Philipsburg- The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunication (TEATT) of St. Maarten convened a high-level meeting today with JetBlue Airways to discuss the airline’s performance at SXM Airport in St. Maarten. The meeting, led by Mr. Lambriex, Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunication, aimed to address recent challenges and explore strategies for revitalizing JetBlue’s operations and passenger numbers in the region.
During the productive meeting, both parties acknowledged the importance of year-round service and the need to strengthen air connectivity between St. Maarten and key gateways, particularly Boston and New York. Emphasis was also placed on the significant potential of the Ft. Lauderdale area as a key market for travel to St. Maarten and the wider Caribbean region.
Minister Lambriex expressed his commitment to fostering a strong partnership with JetBlue and finding collaborative solutions to improve performance. He stated, “Today’s meeting with JetBlue marked an important milestone in our efforts to address the opportunities and challenges faced at SXM. We recognize the significance of year-round service and the need to strengthen both the Boston and New York gateways, while also capitalizing on the potential of the Ft. Lauderdale area. By working together and developing comprehensive strategies, we aim to enhance air connectivity and drive sustainable growth in passenger numbers.
During the discussions, the parties acknowledged the issue of high airfares not only in St. Maarten but throughout the region. They recognized the need to address this challenge and agreed to work on a pricing strategy that ensures affordability while supporting revenue growth. Minister Lambriex emphasized the importance of developing a pricing strategy that takes into account the market dynamics and offers competitive fares to attract passengers locally as well as well as in the US.
David Jehn, Vice-President of Network Planning and Partnerships at JetBlue, expressed his satisfaction with the route and the positive performance indicators. He stated, “We are very pleased with the performance of our St. Maarten route, and the load factors have been consistently strong. In line with our commitment to the destination, I am delighted to announce that starting the end of October, we will introduce a second daily flight from JFK. Moreover, we will increase service from Boston, providing sustainable connectivity to St. Maarten, including during the shoulder periods.”
The Ministry of TEATT remains committed to supporting the growth of St. Maarten’s tourism industry and strengthening air connectivity with key markets. Collaborative efforts with JetBlue aim to drive sustainable growth, increase passenger numbers, and enhance the tourism experience for travelers visiting St. Maarten and the neighboring islands as well to offer affordable ticket prices to key US destinations for our locals alike.