In September, the third month of operations after the lockdown, 16,818 Revenue Generating Passengers (RGPs) travelled out of the Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA Airport) to the various markets. This was 23% less than August 2020. In September 14,713 passengers (pax) travelled to the US, 1,663 pax to Europe and 74 pax to the Netherlands Antilles.
The latter market only allows for essential travel with borders currently being closed with Curacao and Bonaire. 368 pax departed also on repatriation flights to Caribbean and Latin American destinations. The figures for September 2020 are 27% less than what was forecasted for this month and compared to 2019 AUA Airport has recovered 19% during September versus the same month 2019.
An average outbound load factor (LF) (number of seats of the total seats on board an aircraft that are occupied when departing from AUA Airport) for the US Market of 59% was reported during the period of September 1 through 30, 2020, while the LF for the European market was 41%.
During September, AUA Airport averaged 7 flights per day, down from about 32 daily flights from the same month last year. For October 2020 AUA Airport has forecasted handling approximately 26,500 departing passengers. This estimate however could yet be affected as a result of travel restrictions that continue to apply in for example European countries, the Netherlands Antilles and Canada. The fact that borders have not yet been opened with Latin and Central America will also have its effect. Nonetheless, a recuperation of approximately 30% is expected to be reached as a result for October 2020 versus October 2019.
“The ever evolving and changing restrictions on travel ranging from border restrictions to required quarantine restrictions upon a visitor’s return to their home country could affect the figures for the last quarter of 2020. There are a lot of other factors that have yet to be decided on which will have a further effect on airlift, such as for example the CARES Act in the US, further quarantine restrictions in US states, and the fact that worldwide second waves or even third waves of the virus spread are expected. Nonetheless, we remain cautiously optimistic for the last three months of operation of 2020 when we enter our busiest time of the year, our winter season,” said Aruba Airport Authority N.V. CEO Mr. Joost Meijs. Based on the latest insights it is yet expected that AUA Airport will end up with a 37% – 40% traffic recovery for total departures compared to the year 2019.