Aruba Airlines welcomes their first Airbus 320

Rosalie Klein, The Morning News Aruba
Aruba Airlines executives with Minister Oduber.
Aruba Airlines executives with Minister Oduber.

ORANJESTAD -- It was an 8-month effort to obtain clearances and permits, but Aruba’s newest home-based airline, Aruba Airlines, welcomed to the Reina Beatrix International Airport yesterday morning the first commercial jet of what they hope to be an expanding fleet.

Airline owners Esteban and Ernesto Valles and Aruba Airlines CEO Ono de Swart gave Aruba Minister of Tourism, Transport & Labor, Otmar Oduber, airport and tourism officials and various island dignitaries, including the Vene­- zuelan  Vice Consul, Orlando Luzardo, a tour of the newly refreshed Airbus 320. The plane has a capacity of 150, of which 12 seats are business class.
Pilots Gordon Perdue and Jeff Bryant brought the plane all the way from Guanzhou, China via Sapporo, Japan, Anchorage, Alaska and finally Kansas City. They did a double low run before cheering islanders before coming in for a landing and the ceremonial water cannon christening on the tarmac.
Aruba Airlines began operating two years ago with a small seven-seat plane between Aruba and Punto Fijo, Venezuela and Curacao. They expect their first commercial flight on the Airbus 320 to take place by mid-December, to Sao Paolo, Brazil. Future routes are to include Panama, New York, Miami, Newark and Boston, which they pro­mise will be very competitively priced.
For up to the minute news as new routes are established, visit their website http://secure.arubaairlines.com, which offers a enrollment for a frequent flyer reward program and subscription to a regularly issued newsletter.

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