Curacao flag carrier, Insel Air has cancelled a number of its flights across its network until further notice.
The airline was forced to make the move after the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority grounded 80% of its its 18 aircraft fleet.
That move was made over safety concerns. Scores of Guyanese passengers have found themselves stranded in Curacao as a result of the move. They have been checked in to hotels but the airline has not indicated to them when they will be heading home.
There are reports that the carrier is expected to lease a number of aircraft to assist in getting passengers to their destinations.
Travel Agents in Guyana received an official document from the airline on Tuesday morning, indicating to them that all flights had been cancelled “until further notice”. The document appeared like a notice for them not to do any more bookings.
The Curacao Chronicle reports that the airline’s planes were grounded following a number of incidents with the planes.
According to the Curacao media, flights from Curacao to Miami last week made a precautionary landing after the cabin pressure was lost.
“Passengers had to make use of the oxygen masks for a while. Furthermore, pilots of the airline refused to take off from the airport of St. Maarten earlier last week because the aircraft was not in good condition.”
The aircraft that have been grounded are the MD80 type and six Fokker 50/70.
And the airline is also facing a number of financial problems because of having about 100 million dollars ‘stuck’ in Venezuela.
Venezuela, which served as a main destination for the carrier, has been refusing to convert the airline’s bolivars into U.S dollars because of that country’s economic meltdown and U.S currency shortage.
Local representatives for the airline are following the developments.
Insel Air started its service to Guyana back in 2014 with flights to Aruba and Curacao. With its over 20 destinations, including Miami, the airline has also been connecting Guyana to those destinations.