Welcome, Bon Bini, Sunwing!
It was only two weeks ago when everyone gathered at Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport to welcome the first flight of Aruba Airlines. Now, it was like deja vu when yesterday Sunwing arrived on their inaugural flight from Toronto, Canada, commencing round-trip flights each week during the busy winter season.
The first Sunwing flight arrives amid fanfare.
With the anticipation mounting, press and the hoteliers, who worked diligently to initiate the flights, were escorted out to the tarmac. Within minutes, Sunwing appeared out of the western sky, bolting out of the sun! The plane, piloted by Captain Chris Lewis, lightly touched down and taxied to the end of the runway. It made its turn and began the taxi back to a very warm welcome!
The passengers received a water cannon salute.
Flamingo Airport and Bonaire’s fire department were ready with a water cannon salute. Ground handlers got the plane quickly parked and Sunwing’s first Bonaire-bound passengers were on their way down the steps. It was clear the convivial ambiance had already begun on the plane! Who wouldn’t want to begin their Bonaire vacation by boarding a plane painted with turquoise waters glinting sunlight with a snorkeler enjoying the water?
The arrivals hall was a festive area, filled with music and costumed local ladies.
After clearing Immigration and getting their luggage, passengers were greeted by a gathering of lovely ladies, bedecked in folkloric costumes, who dispensed warm, friendly, welcoming smiles, “dushi” sweets, and a goodie bag of Bonaire information. Local music was playing, and even the captain and his crew got caught up in the festivities!
After a short press conference where Sunwing was officially welcomed, each member of the crew was awarded Bonaire ambassador status and received their medals. A luscious hand-made cake awaited cutting, and even the crew couldn’t help snapping shots to send back to friends and family. Check out the tiny turtle hatching swimming in the sea, with the azure sky, and Sunwing on top!
The Canadian flag “flies” on Bonaire.
In the final minutes before Captain Lewis and his crew had to re-board the plane for their onward trip, everyone got together for a final moment, and the famous maple leaf of Canada was momentarily flying on Bonaire!
(Source: Bonaire Insider Reporter)
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Susan 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.