St. Maarten Airport handles more transfer passengers in first quarter

POSTED: 06/1/14 11:38 PM

St. Maarten – Transfer passengers at the Princess Juliana International Airport increased by 21% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2013. The airport revealed the data at a recent meeting of the Air Service Development Committee (ASDC) made up of representatives of all of its hub partners.

St. Barths is the largest connection market out of St. Maarten with 9,600 passengers, followed by Charles De Gaulle, Paris, with 4,033 passengers, and BVI with 1,308 passengers. St. Eustatius with 1,176 passengers and Anguilla with 1,111 connecting passengers complete the top five markets.

The idea of a hub is to enhance air travel and give passengers the option of more flights, more frequency, and more services, the airport notes. Minimizing the travel time between the destination where the trip originated and the final destination is key to the success of a hub. The airport intends to continue to attract more passengers by working with all airlines to have interline agreements that would encourage more passengers to use the airport as a hub.

The airport will working with SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, to improve the boarding pass scanning system. This will allow for the capturing of transfer passenger demographics and information and provide a more accurate estimate of transfer passenger information.

With over one million Canadians visiting Cuba annually and another 850,000 traveling to the Dominican Republic, the airport said that targeting Canadian carriers to increase passenger connection through its facility will be a priority. For example, if WestJet were to focus transfer passenger movement to the hub islands, this will increase flight frequencies from three to five weekly.

The factors necessary to improve the hub function of St. Maarten’s airport were identified as determining the air travel market sizes by origin cities and countries; seeking new long-haul air routes;  entering into interline agreements with airlines that currently service St. Maarten and group budgeting and joint marketing by the hub partners.

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