Curacao blocks extra flights by Winair between St. Maarten and Curacao

Winair wants to operate four extra weekly flights between Sint Maarten and Curaçao, but the Curaçao authorities only permit this for two weeks. This decision comes as a surprise to Winair, director Hans van de Velde told

Currently, Winair flies seven times a week to and from Curaçao, with onward connections to Aruba and Bonaire. The plan is to increase the number of flights to ten per week from 1 July, with additional flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. This extra capacity became necessary after the disappearance of Curaçao’s JetAir, which led to a reduction of 400 seats per week on this route.

Van de Velde is unpleasantly surprised by the decision of the authorities in Willemstad. “There are treaties on the freedom of movement between the islands. We can’t find any reason not to allow these flights,” he said. Winair has the rights to transport passengers between, for example, Aruba and Curaçao, provided that Sint Maarten is part of the route.


The director emphasizes that Winair has adjusted the routes within their network from Sint Maarten in such a way that an extra ATR aircraft is available. “We plan to fly ten times a week from July 1, but we don’t understand the decision of the Curaçao authorities to only give the green light for two weeks. We don’t get a clear answer.”

WINAIR’s ATR-500 aircraft.

Van de Velde points out the economic importance of these extra flights for both Curaçao and Sint Maarten. “Given the importance for the economy of both islands, I hope that the governments will come to an agreement soon,” Van de Velde said.

The Netherlands

In addition to the benefit for the local economy, the Dutch government would also benefit from the extra flights. The Netherlands is striving for faster connections between the BES islands (Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius), for which the hub on St. Maarten is crucial.

We are now waiting for further decisions from the Curaçao authorities, in the hope that there will soon be a definitive solution to the capacity problem on the air routes in the region.

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