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Airport in St. Maarten reopens after hurricanes

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St. Maarten’s airport reopened yesterday for commercial flights after hurricanes Irma and Maria last month. The Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA/SXM Airport) was severely damaged and is still under construction to return to full operation, according to Caribbean Travel Update online.

The Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs, Hon. Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher, said the airport was given time to get back to a suitable operational level for international safety standards.

“The damage to PJIA was severe and no quick fix could have been applied,” Arrindell-Doncher said in a press release. “Even as we open our airport, we are still months away from restoring PJIA to its former glory.”

And as the facility ramps back up, there may be some inconveniences for travelers, she said.

“We are in discussion with all of the airlines about resumption of service to St. Maarten,” she said. “St. Maarten as a destination has been hit hard and the road to recovery is long, but we still do have some hotel inventory that can be serviced and we still want potential investors here. Basically, the message we want to send to the world is we are resilient, we are open for business and we look forward to welcoming you back.”

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Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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