Kralendijk – In 2019, there were 25.6 thousand aircraft movements to and from the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. This is almost 11 percent up on 2018. The number of air passengers rose by over 6 percent. At Flamingo Airport on Bonaire and Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport on Saba, there was an increase in both flights and passenger traffic. F.D. Roosevelt Airport on St Eustatius recorded fewer flights, but passenger traffic remained more or less the same. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of new figures.
Of the three overseas Dutch airports, Flamingo Airport on Bonaire has the highest number of aircraft movements and passengers. After a slight drop in air traffic in 2016, the number of aircraft movements increased each year. In 2019, the number of flights on Bonaire reached 15.7 thousand, i.e. over 17 percent up on the previous year.
In terms of aircraft movements, the busiest months for the Caribbean Dutch airports were October and November, with 2.3 thousand flights each; February was the slowest month (1.9 thousand flights).
Most passengers flying to and from Bonaire
In 2019, more than 457 thousand travellers flew to and from the Caribbean Netherlands. Over 384 thousand of them travelled to and from Bonaire. This is 84.1 percent of the total number of passengers and 7 percent up on 2018.
The runway for landing at Flamingo Airport on Bonaire is 3 km long, which makes it possible for larger and heavier aircraft to land. With a length of 1.3 and 0.4 km respectively, the landing strips on St Eustatius and Saba are only suitable for smaller airplanes.
For passengers travelling to and from Bonaire, Curaçao International Airport – also known as Hato Airport – was the most popular place of origin and destination. However, this does not mean that Curaçao is also the actual location of origin or destination for these travellers. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol comes in second place.
More flights and passengers on Saba
Last year, the airports of St Eustatius and Saba together recorded over 9.9 thousand aircraft arrivals and departures, an increase of over 2 percent relative to 2018. Their combined share in the total number of flights in the Caribbean Netherlands amounted to nearly 39 percent in 2019.
F.D. Roosevelt Airport on St Eustatius saw 6.4 thousand aircraft movements, while Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport on Saba processed 3.5 thousand.
Air traffic on St Eustatius was down by 6.5 percent relative to 2018. The number of air passengers travelling to and from St Eustatius was at virtually the same level in both years, namely slightly more than 42 thousand.
Of the three Caribbean Dutch airports, Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport on Saba showed the largest increase between 2018 and 2019, both in terms of aircraft movements and transported passengers. In 2019, the number of flights rose by 22 percent and the number of transported passengers grew by 8.5 percent to 30.7 thousand.