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(CMC) – Curaçao is set to become a second hub for Turks and Caicos-based Inter-Caribbean Airline as it assumes operations of Curaçao-based InselAir International in the coming weeks.
InselAir President and Executive Chairman Lars de Brabander in an interview with The Daily Herald said the airline will continue to exist, but under a new brand.
Inter-Caribbean does not have air connections to the Southern Caribbean and Northern South America, but with this development, connections will be gained with the acquisition of InselAir as of December 18.
The integration and alignment of the operating system of Inter-Caribbean and that of InselAir will be the start of Curaçao’s second hub function of the merged operations.
Inter-Caribbean has three flights daily into St. Maarten and from here together with InselAir its reach can be expanded farther South. InselAir clients can access more destinations to the North all on one ticket.
“We will fill in each other’s gaps. That’s the beauty of two companies working together and aligning their networks,” said De Brabander.
It will continue to be two companies even when InselAir is taken under the wing of Inter-Caribbean.
InselAir will be rebranded with a new name, said De Brabander. The final decision on the name will be made public at a later date.
Commenting on the planned name-change, De Brabander said that unfortunately the airline’s troubles have made its name “come to have a negative perception for travellers. We are working on our image and this part of it.”
As for any more right-sizing of the InselAir with the new venture with Inter-Caribbean, De Brabander said looking ahead and paying attention to forecasts are daily parts of the airline industry. What he could say was that developing Curaçao as a second hub for Inter-Caribbean will require more manpower. “Right-sizing doesn’t always mean downsizing,” he pointed out.
Asked whether he will stay on at the helm of the soon-to-be renamed InselAir, De Brabander said he had been hired by the Curaçao government as an airline crisis manager to help shore up the airline. “It was a six-month job and my task part was to seek synergy with a partner for InselAir and to keep the company afloat. My mission will be completed soon and it will be up to Inter-Caribbean going forward,” said De Brabander.
InselAir commenced a five-month block-seat and code-share with Corendon and Divi Divi Air on Monday. This partnership will be evaluated as of January 2019 as the Dutch Caribbean airline looks to its future stability and its coming together with Inter-Caribbean.