Are We There Yet? Yes! The Eight-Minute International Flight
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
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Aruba Airlines has launched what could may be the world’s shortest international commercial flight by jet plane – under eight minutes.
The airline, in partnership with the Venezuelan government, inaugurated its Aruba (AUA)-Punto Fijo (LSP) route on its Bombardier CRJ-200LR yesterday. The two airports are separated by just 80 km.
Currently, the world’s shortest commercial flight is Loganair’s Westray to Papa Westray, in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, scheduled to last less than two minutes.
However, Aruba Airlines’ flight to Punto Fijo lasts less than eight minutes, becoming one of the world’s shortest active international flights by jet.
The airline will operate the flight twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, offering connections to Curacao, Bonaire, and Miami.
Even though prices for the short hop are marketed at a fare of US$235, the inaugural flight carried 50 passengers.
In January, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of all air, maritime, and commercial traffic to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. He accused the islands of running illegal operations by extracting gold, copper, food and medicines from Venezuela and selling them overseas.
“They take away gold from this country illegally, and make it legal to sell there,” Maduro said.
“I didn’t want to take a measure like this one, but I am ready to take even more radical measures,” he added.
The blockade lasted almost three months.
LSP is poorly served by Venezuelan carriers to domestic destinations. The airport is often deserted with very little connectivity.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.