The Info List - ALM Antillean Airlines

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ALM Antillean Airlines (Dutch: Antilliaanse Luchtvaart Maatschappij) was the main airline of the Netherlands Antilles between its foundation in 1964 and its shut-down in 2001,[citation needed] operating out of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.


1 History 2 Destinations 3 Fleet 4 Incidents and accidents 5 References 6 External links

History[edit] ALM Antillean Airlines stood for "Antilliaanse Luchtvaard Maatschappij" and was founded on the 1st of August 1964 by the conversion of the KLM West-Indisch Bedrijf (West Indies Division) into ALM. ALM operated as a part of KLM. KLM wanted to make Curaçao the hub of their American operations, and to provide an American link between the Far East and Europe. KLM did this with the flight of the Snip.

ALM Convair parked at Curaçao. Circa 1960

ALM started out with three Convair 340s and served 7 destinations. Next to the airline business ALM also provided catering and airline servicing for other companies making use of Curaçao and Aruba airport. Its main destinations were Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Kitts, Maracaibo, Barranquilla and Caracas. Due to the surge in tourism ALM quickly grew and the Convairs were replaced by two DC-9-15s Jets (ex KLM) and two brand new Fokker F-27-500 series. New destination were added and an ex Viasa DC-9 was added into the fleet. The period between 1968 and 1969 was crucial for ALM. As off the 1st January 1969 the Antillean government took 96 % shares over from the KLM and it become a state owned company. To further make use of the booming tourist industry a DC-8 (from KLM) was chartered. Now ALM was able to fly directly to New York and Miami. Later on Panama and Costa Rica was added to ALM destinations. The New York to St Maarten route (1970 to 1973) was flown with a chartered Boeing 727 from Braniff Airlines and later with an ONA Douglas DC-9.

ALM Douglas DC-9-15 parked at Kingston, Jamaica circa 1971

The Fokker F-27s where replaced by a third DC-9-15 also from KLM and it became a all-jet company. During this time (Aug 1972) a Douglas DC-6B was purchased for the cargo routes. Windward Islands' WINAIR was acquired, with its fleet of De Havilland Twin Otters DHC6-300s, by the Antillean government. It became apparent that on the short flights to Aruba and Bonaire the DC-9 was not cost effective. A temporary solution was found in the shape of two Twin Otter 100 series. For a while, ALM Twin Otter flights between Aruba-Bonaire-Curacao were labeled ABC Commuter. After a bumpy start the Twin Otter became a success with the passengers and two further machines (series 300) were added. In the years 1973 through 1978, ALM made a total profit of ANG14.3M. Their raison d'être was to maintain airways between the islands of the Netherlands Antilles, and to promote tourist trade by providing transport. During 1975 ALM replaced it DC-9s with brand new DC-9 series 32s. This increased seating capacity significantly. Two years later a Boeing 727 was added for additional routes to Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and New York, which were mostly charters. During this period ALM grew rapidly and its personal size doubled in 1977. A year later a bi-lateral agreement between the Antillean government and the US was reached whereby ALM was allowed to take over the routes from KLM to the USA. To cope with the demand two DC-8-53s were leased from Rosenbalm Aviation. Additionally the Twin Otters were replaced by Shorts SD-330 commuter aircraft.

ALM Twin Otter parked at Curaçao International Airport circa 1975

In 1978, KLM restarted more extensive cooperation with ALM. Two DC8's were brought into service and served the route Curaçao-New York JFK, where KLM handled the ground services. KLM was still hoping and trying to build a hub with ALM. KLM flights Curaçao-Amsterdam often had at least an ALM cabin crew onboard in those years. 1979 was a turning point for ALM. Due to the low point of the oil prices coupled with slow tourist figures and the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency, brought ALM into trouble. Additionally ALM had to deal with competing business from Eastern and American Airlines on the same routes. The DC-8 flights were halted and the newly arrived Short 330s were sold off. During 1980 the Boeing 727 and Beech Queen Air left the company and ALM concentrated on its fleet of four DC-9-32s. During 1982 ALM decided to replace some of its DC-9s with two McDonnell Douglas MD-80s, which were leased from Curacao Aircraft Leasing Company. A 3rd example was later purchased from Continental airlines. With business slowly getting better ALM was able to purchase additional airplanes and (funny enough) the purchased two elderly Fairchild FH-227Bs from Delta Air Transport for the short haul routes.

ALM Dash 8 lading at Sint Maarten circa 1990

Due to the separate status of the Island of Aruba (1988) ALM had to take in account with another competitor on the Aruba service. Air Aruba was using two NAMC YS-11s on direct competition to Hato International Airport. By early 1989 ALM was only serving 13 destinations within the Caribbean basin and to Miami and New York. Although a price war was started between Air Aruba and ALM, this didn't last for long. In a few years, the prices for tickets between the three ABC-islands went back to their original levels, or even higher. With having to share passengers between two competitors, profits on this route dwindled. Even worse was that the Miami-Curaçao route was also shared. The Miami-Curaçao route was considered one of ALM's most profitable routes.

