Published On: Tue, Nov 29th, 2016

What is Insel Air hiding?

Dear Editor,

My question is what are Insel Air and its shareholders hiding? Why are Korpodeko, the government, and the Ministry of Transport accomplices in this mystery? First of all remember that the government, representing the Curaçao people, owns 21 percent of Insel Air’s shares and Korpodeko controls that on behalf of the government. As a major shareholder, they should have several directors on the airline’s board of directors.

But even though the Curaçao people are one of the, or perhaps the most proportionate shareholder in Insel Air, they have always been marginalized by the directors and the other private shareholders who manage and control the airline at their whim.

Korpodeko has always been an accomplice. We do not know if by instructions of the politicians and ministers who have paid the favors and are committed to the private shareholders of Insel Air for their great contributions in campaign times to the political parties they represent.

The reality is that Insel Air never paid the loans for millions of dollars that Korpodeko granted it and for which the airline guaranteed and passed, on behalf of Korpodeko, representing the government and the people of Curacao, 21 percent of its shares. At the discretion of others in Curaçao.

Korpodeko does not fulfill its responsibility as a fiduciary agent on behalf of the people of Curaçao by acting passively and not demanding clear accounts. They also do not demand representation and supervision, according to its investment, in Insel Air’s board of directors. The airline disappoints the government in managing the funds and the company to its desire and keeping the state, one of the main shareholders, out of any decision.

Second, Insel Air hides behind the fact that it is a private company, therefore, it does not have to give financial information to anybody.

Well, we know that’s not completely true. On the one hand, for what I have explained in the paragraphs above and on the other hand that as an airline that operates a concession of the state for which it must be regulated by the state. It is the obligation to present to the Ministry of Transportation and the DGAC its audited detailed financial statements including losses and profits, accounts receivable, accounts payable and cash flow that demonstrate its financial health.

This obligation is mandatory and both Insel Air and the government are failing their responsibility, by, one, not to provide it and hiding behind the fact that it is a private company and the Ministry for not demanding it.

Moreover, the government is obliged to remove the concession from the air carrier if it does not provide the complete financial information or if this information shows that the air carrier is in a delicate financial situation or financial crisis since the state’s main duty is to ensure the service to the user and air safety of the operations of the operator.

An airline in a dire financial situation, such as InselAir is a risk to the safety of passengers as the aircraft are not properly maintained and could cause an accident.

It is my opinion that Insel Air is obliged to give all its financial information. Make it public through the Ministry of Transportation and the DGAC so that the user of its services can appreciate the financial conditions of its operator and can make their decision when they have to use its services and buy a ticket in the future. The regulator of the concession, the state, can determine if Insel Air should and can continue to operate that concession.

By not demanding this requirement, the state becomes an accomplice of any possible user fraud or of any accident that the financial crisis could cause.

The user of the air transport trusts that the Air Transport Regulator is regulating that public service both financially and operationally. The state is obligated to regulate that public service. By not doing it, it is defrauding the public protecting the operator under the weak argument that it has to protect the jobs. This is my personal opinion.

Insel Air does not want to display its accounts because it simply has a lot to hide. Venezuela does not owe Insel Air. The Bolivares, product of their sales in Venezuela, were already used to buy dollars on the black market. The financial statements are impossible to audit and to show it to the authorities as it is their obligation as operator of an air concession, property of the state, would show that their crisis is such that they are bankrupt.

Nelson Ramiz