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Friday, May 30, 2008

American Airlines and American Eagle To Cut Caribbean Service

In a continuing round of airline announcements, yesterday American Airlines and American Eagle noted that their San Juan, Puerto Rico hub will reduce daily flights, both originating from San Juan, or from gateways in the continental United States.

American Airlines will reduce flights into San Juan to 18 daily flights, effective September 3, as opposed to 38 it currently flies.  At that time, American will no longer offer nonstop, daily service to San Juan from Baltimore/Washington, Fort Lauderdale, Newark, Orlando, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles. American will continue to offer nonstop service to San Juan from Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York JFK, Philadelphia and Hartford.  In the Caribbean, American will no longer serve Antigua, St. Maarten and Santo Domingo with jet service out of San Juan.

American Eagle will also reduce its Caribbean schedule from 55 to 33 daily departures out of San Juan on Sept. 3. The regional carrier will eliminate daily flights from San Juan to Aruba as well as to Samana, Dominican Republic. Both destinations will continue to be served daily from Miami.

American Eagle will continue to serve San Juan with 33 daily flights to the following destinations: Anguilla; Antigua; Barbados; Bonaire; Canouan; Curacao; Dominica; Martinique; La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Santiago and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Guadeloupe; Nevis; St. Croix; St. Kitts; St. Lucia; St. Marten; St. Thomas; Tortola; and Trinidad.

No cuts will be made in service between Miami and San Juan, and specific schedules will be published shortly, said Peter Bowler. American Eagle’s CEO.

American Eagle also plans to move some of its 66-seat Super ATR-72 turboprops to Dallas and will ground its fleet of 34-seat Saab 340s (the carrier has 26 of these planes).

In a message to employees, Bowler said that “the crisis in the airline business is real, and the steps American is taking to reduce its schedule are necessary.” (Source:  Travel Weekly)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 30, 2008 at 9:20am AST
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

American Airlines Announces Initial Round of Capacity Reductions

American Airlines, including American Eagle which serves Bonaire, just announced their intentions regarding the first round of capacity reductions, necessary due to the skyrocketing prices in fuel and softening U.S. economy.

The airline announced four specific areas that will change in the upcoming months, including a restructuring of American and American Eagle operations at San Juan, Puerto Rico beginning in September. This round of reductions will affect American and American Eagle flights originating from San Juan to the United States and various islands in the Caribbean.  No further details are provided at this time as to which islands will be impacted, but the release mentioned that those passengers affected will be contacted next week so alternate arrangements could be made.

The airline further said that other announcements can be expected in the coming weeks and that they do plan to retire aircraft serving both American and American Eagle routes.  To view the entire release, click here(Source:  AA Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 28, 2008 at 7:32am AST
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

TCB Offers Statement on Fuel Costs and Effect on Bonaire Tourism

As everyone is well aware, the rising cost of fuel will have a negative effect on different industries, including those of aviation and tourism.  In all of the important markets for Bonaire (North America, Europe, and South America), one can already see consequences.  In the North American market, fuel prices already rose 40%, causing the closure or bankruptcy of some companies, while others strive to continue.

Recently, the islands of the Caribbean were informed that many airlines which fly to the islands from the United States would need to take severe measures because of the rise in fuel costs.  The Caribbean, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), should be alerted to these drastic measures, which may include cancellation of services or routes which don’t have sufficient capacity, or the removal of airplanes from service, thus reducing flights.  With those airlines that continue to service the islands, passengers can expect higher airfares.

Upon receiving this warning from the CTO, the Tourist Corporation Bonaire (TCB) has been in contact with its North American airline partners, which are mainly Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, and American Eagle, and the good news is that preliminary indications are that Bonaire will have minimum changes.  TCB continues in negotiations with the airlines to determine what effects there may be and what actions may be necessary.  TCB will take the necessary steps to guarantee airline capacity for the North American market, which showed a 19.4% increase in 2007. 

To view the TCB release (in Papiamentu), click here, available in PDF format.  (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 25, 2008 at 5:14pm AST
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Bonaire Wellness Month is June 1 through 29, 2008

This June will bring the First Annual Bonaire Wellness Month to Bonaire.  This sport, wellness, and fitness event has been planned to encouraged participants to track the activities in which they are actively engaged that help to improve their personal wellness.

The month-long event will host fun events such as snorkeling, swims, hikes, bike rides, and kayaking events.  Lectures will include such subjects as back injuries and how to prevent them, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and there will be several health checkups available.  To view the complete schedule, click here, available in PDF format.  (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 23, 2008 at 4:28pm AST
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Access Roads Restored in Bonaire’s Washington-Slagbaai National Park, the Park Plans Festivities

STINAPA recently announced that the road system in Washington-Slagbaai National Park has been graded and renovated so that all types of vehicles can traverse the park easily.  The work has been completed just in time for their June 1st, 2008 anniversary celebration.

In the past, STINAPA recommended that only jeeps or pickup trucks should enter the park, but with the road renovation, other types of autos, such as family sedans, can now enter. 

There are two routes in the park, the short route being 24 kilometers, and the long route being 34 kilometers.  Both routes have been restored, since the rainy season (now past) and vehicular traffic can cause ruts in the roadways.  Although STINAPA is hoping for additional funding to maintain the roads in this manner during future rainy seasons, it does not yet have the necessary funds to maintain the existing system of water canals.

