DEN HAAG – Upon arrival in the Netherlands on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the Government of Sint Maarten delegation headed by Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and Minister of Finance Michael Ferrier, met with executives of KLM at The airline’s head office in Amstelveen.
The KLM invitation to the Sint Maarten delegation was to get a first-hand report on the post-Hurricane Irma recovery progress of the island and to discuss flight network development, as they relate to Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. The KLM delegation was headed by their Senior Vice President, Mr. Harm Kreulen and included Mr. Willem de Jonge, Vice President Government and Industry Affairs, Mr. Edgar van Asperen, Network Planner, Mr. Frank Houben, Delegate to the Board and Mr. Daan Pijzel, Director Commercial Division BENELUX. Discussions centered around the general condition of the island, the progress being made getting the SXM Airport repaired, the status of stay-over guest rooms, the approximate reopening of the various large properties on the island, the speed in which some segments of the tourist market seem to be coming back and the availability of reliable data.
The KLM delegation expressed the airline’s commitment to the island with the announcement that a third 3rd Amsterdam-Sint Maarten-Curaçao-Amsterdam will be added in October of 2018, a fact that will be loaded in the KLM systems this week. “The Government of Sint Maarten is focused on the recovery of Sint Maarten and to take it to the next level” Prime Minister Romeo Marlin told her audience, adding:” I am quite excited about the KLM fight increase, as we are convinced that it will have a huge impact on our focus to bring back business to our island”. KLM also announced their willingness to offer marketing support to ensure the success of any additional flights.
At the end of the fruitful meeting gifts were exchanged and Mr. Kreulens thanked the Ministers and the accompanying (The Hague based) Sint Maarten House support staff for their visit to KLM Headquarters, stressing that good, open communications between parties on both sides of the Atlantic will only serve to strengthen the relationship between the airline and the island.