Some airlines to resume flights on October 10

PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Tourist Bureau head Rolando Brison said on Thursday that discussions are ongoing with all airlines pertaining to resumption of service to the island, with some already indicating that service will resume as soon as the airport is open on October 10.

He said Delta Airlines, Seaborne, Pawa Dominicana, Insel Air and Winair have all indicated that they will resume service per October 10, with Seaborne code-sharing with American Airlines, JetBlue and Delta. Other airlines will more than likely announce their service over the next few days, he said.

Brison said discussions will continue with those airlines that have already announced that they have cancelled service for a few months and could possibly result in a different approach from these airlines.

He acknowledged that some airlines had rescheduled their service to the island after the storm, but reiterated that airlines suspending service to a destination after a natural disaster is expected, especially when the hotel inventory of the destination is very low.

However, he explained that this does not mean that we cannot engage with the airlines. Considering the level of destruction to St. Maarten’s hotel properties, the Airport and overall infrastructure, airlines will always consider the level of their service. What is important is to maintain open lines of communication with airline partners and maintain a balance of current airlift, he stressed.

“Flights will always be directly proportional to the number of rooms a destination has, so some airlines cutting back for the time being is totally to be expected,” Brison said. “What is important for us is to maintain a sufficient balance of airlift to supply the now reduced number of hotel rooms we have available. Based on our discussions so far, once the country is ready to accept commercial airlift we actually have a higher amount of interest in flights versus the amount of room inventory, though some of this is to support the hub function that SXM Airport will continue to retain for the surrounding islands.” 

Source: The Daily Herald