Curaçao Island


from KLM to DCA—and on?

West-Indisch Bedrijf

Antillean Airlines

Dutch Caribbean Airlines

At a Glance

After KLM Royal Dutch Airlines had opened the Oost-Indië Route to Indonesia, they naturally cast an eye on the Dutch colonies in the West, with their Fokker aircraft the best in the world. A strong impetus was the enormous hidden subsidy the Nederlandsche Posterijen paid in the form of premium freight rates for mail, a tradition continued from the days of steam.

With the 1934 trip of the Snip, KLM's main purpose was to get an airplane in "the West"
to start operations as KLM's
West-Indisch Bedrijf

During World War II, the West Indies Division was KLM's most profitable operation worldwide. After the war, a regular service Amsterdam-Curaçao was started and Curaçao was built up as a well earning hub. In 1964, the West-Indisch Bedrijf was incorporated in ALM, owned by KLM and the Antillean government.


The Antillean government took over most of the shares in 1969, the year of the infamous Willemstad riots, and started operating the airline in conjunction with KLM, providing ground services. The Amsterdam-Curaçao route was run jointly with KLM, which ended in 2000. In a legal trick to avoid bankruptcy ALM was then taken over by Dutch Caribbean Airlines, owned by DC Beheer [holding].

Dutch Caribbean Airlines' first priority was supposed to be its privatization. Instead, DCA started competing with KLM and other companies on the Curaçao-Amsterdam route. After a fairly successful start, this came to a confusedly ruinous end. To bail the operation out once again, yet another company was started, Curaçao Airlines.

Curaçao Airlines
Will this newest twig on a barren tree bear fruit?
Going... going... going... going... going... gone...

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