Island Aviation

Island Aviation (1056)

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.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - As of last year October, KLM started with direct weekly flights to St. Maarten from Amsterdam without the stop in Curacao on the return flight, which saves passengers about four hours and twenty minutes in travelling time. This new service is operated with an Airbus 331-200 with room for 243 passengers.

To ensure that these flights are filled, a cooperative marketing campaign was launched with KLM and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau to promote St. Maarten in several key media channels of KLM. This consists of a full spread in iFly KLM Magazine, an online publication of KLM, and it also includes a Little Secrets video of St. Maarten.

iFly Magazine is produced by Born05, an award-winning creative agency that delivers inspirational travel stories from around the world. Members of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau hosted and guided the members of Born05 that were on St. Maarten in December 2016 to shoot the Little Secrets video which features popular areas, activities and people of the island. The Little Secrets video of St. Maarten can be viewed on, which highlights activities such as horseback riding at Lucky Stables and piloting a rhino rides watercraft by Rhino Safari.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua  – A male passenger died onboard a LIAT aircraft in St Maarten Wednesday evening.

An airline statement said the passenger, who had transited from an international carrier onto LIAT, boarded the aircraft accompanied by a medical professional.

Prior to take-off, the passenger was reported to be in distress and the aircraft returned to the gate. Paramedics were immediately called to assist.

ORANJESTAD, Aruba - The Department of Civil Aviation of Aruba (DCA) is conducting routine inspections on 4 of the in total 8 aircraft that InselAir Aruba currently has in operation. To have 4 aircraft inspected simultaneously is not unusual. Inspections on 2 of the aircraft are being completed and the aircraft are scheduled to operate flights tomorrow morning.

PARAMARIBO, Suriname  –  Six months after it launched scheduled flights between Suriname and Guyana and Guyana and Barbados, the Surinamese registered air carrier, Fly Allways Monday announced a suspension of its services and a return to chartered flights.

The airline said the move, which goes into effect on January 15, is part of an effort to reorganize its operations and destinations base.

In August, last year, the airline introduced its schedule service between Suriname and Guyana and Guyana and Barbados.

But in a statement Monday, chief executive officer, Captain Amichand Jhauw said that since it began operations in February last year, the airline has seen significant potential.

FORT LAUDERDALE  –  Five people are dead and a shooting suspect is in custody Friday after a lone gunman opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida without saying a word, witnesses and authorities say.

At 2:30 p.m. local time, the TSA said there was another active shooter at the airport and that all terminals were closed.

The suspect in the first shooting was identified as Esteban Santiago, Fla. Sen. Bill Nelson told reporters. He said Santiago was carrying a military ID, but did not elaborate.

Eight people were rushed to hospitals, the Broward County Sheriff said. The city’s mayor said there was only one shooter involved in the first incident.

CHARLOTTE  –  A flight crew union has called for regulation of cabin air quality following a third instance of emitting fumes or odor on an American Airlines plane in the past three months.

In the latest incident, several flight attendants complained of headaches on an Orlando-bound flight this week.

Eight crew members on flight 1868 from Charlotte were examined and given a clean bill of health by paramedics at the airport but all but one ‘insisted’ they be taken to hospital, ABC News reported.

The airline said it is undertaking a ‘thorough maintenance inspection,’ of the A330 jet.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua  – The union that represents LIAT pilots wants the airline to punish the passenger who made a “mischievous allegation” against a pilot earlier this month.

In a release issued today, the Antigua-based Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) stopped just short of demanding that the regional carrier bans or takes legal action against the passenger, who on December 13 accused the pilot of smelling of alcohol.

Neither the airman nor the passenger has been named, but the accusation led to the cancellation of the flight to St Vincent as some passengers and staff were required to submit formal reports to the relevant authorities.

“LIALPA is aware of the standing procedures the company has in dealing with disruptive passengers.  In the past, these measures have included legal action taken against the passenger (s) and/or the passenger (s) being blacklisted on all LIAT operated flights. We are confident that LIAT will deal with this situation no differently,” the statement said.

AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten - Caribbean Journal's annual “Caribbean Travel Awards” celebrate the best in travel and tourism across the Caribbean in 2016 and Princess Juliana International Airport was honored with the coveted title ‘Caribbean Airport of the Year’. The recognition was announced by the leading regional travel site via its website late last week where it stated: “Too many Caribbean airports offer less-than-satisfactory experiences, with inefficient immigration lines and poor shopping offerings. That’s why it’s always so refreshing to fly to St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport, one of the region’s most modern and well-managed airports. It’s also a crucial hub for regional travel, with a large network of connecting flights all across the Caribbean.”

In many ways, travel defines the Caribbean. It inspires, it creates, it entertains, it employs. It moves people and it moves souls. With travel and tourism being the Caribbean's largest economic driver, on St.Maarten SXM Airport is a vital and crucial operation that has a significant socio-economic impact.

“Earning this recognition is a positive reinforcement of outstanding performance and continuous growth that makes Princess Juliana International Airport a leader of its own class in the region,” according to Larry Donker, Deputy Managing Director of SXM Airport. “Much of the airport’s success lies in the spirit and motivation of its highly qualified and motivated staff.

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