ST. MAARTEN/REGION–The TUIfly Dreamliner will land on St. Maarten for the very first time on Friday. The destination welcomes some 17,000 Dutch vacationers annually, and TUI expects that with two extra weekly TUIfly Dreamliner flights, the company can add almost 15,000 to this number, resulting in double the present number of travellers.
The company is considering opening a sales office on St. Maarten, where ticket only sales will be promoted. The addition brings the airline’s flight schedule to the Dutch Caribbean to nine weekly flights.
“TUI Netherlands looks forward to this moment as this defines the official increase in their number of flights to the Dutch Antilles. St. Maarten is a welcome addition to TUI’s existing portfolio, as the demand in the Netherlands is high for vacationing on the beautiful islands of the Dutch Antilles,” the company stated in a press release on Wednesday.
TUIfly’s new flight schedule as of November consists of the nine flights per week to the Dutch Caribbean, of which four flights per week are to Aruba, three per week are to Bonaire and two per week are to St. Maarten.
All flights are triangle flights, and are combined with a stop in Curaçao, with the exception of one direct flight to Curaçao every Saturday. With this new schedule, the flight capacity to Bonaire will also increase substantially, by approximately 40 per cent, the company stated.
“The fact that the entire flight operation to the Dutch Antilles is executed by Boeing 787 Dreamliners (TUIfly has three in the meantime), is an extra advantage for any vacationer and is so appealing that it also attracts new clients.
“A comfortable flight leads to well-rested passengers who can start enjoying their holiday from the moment they arrive. Our surveys indicate that overall client satisfaction about the enjoyed holiday actually increases if passengers fly with a Dreamliner” says TUI Netherlands General Manager Arjan Kers.
Shortly before Kers’ departure to St. Maarten on the inaugural flight, he underlined that he was very pleased with the addition of St. Maarten as a holiday destination.
“Each island has its own charm, style and type of client which will definitely create repeat customers, yet allowing the curious traveller to visit one of the other islands, or a combination of islands during their next holiday. The addition of St. Maarten with its dual charm (French and Dutch side) is like adding an extra colour to an already beautiful painting.
“We are very proud of the fact that TUI Netherlands can make the Dutch Antilles accessible to a large group of vacationers by offering them affordable holidays to the various destinations.”
With the nine flights weekly by the end of this year, the Dutch Antilles are, as a group, by far the largest long haul holiday destination for TUI Netherlands, the company said.
Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao welcome about 280,000 Dutch guests every year which consist of people going on vacation, visiting family or doing business on the islands.
“About half of them book their holiday packages with TUI, who is also an important employer on the islands, with a total of up to 80 local employees.”
Source: The Daily Herald TUIfly ‘can double no. of Dutch tourists,’ 1st flight lands Friday