KLM executes extra evacuation flights

AMSTERDAM–A Boeing 747 of the Royal Dutch Airlines KLM landed in St. Maarten on Saturday to evacuate more than 260 persons and to drop off relief goods. Several more flights were planned between St. Maarten and Curaçao and/or Aruba.

The flights over the weekend served to evacuate persons in need, tourists and people of all nationalities who need and want to leave the hurricane-devastated island. “For the first time a KLM aircraft landed in St. Maarten after the hurricane,” a spokesperson of the airline said about Saturday’s initial flight.

The intention was for the aircraft, which has a capacity of 268 passengers, to carry out several shuttle flights between St. Maarten and Curaçao and/or Aruba, and to return to the Netherlands on Monday with a full flight for those passengers who wanted to continue to Amsterdam.

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According to the KLM, the flights were made possible thanks to the voluntary assistance of the aircraft crew. Staff of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs flew along with the aircraft to facilitate the evacuation and to provide assistance to the passengers.

KLM announced that there would be a solution for persons stranded in St. Maarten who want to travel to Amsterdam. There are two procedures: one for persons already in possession of a return ticket and one for all other without a ticket. This last category can book a one-way ticket for a sharply reduced tariff via a travel agent or the KLM call centre via the telephone number 0031 20 2068253.

All passengers need to report at the Princess Juliana Airport at the local authorities who will take care of the transport to Curaçao. In Curaçao, KLM personnel will assist the passengers and ensure that they are booked on flights from Curaçao to Amsterdam. On Monday, KLM will carry out an extra flight from Curaçao to Amsterdam.

On September 13, the first batch of passengers from St. Maarten was evacuated to the Netherlands. So far, a total of 3,800 persons have been evacuated, of which about 1,400 were transported with military aircraft. It is unknown at this stage when the regular KLM flights from Amsterdam to St. Maarten will resume.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/69453-klm-executes-extra-evacuation-flights

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