~ Records 7% increase during first half ~
PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten continues to prove itself as a preferred destination for travellers with a seven per cent increase in passenger traffic during the first seven months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, exceeding the world average of six per cent.
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The figures revealed during the Strategy Summit held at the World Routes conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, show that St. Maarten has held its own despite the economic and financial challenges faced by nations around the globe.
Compared to 485,936 total enplanements from January 1, 2011, to June 30, 2011, Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) saw an increase to 520,018 total enplanements during the first half of 2012.
Various airlines servicing the island also revealed that they were showing healthy load factors for the country, with some indicating that performance of their St. Maarten routes exceeded company expectations.
JetBlue announced that the performance of its San Juan-St. Maarten route during the slow period was better than the airline had anticipated, while United Airlines said its extended seasonal service had surpassed expectations. Delta, the third-largest airline in the world, reported that its load factor to the island was a very healthy average of 90 per cent.
|Map by Capitol Air|
"As a destination that focuses many efforts on tourism, we are thrilled with these figures," said St. Maarten Tourist Bureau interim director of tourism Augusto Priest. "We will continue to work diligently to promote St. Maarten as a destination of choice and that would enable us to increase passenger traffic."
Officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications and of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, and management of PJIA (airport code SXM) participated in the St. Maarten delegation at the conference.