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Monday, 25 March 2013 09:52

 

ORANJESTAD — At the end of April Aruba will sign a bilateral agreement with Columbia for further liberalization of the air traffic between both countries.Minister of Tourism, Employment and Transport, Otmar Oduber (AVP), stated this following his visit to the South American country. Among other things, the agreement enables Aruban airline companies to fly to other Columbian cities more frequently. Another step in this liberalization process is working out the plan of Aruba becoming a junction in the air traffic between Latin America, the United States and Europe, said Oduber.

 

Within this framework, Oduber also spoke with Avianco/Taca. Moreover, the Columbian airline company received an award from the minister for flying to Aruba for 30 years. Possible expansion of flights between Bogotá and Aruba was also discussed and Oduber introduced the plan for three flights per week between Lima and Aruba as from 2014 to serve other Latin American tourism markets such as Chili, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentine. During a reception at the Dutch embassy in Columbia, the accompanying director of traffic bureau ATA, Ronella Croes, explained why Columbia is so important for Aruba. Last year, 18.373 tourists from the South American country visited Aruba, which is 2 percent of the total tourism on the island in 2012. Moreover, numerous tourists choose to spend their holiday on the island more than once; 60 percent plan to spend their next holiday on Aruba as well. The main theme during the reception was the anniversary of establishing the Aruban air traffic bureau in Columbia, which was opened in 1983 by Gerald Franca together with the then director for the Latin American market, Mirto Granadillo.

At the end of his visit Minister Oduber held a speech at a forum organized by the Dutch embassy together with the Chamber of Commerce of Columbia for Central America and the Caribbean. The forum was meant to present Aruba’s plans to become the business junction between the region and Europe, en route to the conference ‘Europe Meets the Americas’ in May on Aruba.