PHILIPSBURG - Travel from Toronto or Montreal Canada is now easier than ever as Air Transat has returned to St. Maarten following a fifteen-month hiatus caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.
The return of Air Transat now creates direct flight opportunities for persons wanting to travel to Canada.
The airlines Boeing 737-700 aircraft landed on Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) at 12:05 p.m. on Saturday, December 22nd with 144 passengers who were all "eager to return to the Friendly Island” after not being able to visit since 2017. Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication (TEATT) the Honourable Stuart Johnson greeted the flight and welcomed the Captain and crew back to the island. Johnson said that the return of this airline is crucial because it helps to tell the story of St. Maarten’s recovery post-Irma.
“We have to continue to let the world know that St. Maarten is opened for business and that is what the return of the many airlines we have been working with, signals internationally." He said, "In 2019 we will build on the momentum that has been created this year, with our Tourism partners on the northern side of the island, to ensure the message that “we are open for business” reaches all corners of the globe.
According to Station Manager for Air Transat in St. Maarten Evelyn Munoz the airline offers a “seasonal service” to St. Maarten and is now able to offer commercial flights to persons wishing to travel to Canada. She said, “We are delighted to be back, and we are especially happy with the service from the SXM Airport and the assistance we have received from the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau.”
The direct flights to Montreal and Toronto are offered every Saturday departing St. Maarten at 1:15pm to Toronto and 5:00pm to Montreal. Munoz said while in the past Air Transact offered only Chartered services to St. Maarten for hotels on French and Dutch St. Maarten, “I am very pleased that we can now offer full commercial flights to residents and visitors alike who wish to travel to Canada.” Interested persons can book flights via www.Airtransact.com or from any local travel agency. Also on hand for the welcome ceremony were members of the SXM Airport Marketing Team as well as representatives from the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) and the French Side’s Tourist Office.
The return flight was captained by K.C. Aatecma who incidentally was Station Manager for Air Transat in St. Maarten and also Piloted for Winair several years ago. His First Officer was Francois Lupiden.