SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – On Saturday, March 28th, there are two (2) charter flights that are scheduled to land at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) to repatriate passengers to their home countries. Both requests for landing were submitted to the Prime Minister and Chair of the EOC Silveria Jacobs, whereby an official approval was established.
The Government of Aruba requested a charter flight to repatriate Aruban nationals currently which are currently in St. Maarten.
Furthermore, the Adtalem Global Education, the parent company of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC), which operates three schools in the Caribbean, has requested the other charter flight.
On March 13, 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak continued to spread globally, AUC, along with the other two institutions, relocated to remote delivery of their academic programs and gave students the option to return to their home countries. One of the reasons given to the Government of St. Maarten for this decision, was to minimize additional strain on the healthcare systems of the islands if they were to encounter the worse.
With drastic travel restrictions being implemented worldwide, Adtalem arranged a charter flight for its U.S./Canadian students and expatriate employees who wanted to return to these countries. The flight crew arrived in Barbados on Saturday, March 28, 2020, and will only be picking up passengers from the islands of Barbados, St. Kitts and St. Maarten, and then flying to the U.S. No passenger or flight crew will be granted access to disembark the aircraft, at any of these locations.
Moreover, as the two flights are scheduled to land at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) with passengers, no passengers or flight crew will be granted access to disembark both aircraft. “All passengers are encouraged to practice proper hygiene and remain two (2) meters away from persons while traveling back to your home countries,” Prime Minister and Chair of the EOC Silveria Jacobs stated.