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Thread: New Route to Aruba

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    New Route to Aruba

    All of my trips to and from Aruba have involved flying from T&T to Curacao via Suriname Airways, then connecting onto Aruba with Insel Air. There was that one year when I had to fly with Tiara Air, and that one occasion when due to a technical problem with Insel I was placed on a DAE (Dutch Antillies Express) aircraft to make my flight in Curacao. On my last trip to Aruba back in September of 2016 I flew over with Insel from T&T to Curacao then with Insel from Curacao to Aruba. While the ticket price was reasonable, and it provided me with access to the Transit area in Hato International Airport, instead of going through Immigration; the flight over was plagued by a lot of delays. When I should have arrived on Aruba sometime after 9:00pm, I arrived around 11:25 pm. On the flight back I was fortunate to get placed on the first flight to Curacao only to wind up spending the entire day in Hato as the flight to Trinidad was delayed.

    This became something of the norm for Insel for the remainder of 2016 into the early part of 2017. Flights were either delayed or cancelled due to the late arrival of an aircraft from another route. Added to that throw in that a great majority of Insel's fleet was in need of repairs, the few aircraft that they had flying were not enough to meet the demands of their expanded route. So it was no surprise when back in March that the new management announced a temporary halt in their wider operations, and were instead going to focus on the route between the ABC islands and St. Martin. With that I figured that my next trip would involve flying via Suriname Airways into Curacao and Insel from Curacao to Aruba. For a while I was seeing flights and prices listed so it looked okay.

    Last week I took a look and for some reason all that I could see comming up when I made inquiries on flights from T&T to Aruba were flights to that involved connecting through Bogota Coloumbia, Suriname( overnight then fly direct to Aruba the following morning) and Panama. Strange?? I called up a local travel agency to find out why I was no longer seeing Curacao listed as a connection, especially seeing as it's considered a Hub for the Southern Caribbean. The young lady informed me that due to all the difficulties of delays and flight cancellations from Insel, along with their financial issues and looming bankruptcy if the new government on Curacao decides not to bail them out, travel agents in T&T were directed not to see or issue tickets for Insel Air. My best options to get to Aruba from T&T would be via Copa Airlines to Panama with a connecting flight to Aruba or Avianca to Bogota with a connecting flight to Aruba. Or if I wanted to, I could buy a ticket with Surinma Airways to Curacao, and go online to purchase a ticket from Curacao to Aruba via Insel.

    You would swear that T&T was on the other side of the world from Aruba instead of being in the same part of the Southern Caribbean. While Copa would be a good option, in that they have flights every day out of T&T, with the exception of Sundays, with flights that depart early in the morning (5:40 am) arriving in Panama at 7:38 am; with a connecting flight to Aruba departing at 9:15 am, arriving on Aruba at 12:15 pm. That will be the earliest I have ever arrived on Aruba. It's great, however Copa Airlines is a bit steep when it comes to their prices. Hopefully another option will make itself available between now and September. Anyone but LIAT.......they are the worst!! Fingers, toes, eye, tongue and teeth crossed for something better to come along.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    On the positive side you will arrive much earlier than ever before, the negative is the cost. I hope the early arrival makes it worth it for you. I have read about your "travels" to get to Aruba before...for being so close it stinks you need to work so hard to get there. I hope this new option works out well for you.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Everything crossed here for you! Hope something amazing becomes available
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i have said to vallond a few times that it seems so ridiculous that since aruba and t/t are so close in proximity the travel to and from is so complex.
    fingers crossed too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
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    I heard Copa provides free booze. I like the Panama Rum Abuelo..

  6. #6
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    Here is the latest on Insel Air's situation, http://curacaochronicle.com/aviation...tuation-is-ok/

    Family and friends who I have talked with about my travel route to Aruba all think it's hilarious that I have to make connections instead of flying direct. Our national airline Caribbean Airlines (CAL) formerly known as BWIA, used to offer direct flights to Aruba with a stop on Curacao. As to the reason why they stopped flying that route, I've have heard it was due to very few seats being filled to management deciding to focus on the routes to North American and the U.K.

    With Trinidad and Tobago being relatively close to the ABC islands a direct flight would be most welcomed. Time wise it would take somewhere between an hour to an hour and fifty minutes to fly direct from T&T to Aruba. If filling seats is an issue then offer a stop on Curacao as part of the service, and on arrival on Curacao after dropping off those passengers staying on Curacao they could pickup passengers going onto Aruba and continue on with a full load. The same could be done for the return trip.

    A direct flight to Aruba would make a huge difference in that visitors like myself from T&T would get to still make the most of their arrival day and still get to make the most of departure day, instead of having to spend a great amount of time connecting through another airport. While I have enjoyed my previous visits to Curacao( granted the majority of them were spent in the airport), it would have been of greater benefit if I had the option of a direct flight to Aruba. Anyhow, there is still some time till September, and who knows what will happen flight wise between now and then. If I have to connect through Panama, then so be it. From what I have been told its huge and offers a lot of things to do to pass the time while waiting. Just have to wait and see.

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