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Printed in, Fri 9-Dec-2005
DAE launches official logo, company name and new routes

After months of speculation, Dutch Antilles Express (DAE) today finally launched the company's new logo and official name DAE, coinciding with the airline's first flight to Valencia, Venezuela. This morning's take-off is the first in seven new regional routes that DAE plans to fly on. This was officially announced by the company's managing director, Mr. Floris van Pallandt, in the Hato's departure lounge on Curaçao

DAE ATR aircraft with the company's new name and logo

Valencia is the first choice to start with as the route could be easily incorporated into the present inter-insular schedule. The long range routes require bigger aircrafts. The company plans to expand the fleet next year with jet aircrafts that will be able to service the longer routes.

After the Venezuelan city of Valencia DAE plans to fly to Caracas, Port of Spain (Trinidad), Port au Prince (Ha'ti), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Bogota (Colombia). It is unclear at present if the local airline will be competing against American Airlines (AA) on the route to Miami. In the days when DCA used to fly to Valencia, many customers used this opportunity to fly to the United States via this route through Curaçao.

DAE has gone through rapid changes this past year. The company had to change it's legal status as a Dutch Antilles Exel subsidiary of the Exel Aviation Group with the brandnames BonairExel and CuraçaoExel to avoid being dragged down into the quagmire of bankruptcies that plagued the parent company and all it's Holland based sister companies.

The Bonaire Beleggings- en Participatie Maatschappij (BBPM), owned by the Bonaire-based retired Dutch multi-miljonair, Niek Sandmann, was able to restart Dutch Antilles Express within 24 hours with a new Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), issued by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) with the cooperation of the Minister of Transportation, Mrs. Omayra Leeflang. The latter was praised by both the company's owner and CEO for her support in processing the permit procedure expeditiously.

With the demise of the Dutch Caribbean Airline (DCA), DAE is now the only airline providing inter-insular flights between the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten and Aruba. AirSintMaarten, the first virtual airline to the island of St. Maarten and the rest of the Dutch Caribbean (The Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and Suriname), is proud to be a partner in booking passengers with DAE and will continue to support DAE in her ambitions to expand on regional routes to Venezuela, Trinidad, Hati, Colombia and The Dominican Republic. AirSintMaarten will be feeding DAE daily flights out of St. Maarten with charters from Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barths, St. Kitts & Nevis and Anguilla. Customers can book flights with DAE via our local handling agent.

Printed in, Mon 19-Sep-2005

LIAT and Winair offering great birthday fares throughout the Caribbean

If you are an island-hopper looking for great fares throughout the Caribbean then have a look at the wonderful specials both LIAT and Winair are offering as birthday fares. LIAT is celebrating their 49th anniversary and is offering a special birthday fare of only $49 USD to all LIAT destinations in the Caribbean. Winair, in an effort to match this offer and also promote their flights during the low season months from September until the end of November, being the younger of the two airlines is offering an even better fare of only $44 USD to all Winair destinations. Wow!

About LIAT
LIAT entered the airline business in 1956 firmly devoted to providing fast and reliable service throughout the Caribbean. Today, LIAT continues to maintain that standard with more top-of-the-line LIAT aircrafts added regularly. LIAT serves destinations throughout the Caribbean. With dedicated service and frequent LIAT departure times, LIAT has proven itself as a leader in island travel.

Winair Britten-Norman Islander aircraft taking to the skies for only $44 this season
About Winair
Winair has provided safe and efficient air transportation in the North Eastern Caribbean for 44 years and is therefore offering this special $44 USD fare. Windward Islands Airways International N.V. is a government owned regional airline and was founded in 1961. The airline operates 4 Twin-Otter and 2 Britton-Normand Islander aircraft between nine destinations. Winair offers daily connections from the Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten to the islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barths, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Anguilla and Tortola.

Book and celebrate
So join both these airlines in celebrating their anniversaries and fly to any of their destinations throughout the Caribbean for only $44 and $49 US dollars. Don't wait any longer. Book now and celebrate.
Click here to book these great fares through our local agent.

