Category Archives: Air Travel

Aruba Airlines is Initiating Flights Between Aruba and Bonaire

Aruba Airlines has just announced they will begin operations at Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport, commencing November 30, 2017.

 

The flights from Aruba to Bonaire, or from Bonaire to Aruba, will operate four times a week, on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

Aruba Airlines commences service between Bonaire and Aruba.Aruba Airlines will operate these flights using a Bombardier DRJ-200, most well known as a “corporate jet,”  and is completely new and modern. The aircraft’s exterior is painted with the colors of Aruba Airlines.

This aircraft can provide up to 50 seats, all in economy class service.

Their sales office opened today, at Flamingo Airport. Contact Aruba Airlines for more information or to make a reservation. Those on Bonaire may visit the office at the airport or telephone 717-6825. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

(Source:  Aruba Airlines)


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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. 


 

 

 

 

Flamingo Tower Opens a New Chapter in Bonaire Aviation

On September 15, 2017, the new Flamingo Tower was officially launched, opening a new chapter in Bonaire’s aviation history.

The day began with the first-ever Bonaire Aviation Conference, bringing together over 100 people from the Caribbean region, the European Netherlands, and from around the world, all having a common interest in seeing Bonaire’s aviation industry grow and prosper. The conference culminated in the inauguration of the new Flamingo Tower.

The first Bonaire Aviation Conference.

The day was filled with presentations on diverse topics such as how airports can stimulate regional and national economies, the airport experiences in Aruba and Curacao, how Bonaire has the potential to become a regional cargo hub or have its own Jet Center for private planes, the amazing current-day technological aspects of airports and what the latest innovations are, air traffic control, and how Bonaire International Airport affects Bonaire’s tourism product.

The future of aviation on Bonaire.

At the end of the conference, Flamingo Airport’s own CEO, Mr. Michael Nicolaas, spoke about his vision for the future, with Bonaire’s airport offering safe, secure, and sustainable air transportation through cooperation with all stakeholders.

The new Flamingo Tower is launched!

At the end of the day, everyone was transported to the new Flamingo Tower for the official launching ceremony.

Bonaire's newly inaugurated Flamingo Tower at Bonaire International Airport.

Receiving the keys to the tower.

Bonarie International Airport's CEO, receives the keys to the tower.After the blessing of the new Flamingo Tower, the “keys” were officially handed over to Bonaire International Airport’s CEO, Mr. Michael Nicolaas, from Mr. Rob Huyser, Director of Civil Aviation of The Netherlands.

Mr. Nicolaas then, in turn, handed the keys to Ms. Micilia Albertus-Berboom, CEO of The Dutch Caribbean Air Navigation Service Provider (DC-ANSP), the entity which will be operating the tower on behalf of Flamingo Airport.

Cutting the ribbon and opening the tower.

Bonaire Lt. Governor, the Honorable Edison Rijna, cuts the ribbon, opening the tower.Then, in a flurry of photographic moments, Bonaire’s Lt. Governor, the Honorable Edison Rijna, cut the ribbon, officially opening the island’s new Flamingo Tower. He then took an elevator ride to the top, and enjoyed a private tour of the facility.

The assembled persons cheered as KLM took off down the runway, the first flight to depart with the newly christened air traffic control tower.

About the new Flamingo Tower.

Flamingo Tower’s inauguration caps off the completion of phase 2a of the 15 year Master Plan for the expansion of the airport. The tower will be operational from 6:00 AM until 11:00 PM local time (11:00 – 03:00 UTC / Greenwich Mean Time) and/or until the the last flight arrives or departs.

The new Flamingo Tower is fully compliant with the International Safety Standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). An initial staff of seven people will be employed to handle the current traffic at the airport, with DC-ANSP able to respond to any increase in air traffic demand that would require additional staff.

The new location of the control tower has an improved line of sight, providing the air traffic controllers a better view of the entire maneuvering area of the airport used for the take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft. The state-of-the-art quality technical equipment and communication system facilitates the communication between the Control Tower and the air traffic (pilots) and ensures a safe guidance and management of air traffic operations.

Flamingo Airport offers refuge to regional carriers during Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Since the inauguration, Flamingo Tower has been exceptionally busy, coordinating the arrivals of approximately 20 aircraft from regional carriers who were, firstly, seeking shelter from Hurricane Irma, and then, a week later, from Hurricane Maria. Flamingo Airport was able to offer shelter to these Caribbean carriers, safely parking the aircraft on the airport’s apron.

Bonaire International Airport receives clean “bill of health” from United State’s airport security agency, TSA.

