Island Aviation

Island Aviation (1050)

AIRPORT, St. Maarten - At the routes Americas conference in Las Vegas, the St. Maarten delegation comprising the Ministry of Tourism and Airport were briefed by jetBlue representative Mr. Nicholas Han, Senior Analyst Route Planning of the performance of the current jetBlue services to St. Maarten, as well as future prospects with the destination, namely Fort Lauderdale

jetBlue eyes the possibility of opening the route in 2018, though a solid commitment to opening the route will require more discussion. A follow up meeting was suggested to be held in New York. Mr. Han also briefed the delegation of the performance of the San Juan Routes.

Despite jetBlue no longer servicing the San Juan route itself, jetBlue is pleased with their arrangement with Seaborne Airlines. In an earlier meeting with Mr. Hector Montanez, Vice President of Seaborne Airlines, it was announced that Seaborne would be greatly increasing their service on the San Juan – SXM routes by doing daily flights for the remainder of 2017.

“This could result in not only a drop in fares, but also an increase in service and reliability,” explained Mr. Montanez. Seaborne has also seen a significant increase in corporate clients both in San Juan and St. Maarten.

AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten  –  Saturday February 11 Winair participated at the Puerto Rico 2017 Travel Trade Show organized by SOME (Sociedad de Mayoristas de Excursiones de Puerto Rico) to promote travel from Puerto Rico to the Caribbean and the rest of the world.
Winair was present to promote St. Maarten and the destinations served by Winair. Amongst the booth holders at this Travel Trade Show Winair’s partner Air Antilles and the French St. Martin Tourist Office were also present.
From various stakeholders that Winair approached to join our delegation to sell their product to the Puerto Rican market, the Towers Mullet Bay and Commodore Suites represented by Clarence Derby and May-ling Chun and their respective teams participated.

MIAMI In a recent interview the aviation expert Nelson Ramiz stated that the commercial air service between the ABC- islands and Sint Maarten is really needed for the tourism and the regular commerce business for the Dutch Caribbean. “These islands are in need of a well-funded and visionary airline with a business plan that will develop the proper service between these islands and connect them with direct flights to the northeast of the U.S. and other destinations where direct flights do not exist. Destinations where the most important market for tourism exists,” said Ramiz.

“The current situation where you have an InselAir which is on its death bed and Aruba Airlines that is ill-financed and with the wrong type of aircraft and business model to serve the islands purposes opens the door for a new Dutch Caribbean Express.”

Ramiz declared that if the new government which should be installed in the next weeks should cooperate with him, as it did when he took over DAE and reactivate the airline's certificate, he will bring back his team, the financial resources, the aircraft need for this purpose. He will also hire all those excellent professionals of the aviation industry in Curaçao that today do not have jobs, had to leave the island or are afraid of their uncertain future working for an airline that is in its final days.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - A delegation from St. Maarten is currently attending the 10th Routes Americas conference is Las Vegas and will kick off a series of meeting with airlines, new and potential, for destination St. Maarten.

Routes brings together a range of airlines, airports and tourism authorities, including some of the largest carriers from North, Central and Latin America. This event offers the opportunity to meet with some of the most influential aviation professionals from across the Americas region.

The Routes Americas Strategy Summit along with a welcome reception will be held on Tuesday, followed by key face-to-face meetings and networking on Wednesday. Discussions held at Routes can pave the way for future negotiations to secure additional airlift to the island.

Attending on behalf of St. Maarten is a group from the Princess Juliana International Airport lead by Manager of operations Michel Chance and Manager of Marketing & Customer Service Department Suzy Kartokromo, representatives from the Cabinet of the Minister of Tourism Senior Policy Advisor Julian Lake and Chief of the Cabinet Mellissa Doncher, Tourism/Marketing consultant Rolando Brison and representative of the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau Marla Chemont.

ROSEAU, Dominica – Tourism officials here say the capacity of seats into the island will not be negatively impacted from LIAT’s cancellation of its three times weekly service between Guadelouple and Dominica.

On Wednesday, LIAT announced the cancellation of the flights effective March 1, 2017 citing the need to “stabilise the airline’s flight schedule and network”.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua  – The struggling regional airline LIAT has announced the first two routes that it will cut “as part of its efforts to achieve greater profitability and improve efficiency”.

In a release issued today, the airline said it would stop servicing the United States Virgin Islands beginning March 1, when it ends flights to St Croix. Service to St Thomas will end on June 14, it said.

In addition, LIAT said it would suspend its flight between Guadeloupe and Dominica, and would introduce instead a return service between Antigua and the French-speaking island.

“The decisions made have been driven predominately by the need to enhance the operational stability of the airline and the quality of product for our customers,” Chief Commercial Officer Lloyd Carswell was quoted as saying.

Following a meeting here of the shareholder governments last October, St Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves had announced that the airline would stop serving countries that hurt its bottom line.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - Immediate steps were taken by InselAir’s CEO Mr. Filiatreault and his Management Team to increase the reliability of InselAir’s network. This specifically means that InselAir will take out its flights to Barranquilla and to San Juan. Additionally, instead of twice per week, InselAir will be operating the Auba – Santo Domingo – St. Maarten route once per week. These changes will be implemented this week and passengers who are affected by these changes will be contacted.
Daily service to/from ABC-islands & St. Maarten
The adjusted flight schedule will mainly improve the performance of InselAir’s core routes; to/from the ABC-islands and to/from St. Maarten. Other than Barranquilla and San Juan, InselAir will continue to operate flights to/from its other destinations making use of wet- leased aircraft from other carriers. For a real time flight schedule passengers can consult the airline’s website:

AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten Winair is optimistic in our companies’ growth in customers and revenues. This has motivated us to challenge ourselves to reach further as we look towards the future. Winair believes that a key element for further success is to invest in our employees and their talents. In a strategic step to build and enhance the professionalism and service Winair approached TDC Training & Development Centre to create a training and development plan for all 130 Winair employees.

The training has begun with management and supervisory team, and will continue on every level and in every department within Winair. The main focus will be on team work, communications and customer service for continuous improvement.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), José R. Izquierdo II, announced Southwest Airlines will extend its itinerary of flights to Puerto Rico beginning June 4, 2017. The Boeing 737 aircraft will begin a direct route to San Juan from Chicago Midway International Airport and increase the frequency of flights from Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Tampa and Orlando.

The Chicago-San Juan route is the second flight route added to Southwest Airlines itinerary, following the Newark-San Juan route which began on Dec. 17, 2016. In addition to the increase in direct routes between major continental United States airports and Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, these flights will increase options for travelers looking to enjoy the best of the Caribbean, as Southwest offers service in more than 100 destinations in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Interim Minister of Aviation Affairs Rafael Boasman and members of his cabinet has been busy of late meeting on several issues regarding aviation, setting in motion action points to achieve the goals of the Ministry.

The most recent meeting was with Matthew Cummins of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States. Cummins is the TSA representative for the Dutch and French Caribbean, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana and Suriname.

Cummins was on St. Maarten to conduct several inspections and praised St. Maarten, more specifically the airport, for its usage of new technology including the extensive used of body scanning security machines which he said is unmatched in the Caribbean.

He used the opportunity to brief the Minister on the role of the TSA and how that relates to St. Maarten obtaining US pre-clearance status. Establishing pre-clearance facilities for a new territory is not something that happens quickly and requires strict adherence to regulations and policies before going into effect.

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