Published On: Tue, Feb 26th, 2019

Insel Air is down and out; declared bankrupt today

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Inselair - Once the biggest airline in the Caribbean

WILLEMSTAD – The Common Court of Justice declared Insel Air bankrupt on Tuesday morning. All efforts to save the troubled airline have failed. Even before the court declared the company bankrupt, it announced in a Facebook message that it had ceased operations effectively February 16, 2019.

“On behalf of the entire Insel Air family, past and present, we thank everyone of our passengers for their loyalty; it was truly a pleasure to serve each of you over the past twelve years.”

Passengers with tickets issues on flights 2511/2513 from Curacao to St. Maarten and flights 2512/2514 from St. Maarten to Curacao are now operated by Divi Divi and Corendon Airlines. Ticket holders should contact Divi Divi for flight status.

The message advises clients who bought tickets through a travel agent to contact the travel agent for a refund or for rebooking options. Those who booked a ticket online or at an Insel Air ticket office and paid with a credit card should contact their credit card company and dispute the charges as “non-delivered.”

Those who paid cash for a ticket at an Insel Air ticket office should claim a refund from the Insel Air trustee, Rogier van den Heuvel at the law office of Van Eps Kunneman Van Doorne. Email-address: inselair@ekvandoorne.com.

Contact with the airline via email or by telephone is no longer possible.

The first signs of the inevitable demise of Insel Air surfaced on January 16, when the Court in First Instance refused to approve the agreement with the airline’s creditors. Both Turks and Caicos-based InterCaribbean Airways and Insel Air appealed the court-decision, Court hearings followed on February 11, February 15 and February 25.

The court ruled that InterCaribbean is inadmissible in its appeal because it does not belong to the parties that are by law authorized to appeal.

The Court in First Instance denied approval of the creditors-agreement in January because InterCaribbean provided insufficient guarantees that it would live up to the agreement.

On Tuesday morning the court ruled that Insel Air nor InterCaribbean saw any possibilities to execute the so-called heads of agreement of November 16, 2018. This excludes that InterCaribbean will offer sufficient guarantees for the execution of the creditors-agreement, the court ruled.

Trustee Van den Heuvel suggested during the court hearings that a new investor, Tilgent Capital Trust, was interested in taking over InterCaribbean’s responsibilities towards Insel Air. But Tilgent has in the meantime withdrawn.

The court concluded that there are insufficient guarantees for the execution of the creditors-agreement and it confirmed the ruling of the lower court.

The court also ruled Insel Air bankrupt. “The license that allowed Insel Air to fly has expired, the company had ceased its activities and there is no perspective for improvements. The investigation shows that Insel Air leaves several debts unpaid and that the company had stopped paying.

The court appointed Judge Maurits de Kort as the Judge of Instruction in the bankruptcy. Trustees are Rogier van den Heuvel and Stan van Liere of the law office of Van Eps Kunneman Van Doorne.