The 2018 peak tourist season which runs from December 2018 through April 2019 looks very promising, according to the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) Management Board on Thursday. Long-haul airline flight frequency in the first quarter of 2019 will be at 81 per cent of what it was in 2017, culminating in March 2019 at 98 per cent of 2017.
According to the Winter programme for 2018-2019, Air Transat airline has announced that it will be returning to the airport starting December 22. Air Transat was named the world’s best leisure airline in 2018. It will be rediscovering St. Maarten/St. Martin, while islanders will enjoy a weekly direct flight to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, as well as a weekly direct flight to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Air Transat flight can carry a capacity of 149 to 189 passengers. Bookings are available via local travel agencies or online at www.airtransat.com
Divi Divi airline will be available for travellers seeking flights to Curaçao from December 10. The airline has capacity for 189 passengers and will be available for booking on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The Winter programme for 2018-2019 also shows Sunwing returning its operations on February 28, 2019, originating out of Montreal and Toronto for weekly flights on Thursdays. JetBlue flights to Fort Lauderdale have also caused a stir of interest, with daily flights originating out of Florida starting on February 14, 2019, Valentine’s Day.
As is customary, the weekends will be the peak days in terms of scheduled aircraft movements and passengers. According to PJIA’s Operations Management, peak hours for passenger volumes will be from 12:00 through 5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The airport saw an impressive influx of travellers during August 2018, with the 35,623 arrivals recorded and 37,706 departing passengers. The overall total passenger volume from January through September 2018 measures arrivals at 235,024 and departures at 268,344. The board is set to begin its migration process from the current pavilions in a week’s time. This will complete Package One – Temporary Operations of the reconstruction project. The team is in full overdrive and determined to be ready for the increasing passenger traffic during the start of the peak tourist season.
News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems