Winair Passenger being welcomed in to the brand new departure hall.


Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten (January 22, 2024) – Passengers to Saba and St. Eustatius were in for a surprise when they were welcomed to the new check-in hall this morning by Management and Staff of Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) and Winair. Starting today, Winair’s passengers will enjoy an improved check-in experience when traveling from Princess Juliana Airport Airport (SXM). The improvements come as the next step in the reopening of the terminal building.

On hand to witness today’s milestone were Hans van de Velde, CEO of Winair, the Managing Board of PJIAE, along with other staff members. Passengers were treated to a light breakfast and received a goodie bag, courtesy of Winair and PJIAE, before heading to their departure gates.



Hans van de Velde, CEO of Winair, “It is an immense pleasure that we can check-in all our passengers via this new and enhanced check-in area. We thank PJIAE for all its efforts, the close cooperation and hard work. We are happy to see the modern facilities like the self-check-in kiosks and baggage drop-off, which will improve the customer journey and we are glad we, as the national carrier, are part of this.”



Brian Mingo, CEO of PJIAE, commented “We are happy to work in close co-operation with Winair They are a true partner and we both have the same values. Improving our customers’ experience is one of them. With this new check-in hall, we can serve our customers better.”



Celebrate 80 years of Princess Juliana International Airport


As the airport eagerly approaches its 80th anniversary, preparations are underway for a royal celebration later in 2024. The milestone event is set to honor the airport’s rich legacy of connecting people and cultures across the globe. With a blend of historical reverence and forward-looking optimism, the 80th anniversary celebration will be a royal one, reflecting the airport’s enduring commitment to innovation, efficiency, and sustainability in the years to come.



Re-opening with excellence


Following the completion of the Departure – and Check-in area, the attention will shift to the second phase, which will be the construction of an upgraded Arrival Hall. The new Arrival Hall will provide a welcoming space for passengers, offering improved baggage handling systems, efficient immigration and customs processes, and enhanced passenger facilities. This phase aims to optimize the passenger flow and ensures a seamless transition from the aircraft to the terminal.



Construction of the Arrival Hall is anticipated to be finalized by the second quarter of 2024, in time for summer travel. Throughout the finalization of the project, PJIAE remains committed to minimizing disruptions for its employees, travelers, and other airport community members. Careful planning and coordination will be undertaken to ensure that construction activities do not hinder the airport’s operations and that passengers continue to enjoy a seamless travel experience.



The phased approach to rebuilding the new terminal reflects PJIAE’s dedication to upgrade towards world-class airport standards while adapting to the evolving needs of the aviation industry. This transformative project aims to position the airport as a hub of convenience, comfort, and efficiency, allowing passengers to travel with ease and confidence beyond the Caribbean region.



About Princess Juliana International Airport


Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean and serves as a vital airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis, and Tortola. The airport stands as one of the largest employers on the island, with 305 workers employed directly and a total of 1700 workers within the entire airport community. In 2024, Sint Maarten Airport expects to handle 1.5 million passengers and 54,000 aircraft movements. Reconstruction efforts at the airport commenced in September 2021, with the new terminal hall scheduled for completion in Q2 2024.



Historic Timeline


Princess Juliana Airport was officially inaugurated by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. PJIAE underwent a major reconstruction project in 2020, following severe damage to the main terminal caused by Hurricane IRMA in September 2017. After six years, the project is in its final stages and is set to be completed by Q2 2024.



About Winair


Windward Islands Airways International (Winair) N.V. is a leading airline serving the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. Established in 1961, Winair has been connecting the region with safe, dependable, and efficient air transportation services. With a focus on customer satisfaction, Winair provides a seamless travel experience while contributing to the economic growth and connectivity of the Caribbean islands. Winair is growing their fleet and expects to open several new routes during this year.



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