On June 1st, 2008, the park will hold its annual anniversary celebrations, with special walking tours, music, transportation to Slagbaai from the park entrance, as well as children’s activities.  To view the flyer regarding the day’s events, click here, in PDF format. 

For additional information, contact STINAPA by telephone at 717-8444 or Washington-Slagbaai National Park directly at 788-9015. (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 21, 2008 at 9:45am AST
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

American Airlines Offers Net SAAver Fares from San Juan to Bonaire

American Airlines announced today that they are running a special from San Juan to Bonaire (roundtrip) for $264.00 via their Net SAAver Fares. 

Fare rules allow for departures anytime between Tuesday, May 27, 2008, and Friday, May 30, 2008.  Returns may be anytime between Monday, June 2, 2008, and Wednesday, June 4, 2008.  Tickets must be purchased by this Sunday, May 25, 2008, 11:59 p.m. (CT).  Fare of $264.00 is for round-trip coach class travel.  Other taxes, fees and conditions apply.

For additional information, visit www.aa.com. (Source:  American Airlines)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 20, 2008 at 3:56pm AST
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Monday, May 19, 2008

CIEE Research Station Bonaire Continues Lecture Series

On Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 at 7:30 PM, the CIEE Research Station Bonaire will continue its series of lectures with one entitled:  Reefs in the Greenhouse, a Look at the Possible Future of Coral Reefs Under Conditions of Global Climate Change.

To many people, global climate change equals global warming.  But there are more aspects of human-induced climate change than increasing temperature, and, therefore, predicting the future is a complex and risky business.  In this presentation, Dr. John Ware, PhD, hopes to provide a reasonably objective evaluation of the current state of coral reefs and some best guesses for the future (next 100 years).

The lecture will be held at the CIEE Research Station Bonaire at Kaya Gobernador Debrot 21 (west side of the main road, halfway between Kralendijk and the traffic circle north of town).  Admission is free, and all are invited. (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 19, 2008 at 1:21pm AST
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bonaire International Airport Is Undergoing Renovations

Bonaire International Airport (BIA), more commonly known as Flamingo Airport, has begun with the renovation of its parking areas, in order to introduce long-term and short-term parking.

In order that the airport may complete renovations in a timely manner, it has been decided to do work on all areas simultaneously.  Although this creates an inconvenience to arriving and departing visitors and others who use the airport, it’s hoped that the time length may be kept to a minimum.  It’s planned that renovations will be completed in June.

The renovations include paving, installation of an automated parking system, landscaping, lighting, and security cameras and personnel.  The first fifteen minutes of parking will be free.  After the first fifteen minutes, fees for parking (which have been without charge in the past), will be FL 2.00 (USD $1.12) per hour for each of the first four hours, and then FL 1.00 (USD $0.56) per hour after that, with a maximum of FL 20.00 (USD $11.24) per day.  Long-term parking will be FL 10.00 (USD $5.62) per day. (Source:  Amigoe)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 18, 2008 at 1:16pm AST
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bonaire Celebrates International Museum Day

Tomorrow, Sunday, May 18, 2008 is the International Day of Museums.  Bonaire’s Department of Culture is celebrating with special hours at several of Bonaire’s museums.

The following museums will be open from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM tomorrow:  Museum Bonaire, Museum Washington Park, Mangazina di Rei, Museo di Belua, documentation center Herensia Boneriano, and Kas Krioyo.  For additional information on each of these museums, click here. (Source:  Island Government)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 17, 2008 at 11:52am AST
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Caribbean Wind and Sun Vacations Offers Grandparent and Grandchild Dive Vacations to Bonaire

Grandparents these days are right there in the mainstream of life and are often very active compared to our own grandparents. In current times, grandparents are often the valued care givers of their children’s offspring. In Bonaire, a huge senior market contributes to the local economy.  Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations celebrates the grandparent by offering Grandparent/Grandchild Vacations to Bonaire. 

Bonaire is a divers’ paradise for kids. The gin-clear, shallow water and the availability of kids programs at many dive shops make the learning environment ideal. For the newbie or the advanced diver, conditions are ideal year round. Certified grandparents can bring their grandchild down and try one of the many programs designed with kids in mind. One such program at Dive Friends Bonaire that is designed for the wee ones is Supplied Air Snorkeling for Youth experiences. SASY allows them to breathe from a regulator and mini-tank at the surface while wearing a flotation device, which does not allow them to submerge.

The PADI Bubblemaker program was created for kids 8 and up as either a stand-alone SCUBA experience, or as an introduction to diving for those children who look forward to getting certified. The participants will submerge in this program, but it is limited to confined water areas such as a pool and the depth limitation is 6 feet/2 meters. There is always a PADI dive instructor directly supervising all children.

Special Weeks run August 1-15, 2008 and in February, 2009. By day, dive or windsurf and at night enjoy group dinners. One day, join the group on a special picnic to Klein Bonaire. There are also guided nature hikes and kayak tours.  Dive prices start at $420.00 per person for accommodations, truck and 6 days unlimited shore diving for the grandparent.  Taxes apply for travelers 13 and over. Call 800-219-0118 or email ann@bonairecaribbean.com. (Source:  Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 16, 2008 at 1:56pm AST
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