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WestJet Adds Flights to Shore Diving Haven, Bonaire

WestJet is opening up the postcard-perfect island of Bonaire to Canadian travelers. Announcing the addition of this breathtaking Caribbean gem to their roster, the airline plans to commence direct, seasonal flights from Toronto starting December 12, 2023. This once-a-week service will bridge the gap between Canada’s bustling metropolis and the tranquil Dutch Caribbean island. 

Bonaire, Kralendijk, Caribbean, Source: Falco Pixabay

WestJet expands its international destinations with Bonaire

In a big win for WestJet and the City of Toronto, WestJet has staked its claim as the only Canadian airline offering scheduled non-stop flights to the sun-kissed island of Bonaire. This move signifies a firm nod to WestJet‘s dedication to enhancing its footprint in Eastern Canada, connecting travelers to coveted sun and leisure hotspots. 

In addition to having a rich culture and pristine white beaches, the island of Bonaire is known as one of the world’s premier shore diving destinations (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“We’re thrilled to offer Canadians the chance to swap their snow boots for flippers and explore the stunning beauty of Bonaire,” says WestJet’s Vice-President, Network Planning, Alliances and Commercial Development, Chris Avery. “As we eye the frosty season ahead and our ambitious growth trajectory, our commitment is stronger than ever. We’re set on expanding our network, curating unforgettable journeys and linking our guests to extraordinary places like Bonaire.”

Explore the underwater paradise of Bonaire with WestJet flights.

Route

Frequency

Day of Week

Departure

Arrival

Start Date

Toronto-Bonaire

1x weekly

Tuesday

10:00

16:15

December 12, 2023

Bonaire-Toronto

1x weekly

Wednesday

9:00

13:42

December 13, 2023

WestJets’ new flight schedules to/from Bonaire beginning in December 2023

Bonaire: A sunny escape when ‘winter is coming’ to Canada.

As part of the Dutch Caribbean, Bonaire is in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea and is accessible through The Flamingo International Airport. Known for its globally acclaimed shore diving and windsurfing, Bonaire is the ideal destination for warm weather, adventure-seeking Canadians.

“We are very happy to welcome our friends in the North to our beautiful island this winter via this first-of-its-kind route,” said Miles Mercera, CEO at Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “Canada continues to be a vital connection for Bonaire, with Canada ranking among our top 10 performing markets. This historic new connectivity helps answer the demand of tourism interest in the island, which we expect to only increase during the colder months.”

Bonaire’s tourism industry accounts for approximately 80% of the island’s economy.

What makes Bonaire a world-renowned shore diving destination?

Scuba diving, Underwater, Shipwreck, Bonaire. Image: Jan Boley Pixabay

Bonaire is a small island located in the southern Caribbean Sea, just north of Venezuela. It is part of the Netherlands Antilles and has a population of around 20,000 people. The island is known for its stunning natural beauty, pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life.

One of the main reasons why Bonaire is a world-renowned shore diving destination is because of its unique marine environment. The island is surrounded by a protected marine park covering over 6,000 acres of coral reef and seagrass beds. This means that the marine life in Bonaire is incredibly diverse and abundant, with over 470 species of fish and 120 species of coral.

Another reason why Bonaire is so popular among divers is because of its accessibility. The island has over 80 dive sites, many of which are easily accessible from the shore. This means that divers don’t need to take a boat to reach the best dive spots, which can save time and money. Additionally, the calm and clear waters around Bonaire make it an ideal destination for both novice and experienced divers.

It is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves diving or wants to experience the beauty of the Caribbean Sea.

What is the current state of air travel to Bonaire?

Flights from Bonaire, Source: Flamingo International Airport

Bonaire has one airport with two names: Flamingo International Airport (BON), also known as Bonaire International Airport.

The US airlines that fly directly to Bonaire are American Airlines (from Miami), Delta (from Atlanta), and United Airlines (from Houston and Newark).

European airlines flying to Bonaire include KLM and TUI, both from Amsterdam. 

Interisland flights connecting Bonaire to the other Dutch ABC Islands of Curaçao and Aruba are flown out of Flamingo International by EZAir, Divi Divi Air, and JetAir.   

SKYhigh Dominicana offers flights connecting Bonaire to St. Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

WestJet will offer direct flights from Toronto to Bonaire starting in the winter of 2023, making it more accessible and popular among Canadian travelers seeking a unique holiday experience.

WestJet’s decision to add Bonaire to its list of destinations is a testament to the island’s growing popularity among travelers. With its pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, Bonaire is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Caribbean.

What can you expect inside Flamingo International Airport? 

Flamingo International Airport, Source: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, CC BY-SA 3.0 

Flamingo International Airport is the main airport on the island of Bonaire in the southern Caribbean. It has one terminal and three gates but is modern and well-equipped to handle international flights. 

The airport’s +3,000 meter-long runway can handle wide-body aircraft up to the Boeing 747, though the largest aircraft type flying to Bonaire is the Airbus A330, operated by KLM.

Travelers should know that Flamingo International Airport is a popular destination for scuba divers. As a result, the airport can be pretty busy during peak diving season, which runs from December to April.

Despite its small size, Flamingo International Airport offers a range of amenities for travelers, including duty-free shopping, a restaurant, and car rental services. A VIP lounge is also available for passengers who want to relax in comfort before their flight.

Travelers should also note that Flamingo International Airport has a strict conservation policy in place to protect the island’s natural resources. As such, visitors are not allowed to bring certain items, such as coral or seashells, into or out of the country. It’s essential to be aware of these restrictions to avoid any issues at customs.

About WestJet

In 27 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 percent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees, and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees, and more than 110 destinations in 24 countries.

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