Flying an Underused CRJ Livery: AUA-PUJ

I’ve noticed a number of #screenshots-and-videos topics recently about underused liveries (like @Jetstream785 ’s topic about the Iran Air 747-200), so thought I’d put in my two cents about underutilized liveries with Aruba Air’s CRJ-200.

Flight Information:
Server: Solo
Airline and Livery: Aruba Airlines CRJ-200
Route: Aruba (AUA) to Punta Cana (PUJ)
Flight Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

When I was searching for a way to get from the Carribean island of Aruba to the much larger city of Punta Cana on the nation of the Dominican Republic, I was caught in a flurry of connections through places like Atlanta, Miami, or even New York.

Then, while searching Google Flights, the last result was a nonstop Aruba Airlines flight, operated by a CRJ-200. I hadn’t heard of this airline, so I looked it up. The TripAdvisor reviews were off putting, to say the least. “Avoid this airline like the plague,” one user writes. Another delves into detail about terrible customer service after a canceled flight to Curaçao, resulting in a 2 year wait for a refund.

But, I figured I’d give it a try, and that’s how I found myself walking through the doors of Queen Beatrix International Airport on a fine Thursday morning.

This flight left before the midafternoon rush of American and Canadian tourist flights, so the check in and security hall was virtually empty. I grabbed a coffee from my favorite bistro, and soon enough, a CRJ-200 wearing the Aruba Airlines livery touched down after a short hop from Cali.

We boarded via a jet bridge, and I was lucky enough to be able to get a shot of the empty cabin, as I had been the first to check in. Because Aruba Airlines doesn’t have pre booking for seats, it was a free for all. I took a window seat near the rear of the aircraft.

The cabin was quite old, and seemed not to have been given any thought since it was delivered new to Aruba Airlines in the 90’s. It would be comfortable enough for this relatively short flight. I did quite enjoy the bright red winglets though. We roared into the sunny skies above Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital, powered by two GE CF34 engines.

My business partner, who was seated on the other side of the plane, caught this shot as we banked north out of Aruba.

Shortly after takeoff, the cabin crew came around with a snack service. Nothing special, just some drinks and packaged food. I opted for an orange juice and banana chips.

When we landed, I opened Instagram and looked up Aruba Airlines. To my surprise, as part of an airline promotional video, there had been a camera mounted on the belly of the aircraft. I took this screenshot from the video as we began our approach over the western coast of Puerto Rico.

We came in on short final over Corales Beach, adjacent to the world renowned Corales Resort and Golf Course. It was pretty bumpy and windy, but nobody seemed to mind.

After a bit of a floating above the touchdown zone (the CRJ-200 is a difficult beast to land), we planted on PUJ’s runway 27. With some heavy reverse thrust, we made the first runway exit, drastically shortening the taxi time to our remote stand.

Goodbye, airplane! This lovely livery captures the airline’s laid back, Caribbean vibe. We proceeded to clear customs, and I went strait to the conference center for the meeting I had came here to attend.

Ease of Booking: 5/10
Crew: 7/10
Seat: 6/10
Food: 5/10
Landing: 4/10

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Haha loved this. Ive never seen an IF trip report

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Nice one! Fun to read.

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