SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten – The Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, is focused firmly on major hurricane resilience, energy efficiency and cost savings, state of the art systems as well as improved security and operational process flows as it continues its rebuilding efforts post Hurricane Irma.
Similarly, the airport plans include an Air Service Recovery approach that means a return to 2016 as baseline. The idea is to prioritize 16 destinations and set frequency goals, with the year 2020 as the target for normalization of services and operations, which will be contingent upon the island’s hotel inventory getting back to normal by said date.
The Terminal Building reconstruction plans will feature expanded space that would also accommodate the proposed US Pre-Clearance for which the management team intends to add new non-stop routes between the Southern Caribbean and SXM as well as more flight frequencies on the USA – SXM routes serviced in 2016 and new USA – SXM routes, for example, Detroit.
“Once our hub status enhancement has been achieved, the long-term goals are to add more Caribbean non-stop routes as well as connecting Caribbean routes for the USA-SXM non-stop routes to further take advantage of the US Pre-Clearance,” declared the Managing Board of SXM Airport.
It was noted that four out of SXM’s key eight hub partners were badly damaged by the hurricanes of September 2017. Together, those four hub partners – St. Barths, Anguilla, Dominica and Tortola, BVI – accounted for 62% of the airport’s connecting passengers.
However, the room inventory recovery on two of those islands – St. Barths and Anguilla – is expected to be faster than on St. Maarten. The Managing Board also disclosed that additional European routes, especially the UK and Germany would be vigorously sought.
“All these plans and information are being shared regularly with all the stakeholders so that we can all be on the same page as we progress on our recovery path,” they added.