A court in Aruba has declared Insel Air Aruba bankrupt, the Curacao Chronicle has reported.
According to the newspaper, the court granted the airline a deferment of payment for a few months and it was not operating flights anymore. However, according to the report, there was no chance of selling the airline or restarting its operations since the airline did not work on a stabilization plan, nor did it consider taking cost-cutting measures and there were no efforts made to start generating income.
“Irresponsible to maintain the moratorium even longer,” the Curacao Chronicle quoted the curator as saying.
It also referenced the ongoing crisis in Venezuela as being one of the major contributing factors to the airline’s rapidly accumulated debt.
“Insel Air International itself it also struggling but it has been working on a reform plan for months,” the report said.
Stabroek News had previously reported on the decision taken by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to prohibit the airline’s operations in Guyana, following concerns raised over the safety of the aircraft used by the Curacao flag carrier.
Subsequently, in March, Director General of the GCAA Captain Egbert Field had said that a review of a status report on equipment belonging to Insel Air was underway.
Field had said that a letter had been written to the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) seeking clarity on the issue facing the airline. At that time, almost two weeks had already elapsed and the GCAA was still awaiting a response.
Field had explained that contact was established, which resulted in a status report on the equipment used by the airline being offered for a review and that the process was still ongoing.
In the meantime, the decision to suspend the airline’s operations in Guyana remains in effect.
Based on reports carried by several regional and international news sources, Insel Air has for some time been experiencing financial difficulties and safety issues.
One such incident, as reported by the Curacao Chronicle, saw a flight destined for Miami having to return to Curacao, after pilots were confronted with a warning that there was no pressure in the cabin. Another incident saw pilots of the airline refusing to take off from St Maarten because they deemed the aircraft unsafe.
In light of concerns raised about the safety of passengers travelling with Insel Air, the US Embassy and Surinamese Consulate in Curacao issued notices advising their officials and citizens against using the airline.
Prior to that, it was also reported that the CCAA had grounded almost all of Insel Air’s aircraft, in both Aruba and Curacao, due to safety issues.
Insel Air commenced service to Guyana in 2014 with flights to Aruba and Curacao, and offered flight connections to over 20 destinations, including Miami.