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Printed in The Daily Herald, Fri 13-Jun-2003

Air St. Maarten starts direct Amsterdam-St. Maarten flight

PHILIPSBURG--Air St. Maarten will be executing a weekly direct flight to and from St. Maarten on Fridays, with a fuel stop in either the Dominican Republic or the Azores, as of June 30.

The charter company will be using a Boeing 767-300 of Air Holland, the airline with which Air St. Maarten will jointly execute a flight on Mondays, announced Air St. Maarten's Managing Director Terrance Rey on Wednesday. Monday's flight will go via Curacao.

The 215 seats, including 24 business class, on Friday's flight will be used by passengers of Air St. Maarten. Because it is not possible for a Boeing to fly fully loaded directly to Holland from St. Maarten, the aircraft will have to make a fuel stop on the way back to Amsterdam.

The Monday flights will be a mix of Air St. Maarten and Air Holland passengers. Air Holland will also be executing a flight Amsterdam-Curacao-Amsterdam on Thursdays.

Rey said the bookings were doing "very well" despite the cautious attitude of some travel agencies, especially in Curacao. The first three Mondays after the first flight of June 30 are "almost full," he said.

Rey couldn't say yet whether he would be flying year round. Air Holland and Air St. Maarten will be evaluating the bookings of the summer months at the beginning of September.

"Possibly we will keep flying during the low season. Air Holland has indicated that it wants to do so," said Rey. Air Holland, Holland's only independent charter airline company, has all necessary rights and permits to fly within the Kingdom.

Air St. Maarten's aim is to market and promote St. Maarten as a holiday destination in Holland. Interested persons can book through Air St. Maarten's Website:

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