News & Media

PJIAE Press Release Arajet - Arajet Launch at SXM Airport

(L to R) Johanna de Windt of Halley Aviation, Ben van der Klift, CEO PJIAE N.V., Mark Breen , CFO Arajet, Nacim Yala, Spokesperson Arajet, Honorable Acting Minister of TEATT, Omar Ottley, Jasper Dore and Priscilla Halley of Halley Aviation.

SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (September 27, 2022) On Tuesday September 27, 2022, Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE N.V.) officially welcomed Arajet Airlines to St. Maarten with a symbolic inaugural ceremony. Arajet will have two (2) weekly flights between St. Maarten (SXM) and Santo Domingo (SDQ), offering non-stop services from St. Maarten to the Dominican Republic. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the airline will be using a Boeing 737 MAX-8 with a seat capacity of 185. This venture serves as a part of Arajets’s growing network out of the Dominican Republic.

Ben van der Klift, CFO of Princess Juliana International Airport comments: “Today, I’m very pleased and honored to welcome Arajet to our airport and the island of St. Maarten. Arajet is an important addition for our hub function to increase St. Maarten's connectivity in the Caribbean. In addition, the entire island will benefit from this route development. There will be more tourists coming to our island and the people of St. Maarten have even more choices when they want to fly to Santo Domingo.”

Victor Pachego Mendez, CEO for Arajet reacted, “We are excited to start operations to Princess Juliana International Airport. St. Maarten is one of the top destinations in the Caribbean, and the launch of direct, low-fare flights from the Dominican Republic will attract more tourists, increase connectivity, and offer our guests the opportunity to experience our warm and distinctive Dominican customer service, flying in an environmentally friendly fleet of a new and modern 737 MAX-8.”

Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunications (TEATT) Omar Ottley said, “The Dominican Republic and St. Maarten share in a long history of trade relationships and the family ties that bind us, has favored both countries for many years. The Dominican Republic has a vast number of travel enthusiasts whose visit will further enhance our economic model as we continue to grow.

Arajet’s decision to include St. Maarten as a preferred destination as it expands its airlifts throughout the Caribbean is a true indication of its trust in our Country’s service cultural standard. We welcome Arajet and its staff and thank the Airline’s management team for placing its confidence in our island. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with the hopes to see increased airlifts over time,” concluded Ottley.

About Arajet

Arajet is the first low-fare airline in the Caribbean region which started operations in September 2022, from its base at Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo, under its airline operator certificate (AOC) from the Dominican Republic. Arajet will operate a new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft that provide safe and affordable travel to and from the Dominican Republic to destinations in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean region. For more information, visit

About Princess Juliana International Airport

Princess Juliana International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast Caribbean. It is an important airport hub for Saba, St Eustatius, St Barthelemy, Anguilla, Dominica, Nevis and Tortola. The airport is one of the largest employers on the island. It has 277 workers and an additional 1700 workers within the entire airport community. In 2022 the Sint Maarten airport expects to handle 1.2 million passengers and 54.000 aircraft movements. The reconstruction works of the airport have started in September 2021. By the end of 2022 the departure hall will be ready to use for passengers. In the summer of 2023, the new terminal will be finished. Contractor Ballast Nedam International Projects is actively seeking cooperation with local people and companies which is essential for socio-economic recovery of Sint Maarten.

Historic Timeline

Princess Juliana Airport was officially opened by Princess Juliana in 1944. In 2006 her Majesty Queen Beatrix inaugurated the new terminal building. In 2017 St.Maarten was hit by Hurricane Irma (Cat 5) and the airport’s terminal was heavily damaged. In January 2020 Princess Juliana International Airport signed the WorldBank/EIB loan to reconstruct the terminal. In July 2021 Ballast Nedam International Project was the main contractor selected for the reconstruction of the airport terminal.