By the Caribbean Journal staff
American Airlines is significantly ramping up its flight service to St Maarten this winter, Caribbean Journal has learned.
The world’s largest airline will be adding a new daily flight from Miami to St Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport beginning Dec. 19.
That will be accompanied by a new daily nonstop flight between Charlotte and St Maarten as well.
The latter service will launch on Nov. 4, according to St Maarten tourism officials.
It’s an important statement for a destination that was hit hard by Hurricane Irma last year — and for the airport.
Indeed, St Maarten’s famous air hub has made steady progress since last year’s storm, with 73 percent of all air carriers that offered service to the island before the storm having resumed flight operations to the island.
Right now, there are around 9,901 seats to St Maarten every week from U.S. carriers including United, Delta, JetBlue, American and Spirit.
While the airport is still operating with a temporary facility, it is planning to complete upgrades and renovations by 2020.
The new flights have been joined by the reopenings several of St Maarten’s most popular hotels, including the Divi Little Bay, Princess Heights, Oyster Bay and boutique resorts like Le Petit Hotel on the French side.
St Maarten has also been seeing strong growth on the cruise side of the industry as well, according to recent data.