Grounded KLM plane departed on Sunday | THE DAILY HERALD

The grounded plane with its engine cowling open, apparently in preparation for the arrival of the replacement part.

AIRPORT–Two Royal Dutch Airlines KLM aircraft sat on the tarmac at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) on Sunday afternoon, a rare sight for plane spotters on the famous Maho Beach. One aircraft was there since Friday, as mechanical issues grounded the flight to Amsterdam via Curaçao.

In an invited comment, KLM spokesperson Lisette Ebeling-Koning said a replacement part was onboard the regularly scheduled Sunday service to St. Maarten. Repairs to the aircraft started immediately and the grounded plane departed Sunday night, flying first to Curaçao then onwards to Amsterdam.

The aircraft’s breakdown left hundreds of passengers stranded in St. Maarten and Curaçao for two days. Some of the passengers were rebooked, but most of them were offered hotel accommodations by the airline.

Rebooking options were limited because many passengers were not in possession of an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) which would have allowed them to be rerouted through the United States via Panama, said Ebeling-Koning.

KLM feels very sorry for all passengers who were stranded in St. Maarten and Curaçao,” the airline said in a statement on Sunday.

Two KLM aircraft on the tarmac at PJIA.

Source: The Daily Herald