The Princess Juliana International Airport in St Maarten that was damaged during the passage of Hurricane Irma, is scheduled to reopen to all commercial flights as of October 10. This was announced on Wednesday by the country’s tourism minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher.
“We will be back in business,” said the Tourism minister who also noted that damage done to the airport was severe and no quick fix could have been applied.
Months away from full restoration
“Even as we open our airport, we are still months away from restoring PJIA to its former glory.”
The Tourism Minister explained that while the airport is opening, there will be some changes in terms of passenger movement and security within the terminal building to allow for repairs to the building to continue.
“There might be some inconvenience here and there, but we only ask a little patience as we work to get back to 100 percent,” the minister said.
She added that all airlines will issue information regarding their resumption of service via their respective outlets and agents.
In discussion with airlines
“We are in discussion with all of the airlines about resumption of service to St Maarten. St Maarten as a destination has been hit hard and the road to recovery is long, but we still do have some hotel inventory that can be serviced and we still want potential investors here. Basically, the message we want to send to the world is we are resilient, we are open for business and we look forward to welcoming you back,” she said.
Winair resumes service
Meanwhile, regional carrier Winair, which is based in St. Maarten, will also restart commercial operations on October 10.
Winair will operate limited scheduled service to the destinations Saba, St Eustatius, St Barts, Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts Nevis.
Three Curacao – St Maarten– Curacao flights will operate only as currently scheduled this Thursday, October 5; Saturday, October 7; and Tuesday, October 10.
Dutch carrier KLM will restart its twice weekly services from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the Caribbean hub, with a stopover in Curacao, on October 29.