Mr. Holiday’s speech for Tuesday’s Closing of the Network Latin America 2009 Conference


On Tuesday December 8th 2009 was the final day of the Network Latin America Conference. President of the PJIAE presented a closing speech thanking everyone for coming out and to the sponsors to help make this years conference a success.

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After his speech, the delegates were given a tour of the Airport Facilities.

The following is his speech he presented to the delegates and others in attendance.

Members of Network LATAM, Members of the Press,

Good afternoon. As host we may, based on the feedback we received, conclude that Network Latin America 2009 was a success. The objectives of the conference to create a forum for aviation exchange, while showcasing our airport and our island have been achieved.

Some 178 delegates attended, representing various companies, namely airlines, airports, handling companies and other aviation related businesses. There were some 330 one-to-one meetings between airlines and airports. Over the two days PJIAE executives had 12 meetings with different airlines.

As the airport of St. Maarten it is our objective to maintain our island’s position as a premier tourism destination; a position that can only be ensured by offering airlines, passengers, and other users: airport, air traffic control and commercial services, that meet and exceed the highest possible industry standards. Hosting the annual Network conference is part of our strategies to achieve this objective.

Yesterday we had a lively panel discussion, chaired by Mr. Mark Darby, former CEO of LIAT. Panelists were Mr. Moreira of Gol from Brazil and Mr. Kirby of AirTran from Orlando and myself. The underlying overall message was that sustainability of air service goes hand in hand with creativity and efficiency. Major topics included keeping airline cost in check, creative marketing, fostering partnerships and bilateral agreements. It is important to mention that most delegates present, expect passenger growth to resume in 2010 and vary between 0 to 5%.

In the tradition of Friendly Island PJIAE gave delegates the opportunity to experience St. Maarten from a social perspective.

We allowed them to experience

1. our watersports by way of the 12 Meter Challenge Regatta

2. Our local cuisine and traditional entertainment by way of the grand dinner and show at Sonesta Great Bay Resort

This afternoon delegates will have the opportunity to tour our airport facilities. We thank the sponsors for contributions which helped to make this conference a success and to place St. Maarten in the forefront for so many aviation executives.

We hope that the delegates found their meetings successful and their time in St. Maarten fruitful and memorable.

Thank you for your attention.