News & Media

First winair passengers checked-in for their flight to via the new check-in area at Princess Juliana International Airport

Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten (January 22, 2024) - Today Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) and Winair have unveiled the brand-new check-in area for the first Winair passengers flying to Saba and St. Eustatius. From now on, Winair passengers are in for an upgraded ground experience any time they depart from Princess Juliana Airport Airport (SXM). The improvements to the ground experience at the airport come as the next step in the reopening of the terminal building.

The first 26 passengers checking-in for their flight to Saba and St. Eustatius this morning received a warm welcome from the CEO of Winair and the Managing Board of PJIAE to celebrate the opening of the new Winair check-in desks. All passengers received a goodie bag from Winair and PJIAE and continued their journey to their destination.

Hans van de Velde, CEO of Winair: It is a great pleasure that we can check-in all our passengers via this new and enhanced check-in area. We thank PJIAE for all the efforts and close cooperation and hard work. We are very happy to see the modern facilities like the self-check-in desk and baggage drop-off, which will greatly improve the customer journey and we are glad we, as the local carrier, are part of this.

Brian Mingo, CEO of PJIAE, comments: ‘We are happy to work in close co-operation with Winair They are a true partner and we both have the same values: improving the customer experience is definitely one of them. With this new check-in area we are definitely able to serve our customers even better ’.

Celebrate 80 years of Princess Juliana International Airport
As the airport eagerly approaches its 80th birthday, preparations are underway for a royal celebration later in 2024. The milestone event is set to honor the airport's rich legacy of connecting people and cultures across the globe. With a blend of historical reverence and forward-looking optimism, the 80th birthday celebration will be a royal celebration, reflecting the airport's enduring commitment to innovation, efficiency, and sustainability in the years to come.

Re-opening with excellence
Following the completion of the Departure – and Check-in area, the attention will shift to the second phase, which will be the construction of an upgraded Arrival Hall. The new Arrival Hall will provide a welcoming space for passengers, offering improved baggage handling systems, efficient immigration and customs processes, and enhanced passenger facilities. This phase aims to optimize the passenger flow and ensures a seamless transition from the aircraft to the terminal.

Construction of the Arrival Hall is anticipated to be finalized by the second quarter of 2024, in time for summer travel. Throughout the finalization of the project, PJIAE remains committed to minimizing disruptions for its employees, travelers, and other airport community members. Careful planning and coordination will be undertaken to ensure that construction activities do not hinder the airport’s operations and that passengers continue to enjoy a seamless travel experience.

The phased approach to rebuilding the new terminal reflects PJIAE’s dedication to upgrade towards world-class airport standards while adapting to the evolving needs of the aviation industry. This transformative project aims to position the airport as a hub of convenience, comfort, and efficiency, allowing passengers to travel with ease and confidence beyond the Caribbean region.

About Princess Juliana International Airport
Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean and serves as a vital airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis, and Tortola. The airport stands as one of the largest employers on the island, with 305 workers employed directly and a total of 1700 workers within the entire airport community. In 2024, Sint Maarten Airport expects to handle 1.5 million passengers and 54,000 aircraft movements. Reconstruction efforts at the airport commenced in September 2021, with the new terminal hall scheduled for completion in Q2 2024.

Historic Timeline
Princess Juliana Airport was officially inaugurated by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. PJIAE underwent a major reconstruction project in 2020, following significant damage to the main terminal caused by Hurricane IRMA in September 2017. After six years, the project is in its final stages and is set to be completed by Q2 2024.

About Winair
Windward Islands Airways International (Winair) N.V. is a leading airline serving the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. Established in 1961, Winair has been connecting the region with safe, reliable, and efficient air transportation services. With a focus on customer satisfaction, Winair is dedicated to providing a seamless travel experience while contributing to the economic growth and connectivity of the Caribbean islands. Winair is growing their fleet, and expects to open several new routes during this year.