ORANJESTAD – “The problem at InselAir is its maintenance schedule. They have put themselves in a corner, where all its aircrafts were simultaneously due for major overhauls.” This is according to the Canadian aircraft expert Bryce Fisher. He has been hired to design enforcement programs for Curaçao’s Aviation Authority CCAA.
However, Fisher said the airline’s maintenance department is “working good and the aircrafts registered on Curaçao are safe.” The Aruba Aviation Authority has yet to presents its findings on the matter. “The maintenance department is now being evaluated,” said Aruba Aviation Inspection Director Edwin Kelly.
Bryce Fisher conversing with Sharina Henriquez
The maintenance department has once again been discredited. It has been insinuated that the head of this department has been fired. InselAir denies this.
The aircraft parts’ business
The Curaçao’s Transportation Minister Suzy Camelia- Römer suspended two aircraft inspectors on Monday. This was decided based on rumors of under the table dealings with certain aircraft parts suppliers. CCAA said this was a decision instructed by the ministry and not by Curaçao’s Aviation Authority.
InselAir-founder Edward Heerenveen remains in defense of his maintenance team. He said Insel inherited a debt of 100 million as a result of the crisis that struck Venezuela. “If you don’t have enough money for parts, you have to wait until you have. Otherwise you cannot fly. If a plane is not on time, then it remains grounded and this creates delays.”
As well Heerenveen said Insel was busy working with a strategy partner to get the company back on its feet. “We would not have needed assistance from the government if the strategy partner could have intervened at an earlier point.”
He said ultimately this was a failure because the planes were grounded. “These planes need to resume flying right away,” emphasized Heerenveen: “Because I’m losing millions every day.”
Heerenveen is keen on finding out the “real” reason for the decision taking by the Aruban Avaition Authority. He was referring to the decision taken last month to ground all Aruban InselAir aircrafts.
According to Aruba’s Aviation Director Edwin Kelly, there were a number of technical incidents in January, which seemed to be a trend. Management decided to ground 6 of its 7 planes to determine if there was a consistency. However Heerenveen is convinced that there was another motive. “I have my suspicions.”
According to Heerenveen the decision taken by the US Consulate and the Dutch government to ban its personnel from flying with Insel had nothing to do with security or bad maintenance. “Who told America that we were unsafe?” They did carry out an inspection. They received this information from Aruba. The Netherlands also heard this from Aruba.”
“Now we have a problem,” Heerenveen continued. “There are strange things going on. Two months ago America said that we are safe; they carried out an audit. They had zero findings. And then suddenly out of the blue you’re not good.”