MIAMI — Last Thursday, a court in the Caribbean island of Aruba has ruled to temporarily suspend the directors of local carrier Aruba Airlines after allegations of fraud.
According to local media, Esteban Valles and Onno de Swart, both directors and main shareholders of Aruba Airlines, were suspended from their respective positions as CEO and Managing Director. Instead, the judge appointed Huber Zievinger as the interim Managing Director of the company.
Valles and de Swart have filed a court application last February 10, in order to clarify the financial situation of Aruba Airlines, which triggered a crisis that could compromise the long-term stability of the airline.
A press release issued by the airline stated that operations will continue despite the management change, and that the decision made by the Court will bring tranquility to the employees and passengers of the troubled Caribbean airline.
Last Friday, insurance policies for the aircraft were renewed, thus assuring, to date, the continuity of flights. Ticket sales were halted via website today due to issues with the payment gateway, but these were subsequently solved a few hours later.
Founded in 2012, Aruba Airlines has a fleet of three ILFC and AerCap-leased Airbus A320-200s, and besides offering regular services from Aruba to Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela and Miami in the United States, it has also been operating charter flights between Miami and Cuba.
Since the demise of ALM Antillean Airlines in 2001, the airline industry in Aruba and Curaçao have experienced turbulent times. Over a half a dozen airlines have attempted to fill the gap left by ALM without success.
Currently, InselAir and Tiara Air besides Aruba Airlines are operating in a market sensitive to seasons and to the economic situation of Venezuela, which provides the largest number of travelers to these islands.