Transfer Passengers at SXM up by 21% in First Quarter

ASDC intensifying efforts to improve airport’s hub function

Transfer passengers at the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM increased by 21% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2013. This was disclosed by SXM at a recent meeting of the Air Service Development Committee (ASDC) made up of representatives of all the hub partners of SXM.
According to a presentation made by SXM at the meeting, St. Barths is the largest connection market out of SXM with 9,600 passengers, followed by Charles De Gualle, Paris, with 4,033 passengers, and BVI with 1,308 passengers. St. Eustatius with 1,176 passengers and Anguilla with 1,111 connecting passengers complete the top five markets.
SXM stated that the idea of a hub is to enhance air travel and give passengers the option of more flights, more frequency, and more services. It added that minimizing the travel time between the destination where the trip originated and the final destination is key to the success of a hub. SXM intends to continue to attract more passengers by working with all airlines to have Interline agreements that would encourage more passengers to use the airport as a hub, he said.
SXM further disclosed that it will be working with SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, to improve the boarding pass scanning system. This will allow for the capturing of transfer passenger demographics and information and provide a more accurate estimate of transfer passenger information.
With over one million Canadians visiting Cuba annually and another 850,000 traveling to the Dominican Republic, SXM said that targeting Canadian carriers to increase passenger connection through its facility will be a priority. For example, if WestJet were to focus transfer passenger movement to the hub islands, this will increase flight frequencies from three to five weekly.
The factors necessary to improve the hub function of SXM were identified as determining the air travel market sizes by origin cities and countries; seeking new long-haul air routes; entering into Interline agreements with airlines that currently service SXM and group budgeting and joint marketing by the hub partners.
The meeting, hosted by SXM, was the second for the ASDC, which is seeking to foster, and support the promotion and development of new flight routes to and from the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM with the intention of increasing connectivity of the visitors to their final destination.