Printed in, Tue 9-Aug-2005

AirSXM recaps Dutch Caribbean airlines' changes

Philipsburg -- First there was Air Holland. There was also a BonairExel. Then Air Holland became HollandExel and Dutch Caribbean Exel. CuraçaoExel was added. Even an ArubaExel. Despite agreements to acquire Winair, a St. MaartenExel nor a WinairExel never came about. It did not take long before HollandExel and DutchCaribbeanExel became ArkeFly and everything else with Exel in the name in the Dutch Caribbean area was changed into Express. So now we have a BonairExpress, a CuraçaoExpress and maybe a ArubaExpress... maybe not. Soon there will be no more BonairExpress nor CuraçaoExpress as the company plans to change the names and the livery of the aircrafts. Confused already? Let's recap.

This may be the last picture of an ATR in Exel or Express colors and livery.
ArkeFly now flies twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays between Amsterdam and Curaçao. BonairExpress operates multiple flights daily between Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba. CuraçaoExpress flies twice daily between Curaçao and St. Maarten. Winair still operates independently between The Windward Islands, St. Maarten, Saba and Statia as it has been doing for the past 45 years.

Click here to go to our Flight Schedule page

Printed in, Tue 18-Jan-2005

AirSXM pre-launches Dutch language website

PHILIPSBURG, SXM -- January 18, 2005 -- Air Sint Maarten pre-launches its Dutch booking engine soon to be available at where customers can make their flight reservations entirely in Dutch on the Internet. With this online booking tool, travelers can take advantage of's low budget air fares, cheap tickets and frequent flights to St. Maarten and and the rest of the world in het nederlands (in Dutch). For more information, visit:

Screenshot of the old AirSXM website
"Our goal is to be innovative when it comes to customer convenience in Dutch. We want to be the first Antillean virtual airline web site to offer customers the choice of making their flight reservations from start to finish in Dutch on the Internet,"'s management announced today.

According to a recent study by Deloitte entitled "Consumer's Choice of Channels" the use of the internet for booking vacations has increased enormously. Half of all travel is now booked via the internet in Holland. Last year this percentage was 35%. With the increase of the internet as the most important channel for travel related bookings, Dutch travel agencies are losing significant market share.

In 2003 41% of travel tickets were booked via a travel agency, nowadays only 29 percent of Dutch travelers use a travel agent. This Deloitte report shows that, of the 3.300 persons surveyed who booked a trip in the last 12 months, 80% got their information online whereas only 11% via an offline travel agency.

AirSXM is expecting to capitalize on this trend in online reservations. At travelers will be able to obtain information in Dutch about AirSXM policies, travel tips, airport information, flight schedules, fare rules and restrictions, hotel and car rental information.

In 2003, Air Sint Maarten was the first Antillean virtual airline to launch low budget charter and commercial airline flights to the Dutch Antilles from Amsterdam together with Air Holland and Dutch Caribbean Airlines (DCA). Today, is considered a prime source of information for low fares into the Dutch Caribbean area and the web site ranks 5 out of 10 points in the Google search engine.

Printed in AirSXM News, Fri 29-Oct-2004

ExelAviationGroup acquires Winair

Winair DHC-6 Twin Otter used to provide airlift between The Windward Islands
Philipsburg -- Winair has been acquired by the ExelAviationGroup and will be continuing under the future name of WinairExel. The acquisition was finally approved by all stakeholders, local creditors, island governments and central authorities in Curaçao. Exel paid an amount of 4,75 million Antillean guilders to secure the future of the regional carrier thereby guaranteeing the continued airlift between the islands of St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.

Winair, which was set to be renamed WindwardExel, is officially known as Windward Islands Airways International N.V. and was a government owned regional airline founded in 1961. The airline operates four Twin Otter and two Britton Normand Islander aircrafts between nine destinations around the North Eastern Caribbean area.

Winair routes in the North Eastern Caribbean region
Winair offers daily connections from the Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten to the islands of Saba, Statia, St. Barts, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua and Tortola. Winair code-shares and interlines with a number of airlines. US Airways code-shares on all Winair routes. Other code-share partners are Caribbean Star and Air Caribes, catering to destinations such as Antigua and Santo Domingo.

ExelAviationGroup (EAG) is headquartered in The Netherlands and is an alliance of companies and divisions active in the global airline industry. The group consists of companies such as ArubaExel, BonairExel, CuraçaoExel and DutchCaribbeanExel which all operates in the Dutch Caribbean. In Europe other sistercompany airlines operate with the Exel extension such as HollandExel and BelgiumExel to name a few. Although each group member offers a specific expertise, product or service, it is this combination of qualities within the alliance - plus the financial backing of the major shareholders, Erik de Vlieger, Nick Sandman and the company's CEO, Harm Prins - that makes ExelAviationGroup a force to be reconned with in the Dutch Caribbean airline industry which has been in much turmoil after the demise of Air Holland and Dutch Caribbean Airlines, better known as DCA, the Curaçao-based airline which refused a joint-venture with EAG and was subsequently declared bankrupt earlier this month. With the acquisition by EAG, Winair has been saved from a similar fate. AirSXM commends all stakeholders involved on their decision to safeguard the airline's long term operation and the continuation of flights between the sister islands of the Windward Islands.