In even more recent news, Bonaire’s airport facility has just received a clean bill-of-health after a security inspection by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, TSA was performed in a three-day audit conducted between September 22nd-24th, 2017. The audit’s results found Bonaire International Airport to be in full compliance with all international standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

As CEO, I’m very grateful and proud of this EXCELLENT result that is primarily due to the professional leadership of BIA’s airport security department under the dynamic supervision and direction of Mr. Tico Wanga, his eight supervisors and assistant team leaders and the overall staff of the Airport Security Department.

— Mr. Michael Nicolaas
Bonaire’s airport facilities are very important to the island, as many travelers arrive via airplane to enjoy the island’s ambiance, diving, windsurfing, kiting, and dining. Hats off to all the staff at Flamingo Airport, pabien (congratulations) and thank you for the excellent job you do for Bonaire!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)


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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 World Deals are Back with Excellent Airfares to Bonaire

KLM World Days have excellent airfares for flights to Bonaire.

KLM World Days have just returned, and now one can book a return ticket between Amsterdam and Bonaire for only €499 (normally €808).

Check the KLM Bonaire Planner.

KLM fare sale to BonaireGo to the KLM Bonaire Fare Planner and check your dates to see the lowest available fare. Remember that the number of available seats is limited. Fares displayed are the lowest available return fares and exclude €10 booking costs and any credit card surcharge.  Book soon!

(Source:  KLM)


Subscribe to the free Bonaire Insider newsletter:


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. 


 

 

A Tail of Two Towers on Bonaire

Bonaire says ayo to Flamingo’s Airport iconic tower, Washington Park says bon bini to a new birdwatching tower.

 

It’s often said that when a door closes, another opens, and thus it was with Bonaire this week. After 42 years of service, yesterday, Bonaire International Airport began the dismantling of its iconic and historic flamingo-pink control tower. But just last week, Washington Park officially opened the new birdwatching tower at Boca Slagbaai.

Bonaire says “ayo” to Flamingo Airport’s control tower.

After 42 years of service, the iconic Flamingo Airport tower comes down.

Time marches on, and progress must continue. And so, Bonaire is saying goodbye to its beloved flamingo-pink control tower at Bonaire International Airport. Yesterday, the tower, which has been in use for the past 42 years, was decommissioned, and dismantling began. Many are sad to see this iconic part of Bonaire’s aviation history go away, but the new control tower provides more safety as it complies with the Safety Standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and will be officially inaugurated in September.

Bonaire says “bon bini” to Washington Park’s new birdwatching tower.

But Bonaire has another new tower, just officially inaugurated last week by Lt. Governor Edison Rijna located in the area of Boca Slagbaai in Washington-Slagbaai National Park.

Lt. Governor Edison Rijna opens the new birdwatching tower in Washington Park, Bonaire.The construction material for the tower was sponsored by Cargill. The watchtower design was based on the Donkey Sanctuary watchtower and built by the Dutch Army with the help of Washington Slagbaai National Park rangers.

The watchtower, situated at the Saliña Slagbaai in the Washington Slagbaai National Park, will provide excellent birdwatching opportunities. Informational signs with bird photos were placed to assist visitors with easily recognizing the most common species of birds.

During the upcoming migration season, one can find 90 different species of birds, in addition to our popular flamingos, parrots, and parakeets.  Be sure to check out Bonaire’s new tower on your next visit to Washington Park.

So, although Bonaire’s newest tower in Washington Park cannot claim to be flamingo-pink, it can claim to give an excellent view of the pink flamingo!

(Source:  Bonaire International Airport, STINAPA)

 


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. 


TUI Fly Adds Additional Bonaire Flights to 2017-2018 Winter Schedule

TUI Fly’s Bonaire winter schedule to begin November 1st, 2017

TUI Fly provides flight services between Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport.

Flight service to increase to four flights each week.

Starting with the implementation of their winter schedule on November 1st, 2017, TUI Fly will increase the number of flights per week that will be available the 2017-2018 winter season.

TUIFly Dreamliner on the tarmac at Bonaire International AirportThe new schedule will provide service from Schiphol Airport to Bonaire on Tuesdays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays.  The aircraft utilized will be a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, and the flights will be offering in combination with Aruba or Curacao.

For additional information or flight reservations, visit the Tui Fly website.

(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. 


Divi Divi Air Expands Fleet with Two Additional Twin Otters

Divi Divi Air adds two Twin Otters to its fleet.

Divi Divi Air is a popular airline for making connections from Curacao to Bonaire.  The small airline is known for their good customer service, and many times is sold out weeks in advance.