An ALM McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 Taking off from Curaçao circa 2001

From 1970 through 1982, ALM's average loss was ANG 1.2 million per year or a total of 15.6M. As 1973-1978 showed a profit, in the remaining years the average loss was ANG 4.3 million, and probably heavier in the period after 1978. During the 1990s ALM managed to stay in business despite stiff US competition and political changes in the aviation industry. Early 1991 KLM re-invested into ALM with some minor shares. But due to lack of government and public interest ALM could not keep up and slowly went into a dire situation. By the year 2000, things were so bad that ALM was on the verge of bankruptcy. KLM had stopped participation of ALM on the Amsterdam-Curaçao flights. Worse for ALM, the KLM flights Europe-South America now were transferred to Bonaire Flamingo airport, leaving the just opened ALM catering building on Hato unused. ALM went into bankruptcy by early September 2001. ALM was replaced by DCA an all new company using the older DC-9-32s. ALM's headquarters were located in Willemstad, Curaçao.[1] Before its shutdown its headquarters were on the grounds of Hato International Airport.[2] Destinations[edit] ALM previously served the following destinations during its existence:

[Hub] Base and Hub

¤ Focus city

City Country IATA ICAO Airport Refs/Notes

Oranjestad Aruba AUA TNCA Queen Beatrix International Airport Hub till 1988

St. John's Antigua and Barbuda ANU TAPA V. C. Bird International Airport

Bridgetown Barbados BGI TBPB Grantley Adams International Airport

Barranquilla Colombia BAQ SKBQ Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport Focus city

Medellín EOH SKMD Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport

San José Costa Rica SJO MROC Juan Santamaría International Airport

Santo Domingo Dominican Republic SDQ MDSD Las Americas International Airport

Fort-de-France France FDF TFFF Fort-de-France International Airport

Pointe-à-Pitre PTP TFFR Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport

Georgetown Guyana GEO SYCJ Timehri International Airport

Port-au-Prince Haiti PAP MTPP Port-au-Prince International Airport

Kingston Jamaica KIN MKJP Norman Manley International Airport

Amsterdam Netherlands AMS EHAM Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Kralendijk Netherlands Antilles BON TNCB Flamingo International Airport Hub

Willemstad CUR TNCC Hato International Airport Hub

Philipsburg SXM TNCM Princess Juliana International Airport Focus city

Panama City Panama PTY MPTO Tocumen International Airport

Castries St. Lucia UVF TLPL Hewanorra International Airport

Paramaribo Suriname PBM SMJP Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport

Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago POS TTPP Piarco International Airport


United States ATL KATL Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Miami MIA KMIA Miami International Airport Focus city

New York City JFK KJFK John F. Kennedy International Airport

San Juan SJU TJSJ Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport

Barcelona Venezuela BLA SVBC General José Antonio Anzoátegui International Airport

Barquisimeto BRM SVBM Jacinto Lara International Airport

Caracas CCS SVMI Simón Bolívar International Airport Focus city

Maracaibo MAR SVMC La Chinita International Airport Focus city

Valencia VLN SVVA Arturo Michelena International Airport

Fleet[edit] Over the years, ALM operated the following aircraft types:[3]

ALM fleet

Aircraft Registration Name Introduced Retired

Beechcraft Queen Air 65-A80 PJ-ALM

1965 1980

Boeing 727-173C PJ-BOA St. Maarten 1977 1979

Convair 340-48 PJ-CVA Aruba 1964 1970

PJ-CVB Bonaire 1964 1968

PJ-CVC Curaçao/Corsow 1964 1970

Douglas DC-8-33 N903CL St. Eustatius 1978 1978

PH-DCO Saba 1978 1979

Douglas DC-9-15 PJ-DNA Aruba 1969 1975

PJ-DNB Bonaire 1969 1975

PJ-DNC Curaçao 1970 1975

Fokker F27 Mark 500 Friendship PJ-FRE St. Eustatius 1968 1970

PJ-FRM St. Maarten 1968 1970

de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter PJ-WIB

1977 1978

de Havilland Canada DHC-8-300 Dash 8 PJ-DHC PJ-DHD PJ-DHA PJ-DHB PJ-DHE PJ-DHI

1990 1990 1992 1992 1995 1995

1992 1992 2001 2001 2001 2001

McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 PJ-SNA Aruba 1975 1987

PJ-SNB Bonaire 1975 1988

PJ-SNC Curaçao 1975 1982


1977 1980

PJ-SNE St. Maarten 1980 1983

McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 PJ-SEF PJ-SEG PJ-SEH

1982 1982 1991

2001 2001 2001

Short 330 (SD3-30) PJ-DDA Klein Curaçao 1978 1980

PJ-DDB Klein Bonaire 1978 1980

Incidents and accidents[edit]

ALM Flight 980, operated via a wet lease by Overseas National Airways (ONA), was a scheduled flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Princess Juliana International Airport on St. Maarten. On May 2, 1970, the DC-9-30 (U.S. registration N935F named the “Carib Queen”) operating the flight ran out of fuel after several unsuccessful landing attempts due to weather conditions, resulting in a water landing in the Caribbean Sea 48 km (30 mi) off St. Croix and the death of 23 of the 63 people on board.[4]


^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 26 March 1970. 472. "Head Office: M. F. da Costa Gomezplein 5, Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles." ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 21–27 March 2000. 56. "Hato International Airport, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles." ^ ALM fleet at planespotters.net ^ ALM Flight 980 at the Aviation Safety Network

5. http://landewers.net/PJ.txt (fleet info) External links[edit]

Caribbean portal Netherlands portal Aviation portal Companies portal

Air ALM (Archive) [1] (A