SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–In 2018, there were nearly 23,000 aircraft movements to and from the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands, which is a ten per cent increase when compared with 2017. The number of passengers on these flights increased by nearly 11 per cent. All three airports in the Caribbean Netherlands recorded growth figures, the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) reported based on new figures.
F.D. Roosevelt Airport in St. Eustatius saw over 6,830 aircraft arrivals and departures in 2018, which is 10.5 per cent more than in 2017. The number of passengers handled by this airport stood at 42,000, an increase of 11.5 per cent, CBS stated.
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport in Saba is the smallest airport of the Caribbean Netherlands. The total number of flights here rose by nearly 12 per cent. This growth took place despite the temporary closure of the airport due to major maintenance work, which was carried out between September 10, 2018, and October 9, 2018.
Saba’s airport welcomed over 28,000 passengers in 2018, most of whom were on their way to or from St. Maarten. The runway for landing at the airport is just 400 metres long and only small aircraft which carry a maximum of 19 passengers may land or take off there.
Statia and Saba were both badly affected by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Saba’s airport was closed down for a period of one and a half weeks and the regular timetable was disrupted for some time.
At Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport the number of aircraft movements went up by over nine percent last year, CBS said. The number of travellers grew year-on-year in each consecutive month of 2018.
Total passenger arrivals and departures in Bonaire grew by more than 11 per cent to over 359,000 travellers. With 33,700 thousand travellers, December 2018 was the busiest month, with Saturday, December 22, being the busiest day with 2,200 travellers. September was the least busy months of 2018 with 25,200 passengers.
Curaçao is the most popular destination for passengers at Flamingo Airport, although this does not mean that Curaçao is their actual place of origin or final destination, according to CBS.