To help allay the issue of seating capacity, Divi Divi Air has recently purchased two additional de Haviland DHC 6-300 aircraft, commonly called Twin Otters, from Air Labrador and Air Inuit.

Those visitors who have been coming to Bonaire for many years might recall that Twin Otters were previously used between the ABC islands by ALM’s commuter service, as well as Dutch Caribbean Airlines.

Divi Divi Air's Islander planes provide service between Curacao and Bonaire.

Divi Divi Air’s Islander planes.

Additional seating and STOL capabilities.

These planes have more seating than the Islander aircraft that Divi Divi Air is currently utilizing.  The new Twin Otter planes have 19 seats, while the Islander aircraft, although having 9 seats, is normally flown with a maximum of eight passengers, so there is ample space and weight for luggage and freight.

The Twin Otter aircraft are Canadian STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) utility aircraft, developed by de Haviland Canada and currently produced by Viking Air.  The aircraft’s fixed tricycle undercarriage, STOL capabilities, twin turboprop engines, and high rate of climb have made it a successful commuter passenger airliner as well as a cargo or medical evacuation aircraft.

It should be noted that currently Divi Divi Air utilizes Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and therefore flies only during daylight hours.  Those who wish to take advantage of their flights should take this into consideration when making flight plans.  There is the possibility, with the aquisition of the new planes, that flights to Aruba could be implemented in the future.

(Source: Skyquest International)

 


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. 


Snapshot of 2017 Non-Stop Flights from USA to Bonaire

Here are several options for non-stop flights from major USA gateways.

Getting to BonaireHow to get to Bonaire is always a hot topic, so here is a snapshot of non-stop flights offered by either Delta or United Airlines and operating now through the year-end holidays.

USA BONAIRE NON-STOP FLIGHT SCHEDULE

July 1, 2017 – January 31, 2018

Delta

Currently through August 27, 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

September 2, 2017 – November 18, 2017

ATL BON Saturday 0945-1449 DL380
BON ATL Saturday 1550-1857 DL672

November 19, 2017 – December 20, 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

December 21, 2017 – January 4, 2018

ATL BON Tuesday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Tuesday 1548-1907 DL672
ATL BON Thursday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Thursday 1548-1907 DL672
ATL BON Saturday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Saturday 1548-1907 DL672
ATL BON Sunday 0945-1445 DL380
BON ATL Sunday 1548-1907 DL672

January 5, 2018 – January 31, 2018

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, 2017

IAH BON Saturday 1300-1850 UA1402
BON IAH Sunday 0820-1225 UA1401

Currently through August 12, 2017*

EWR BON Saturday 0900-1340 UA1422
BON EWR Saturday 1445-1940 UA1420

*August 19, 2017 – October 7, 2017, the Newark flight will go on seasonal hiatus.

October 7, 2017 – December 31, 2017

EWR BON Saturday 0900-1340 UA1422
BON EWR Saturday 1445-1940 UA1420

Please also note:  Sunday, November 5, 2017, Daylight Savings ends at 2:00AM; March 11, 2018, Daylight Savings begins at 2:00AM. This schedule does not account for both 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)

 


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. 


Special Introductory Fares for Flights Toronto to Bonaire Offered by Sunwing

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

As the Bonaire Insider informed in an earlier story, 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.

Special introductory fares of $595.00 are available now.

Introductory Airfare specials on Sunwing from Toronto to BonaireNow there is a limited-time special introductory fare for air-only of $595.00 per person, including all taxes and fees.  This special rate is valid for flights from Toronto to Bonaire on 17th December, 2017, 24th December, 2017 or 7th January, 2018.  Return flights on this fare are available 24th December, 2017, 31st December, 2017, 7th January, 2018, or 14th January, 2018.

Award-winning in-flight service.

All flights to or from Bonaire include Sunwing’s award-winning in-flight service with:

  • Welcome glass of sparkling wine
  • Free checked baggage up to 23 kilos
  • Extensive buy-on-board menu (additional charge)
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • First-run movies
  • Kidcations Backpacks with games and toys
  • Free 5 kilo carry-on, with one free personal item.

Terms and conditions may apply.

Prices are for new bookings only and subject to change without notice. All flights are with Sunwing Airlines or Travel Service.  In-flight service varies by flights times, and other conditions may apply. Upgrades to Elite Plus Service are available for only $50.00 per person per flight.

For additional information, or to make a reservation, visit Sunwing’s website.

(Source:  Bonaire International Airport)

 


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. 


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. 


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