Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- Island Council Member Koos Sneek is of the opinion that St. Eustatius needs more and cheaper airlift.
This is one of the points mentioned in Sneek’s ‘Action Plan’. “The new airport terminal is nearing completion. These new facilities are equipped to handle a substantial increase in passengers. The hotel development which is taking place Behind the Mountain needs to be supported by sufficient airlift”, according to Sneek.
The Action Plan notes that all air traffic comes into Statia via the expensive hub St. Maarten and that Winair is the only airline that carries out scheduled flights to Statia, all originating in St. Maarten.
“Their (Winair’s, editor) airfares are among the highest in the world. This contributes to making Statia an expensive destination for visitors. Also travel by our local population is for many unaffordable. Better and more affordable airlift will contribute to economic development but also to poverty alleviation. It should also be noted that boat-ferry services, due to the remote location of Statia and other constraints, can never replace the need for airlift”.
The plan presented by Sneek also outlines two concrete lines of action. The first is the introduction of an alternative hub for the flights out of Sint Maarten. Sneek is of the opinion that flights, for instance executed by EZ Air operating out of Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport would be a good alternative.
The second suggested action by Sneek is to Carry out the recommendations in the report from the group Peter Hartman (former KLM CEO) from 2018 to introduce a system of public transportation whereby a subsidy on air travel to/from Statia will make ticket prices more affordable.
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