|A Dutch Antilles Express ATR 42-300 on the ground at its largest hub – Hato International Airport in Curacao|
Formed in 2005 via the merger of Bonaire Express and Curacao Express, Dutch Antilles Express had been bleeding cash for several months before the shut down. Earlier this month, the carrier approached the Curacao Parliament for a cash loan of 5 million guilders; a request denied on 16th August. The Curacao government had previously stepped in to save the airline from closure in 2011. With its operations bleeding money, the airline was forced to shut down operations for the time being.
At the time of suspension, Dutch Antilles Express served 10 destinations across 9 countries (including Orlando and Miami in the United States) on a fleet of five aircraft (1x ATR 42-300, 3x Fokker F100, and 1x McDonnell Douglas MD-83). It had previously been forced to suspend services to Caracas, Maracaibo, and Valencia in Venezuela in May of this year over safety concerns.
Service in Curacao will continue to be provided by several airlines, including low cost carrier (LCC) Insel Air, which operates a hub at Hato International Airport, the primary airport of Curacao. Insel Air serves 16 destinations across 10 countries(15 from Curacao – including Miami, Orlando, San Juan, and Charlotte) on a fleet of 13 aircraft (with 7 more Fokker 70s on order – current fleet includes 3x Embraer 110s [two temporarily grounded], 3x Fokker F100s, 4x McDonnell Douglas MD-82s, and 2x McDonnell Douglas MD-83s).