The initial CN-Express flight arrived on Bonaire today.
CN-Express provides a direct air link between the BES Islands and Sint Maarten.
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) have joined forces to establish a direct air link between Bonaire and the Windward islands. Last week, Ruud Peters (Head of the Shared Service Organization RCN) signed the agreement with Winair on behalf of BZK and this morning Bonaire International Airport welcomed the first CN-Express flight to Bonaire.
After hurricanes Irma and Maria, the important international hub of St. Maarten experienced difficulties. Sister BES islands Saba and St. Eustatius are in need of extra accessibility to support economic development, medical referrals, and commuter traffic.
CN-Express flight schedule.
Under the name of CN-Express, there are now flights every Monday and Friday for a period of three months. After six weeks, the CN-Express will be evaluated and it will be determined if it meets the needs of the BES islands.
Equipment used for CN-Express flights.
An ATR42 aircraft from Air Antilles will be used to fly the new route. This 48-seat aircraft will fly between St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Bonaire. A Winair Twin Otter feeder is then used to connect Saba with St. Eustatius. The direct flight between Bonaire and Statia will take about two hours.
Seats are available to the public.
RCN has purchased a number of seats on each flight for medical referrals and employees. In addition, a fixed amount of seats will be sold on the free market. Tickets are priced $300 for a one-way trip. This price applies to the flights BON-EUX, BON-SAB and BON-SXM (or vice versa). Airport taxes and booking fees are additional.
Although it was originally planned for the CN-Express to commence flights in January 2018, additional efforts were required by all parties in order to finalize the agreement with WinAir, which, in the months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, was focusing upon restoring their existing routes.