Printed in AirSXM News, Tue 26-Oct-2004

AirSXM welcomes Exel's flights to St. Maarten from December 19th

PHILIPSBURG--Dutch Caribbean Exel will start flying from Amsterdam to St. Maarten starting Sunday, December 19th, management announced yesterday. This news has been well received by AirSXM as it offers relief for the large number of passengers wanting to travel to St. Maarten for the Christmas period.

A similar Boeing 767-300ER (Extended Range) will be used by DutchCaribbeanExel to fly to St. Maarten

The flight leaves Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at 2:00pm local time and arrives in St. Maarten at 6:15pm. It will leave St. Maarten again at 7:30pm and return via Curaçao, where it will refuel, to Schiphol where the flight arrives at 12:30pm local time.

DutchCaribbeanExel currently executes two weekly flights Amsterdam-Curaçao-Amsterdam. In December this will increase to three times per week and possibly a fourth flight will be added. These flights are booked solid, also because of the relatively low air fare.

Fully booked KLM-Air France flights on the route Amsterdam-St. Maarten has been a problem, especially after the problems and subsequent bankruptcy of DCA earlier this month. AirSXM has been lobbying for extra capacity to St. Maarten from Amsterdam during the past weeks. Martinair offered a solution by making a stop in St. Maarten on it's Amsterdam-Miami route. However working with a double crew posed such considerable scheduling problems that this was not a viable solution.

The bankruptcy of DCA meant that passengers who were booked with the airline had to be rebooked with another carrier. But this has proven to be disappointing for many customers as the only available seats on KLM or Air France were simply too expensive. As an example, the total fare for a family of five came up to over 18.000 euro with KLM during the Christmas and New Year's season.

With the added airlift into St. Maarten from Amsterdam provided by Exel many customers will be happy to know that they can spend Christmas in St. Maarten with their family and friends which is a most welcomed development and applauded by AirSXM. Click here to book now!

Printed in The Daily Herald, Thu 7-Oct-2004

KLM starts flying three times a week to St. Maarten

A proud KLM Boeing 747-400 stands parked at St. Maarten's Princess Juliana International Airport just after landing - Photo by Shyne D'Xlr8r
PHILIPSBURG--Royal Dutch Airlines KLMwill be flying to and from St. Maarten three times a week starting November 4.

The flights will be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. KLM currently executes the Amsterdam-St. Maarten-Curaçao-Amsterdam flight two times a week, on Tuesday and Saturday. Flights are carried out with a Boeing 747-400 and go via Curaçao.

The last time KLM executed three flights a week was from October last year to April this year. Two of these flights were carried out with a MD-11 and were direct flights Amsterdam-St. Maarten-Amsterdam. The direct flights were cancelled because the load factors weren't high enough.

KLM's local handling agent is Arrindell Aviation Services, which has been handling the airline for 15 years, since its inception. KLM was actually Arrindell's first client.

KLM has a staff of 34,529 worldwide: 30,367 in the Netherlands and 4,162 abroad. The airline has a flight crew roster of 7,373 for a fleet of 188 aircraft. In the fiscal year 2003-2004 it transported 23 million passengers and 529,000 tonnes of cargo.

KLM and its partners, such as Air France, Continental, Northwest Airlines, KLM Exel, Malaysia Airways, Kenya Airways and China South Airlines, fly to 400 cities in 85 countries, covering six continents.

To celebrate its 85th anniversary, KLM has a sweepstakes called "KLM Globetrotter." Participants can win tickets around the world for 85 days for two persons. Other prizes include free airline tickets for two persons, free car rental and free Flying Dutchman miles, KLM's frequent flyer programme. Click here to visit KLM's website

Printed in Amigoe, Thu 26-Aug-2004

Construction on new airport terminal building started

Commissioner Sarah Wescott-Williams and Airport director Eugene Holiday start new airport terminal building construction
PHILIPSBURG - Commissioner Sarah Wescott-Williams had the honour of driving the first piler into the ground to officially start the construction work on the new airport terminal building on St. Maarten. She was assisted by an employee of Koop Holding Europe BV, the general contractor responsible for the airport expansion plan, and managing director of the Princess Juliana International Airport Enterprise (PJIAE) NV, Eugene Holiday.

