…cites safety concerns
THE United States Embassy in Curacao is advising US citizens that the embassy has temporarily prohibited staff from flying with Dutch Caribbean carrier Insel Air, citing safety concerns.
And the advisory, which was issued on Wednesday, February 02, has been extended to embassy officials in Guyana since the Curacao –based carrier operates weekly flights here.
According to a social media post on the Consular Section, US Embassy Georgetown Facebook page, the Consulate General at the US Embassy in Curaçao, adopted the policy following an internal review of safety-related considerations.
“You are receiving this message because Insel Air also flies to Guyana, South America”, the post stated regarding staff at the embassy in Georgetown.
The embassy in Curacao stated that on December 27, 2016, an Insel Air flight bound for Curaçao was forced to land in Colombia due to an inability to pressurize the cabin. Then on January 13, this year, an Insel Air flight bound for Miami, lost cabin pressure and was forced to make an emergency landing.
“The Consulate understands that, in the last six months, four other Insel Air flights have returned to Curaçao after takeoff due to pressurization or electrical problems”, the embassy stated.
It noted that other safety considerations have led Aruban and Curaçao authorities to ground a number of aircraft for further inspection. According to the report, the policy regarding travel only applies to the official travel of US Consulate Curacao personnel and will be re-evaluated as Insel Air’s safety condition improves.
Last week, Insel Air stated on its website that the Department of Civil Aviation of Aruba (DCA), is conducting routine inspections on 4 of the 8 aircrafts that the entity has in operation. It noted that to have four aircraft inspected simultaneously is not unusual.
Later, in another release, the airline said that the inspections by the Aruban authorities on three of its aircrafts are having a direct impact on its operations noting that it was unsure when the aircrafts will be cleared by the authorities.
The regional airline operates weekly flights between Georgetown and Curacao and Aruba. Since its launching in 2006, Insel Air operation has grown to be one of the leading airlines linking the Caribbean to destinations within North and South America.