON ATL Saturday 1550-1857 DL672

December 17, 2016 – January 6, 2017
ATL BON Saturday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Saturday 1548-1907 DL672

ATL BON Tuesday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Tuesday 1548-1907 DL672

ATL BON Friday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Friday 1548-1907 DL672

January 7, 2017 – June 25, 2017
ATL BON Saturday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Saturday 1548-1907 DL672

ATL BON Sunday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Sunday 1548-1907 DL672

United Airlines.

Currently through December 31, 2016
IAH BON Saturday 1305-1940 UA1402
BON IAH Sunday 0830-1130 UA1401

EWR BON Saturday 0850-1445 UA1422
BON EWR Saturday 1530-1940 UA1420

Note:  United is operating their largest aircraft (configuration 737-900 / 179 seat capacity) for peak season from both IAH and EWR gateways.

January – December 31, 2017*
IAH BON Saturday 1305-1940 UA1402
BON IAH Sunday 0830-1130 UA1401

*One plane that operates year round is foreseen at this time.

January – August 19, 2017**
EWR BON Saturday 0850-1445 UA1422
BON EWR Saturday 1530-1940 UA1420

**One plane except for the 11 week shoulder period, during August 19, 2017 – October 28, 2017, when it will go on seasonal hiatus.

October 28, 2017 – December 31, 2017
EWR BON Saturday 0850-1445 UA1422
BON EWR Saturday 1530-1940 UA1420

United Airlines Service to BonaireSunday, March 12, 2017, Daylight Savings begins at 2:00 AM; Sunday, November 5, 2017, Daylight Savings ends at 2:00 AM. This schedule does not account for time differences.
Aircraft type, configuration, timing of arrival/departure, frequency of service and continued operation of air service is at the discretion of the airlines.

(Source:  TCB-North America)




Delta Expands Peak Holiday Schedule to Bonaire

Spending the holidays on Bonaire just got easier.

20160201-ChildrenThe holiday season has been joyously extended in Bonaire thanks to Delta’s peak season schedule. This year, those who wish to spend the year-end holidays warming their toes in the sand can stay longer.

Delta to fly three weekly flights to Bonaire over the holidays.

From December 17, 2016 through January 6, 2017, Delta will offer three weekly non-stop flights every Saturday, Tuesday, and Friday from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Delta’s Special Holiday Flight Schedule.

The southbound Delta flight DL380 will depart ATL at 9:45 AM and arrive at Bonaire International Airport (BON) at 2:45 PM every Saturday, Tuesday and Friday.

The northbound return flight DL672 will depart Bonaire at 3:48 PM and arrive at Atlanta at 7:07 PM every Saturday, Tuesday and Friday.

(Source:  TCB)





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