The new terminal building shall consist of four floors with a total of 28.000 square meters. It is expected that this will entail planting at least 850 pilers into the ground for the foundation. In 27 months this should result in a brand new airport at the cost of over 87 million USD dollars.

The existing terminal building with a capacity of 1.2 million passengers has already reached its saturation point and cannot accommodate any further upgrading or expansion. This poses critical challenges in terms of quality standards for services provided to customers due to its limited size. Therefore the master plan calls for a new building with a design capacity of 2.5 million to be built northwest of the existing one. Land will have to be created to realize the new terminal, its related parking facilities and the required access roads.

Included in the new terminal building will be check-in and baggage reclaim facilities on the ground floor, with the departure lounge and a main shopping area located on the first floor. Four jet bridges will offer passengers a high level of service that they have come to expect from St. Maarten.

Winair ready to increase flights to Anguilla

Philipsburg, August 5th, 2004 - Winair (WM) is set to increase flights from St. Maarten to the neighboring island of Anguilla (AXA) as soon as American Eagle stops its flights between San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Anguilla. The American airline will stop its flights during the expansion work on the Wallblake Airport runway. Read more...

Airport departure tax increases

AirSintMaarten advises all passengers and visitors to the island of St. Maarten that effective September 1st, 2004, the Airport Departure Tax will be increased to $25. As of January 1st, 2005, this will again be raised to $30. These increases are due to the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) Expansion Project. You are kindly advised to take this increase into account and always have at least $25 to $30 on hand hand when leaving the island of St. Maarten.

It may also be possible that the Airport Departure Tax is already included in the ticket fare. This means that you don't need to pay the Departure Tax when leaving. If you are uncertain about whether you have to pay the Airport Departure Tax or not, please contact our Reservations Department for advice.

Great Bay Hotel & Casino to be opened in December

Mr. Robert Dubourcq, General Manager for The Great Bay Beach Hotel, has informed AirSintMaarten that the hotel, which is now closed for renovations and refurbishment of the property, is expected to open for business in December 2004. Please visit our Hotels page for room rates and accommodations. We will be publishing the AirSXM rates for this hotel as soon as possible. In the meantime, please contact our Reservations Department if you need to stay at this hotel.

St. Maarten beautification project started

A beautification project is presently under way on St. Maarten. Workers are busy adding trees to the square from the Court House to the pier. This will add shade and beauty to the Front Street area in Philipsburg. This will improve the shopping atmosphere in St. Maarten for both locals, vendors and visitors.

Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino

The Maho Beach Resort is now officially known as the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino.

Summerfest 2004

An annual summer music festival called Summerfest, began on July 17th and ended on July 31st, 2004. A large number of tourists from abroad and from the neighboring islands visited the island for this concert series to see bands such as Kassav in action. AirSXM will keep you informed about next year's Summerfest schedule and about plans for any special Summerfest charters we may have. Read more...

Visitor numbers to St. Maarten at historic heights

Philipsburg, August 2nd, 2004 - The island of St. Maarten is expecting to host an historic two million visitors (600,000 stay-over visitors and 1.4 million cruise visitors) this year.

According to WTO, short-term tourism data for the first four months of 2004 confirm an upward trend already visible at the end of 2003.

"The global trends in tourism and travel are also very important to tourism growth in St. Maarten. The signs are crystal clear that travel confidence is back. The WTO Barometer, published at the end of June, shows that the positive economic performance and prospects in the major tourism generating markets indicate that conditions are present for demand to be back on the track of growth," Commissioner of Tourism, Mr. Theo Heyliger, said.

Important is that travel, particularly from Europe, is finally picking up, he added. However, Heyliger cautioned that there were uncertainties in this upward trend, such as the threat of terrorism, high energy prices and tropical weather systems that might develop.

The WTO Barometer report stated that destinations in the Caribbean, Central and South America had kept their very positive performance and were enjoying the competitive advantage of a weak dollar and the search for "known and nearby" destinations to North America.

Excerpts taken from The Daily Herald on Mon 2-Aug-2004

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