Minister Pantophlet: Everything being done to prevent COPA Airline from reducing its flights

Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (TEATT) Hon. Romeo Pantophlet, has been working diligently to finalize the COPA Airlines advice in order to have the funds released in a timely manner to the airline.


Minister Pantophlet was reacting to an article by Member of Parliament Hon. Roy Marlin with respect to COPA Airlines possibly reducing its four scheduled flights for the week from four to two due to not receiving marketing funds to promote the flight out of Panama.

According to Minister Pantophlet, the document had been tied up in a lengthy and tedious bureaucratic process. The advice is presently at the Governor’s cabinet for signing, and the Cabinet of Minister Pantophlet has been informed that the advice will be signed and returned on Thursday morning.

Minister Pantophlet further indicated that after hearing the news about COPA possibly reducing flights, he immediately called His Excellency Hon. Governor Holiday requesting the status of the advice, and was informed that the advice requires a new "Beslisblad" from the Council of Ministers mandating Minister Pantophlet to sign a contract with COPA Airlines on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten.

This issue was handled in Tuesday’s Council of Ministers meeting and the "beslisblad" was finalized and sent to the Governor’s Cabinet Wednesday afternoon.

Once the document is returned to General Affairs, payment of the cooperative marketing funds to COOPA can be processed.

Minister Pantophlet has also requested a meeting with COPA Airlines in order to discuss and mitigate the possible reduction of flights to the destination. This meeting has been scheduled for Monday morning.

Minister Pantophlet shares the concerns of all as it relates to COPA’s flights and will definitely be updating stakeholders and the community at large with respect to this matter.