Published On: Fri, Feb 7th, 2020

Jetair now serving St. Maarten and Curacao twice weekly

Jetair owner & managemeent team - 02022020 JH

PHILIPSBURG — From Princess Juliana International Airport to Hato Airport in Curaçao in an hour and twenty minutes. This is now possible twice a week with Jetair Caribbean. Jetair flies a Fokker 70 between Curaçao and St. Maarten on Wednesdays and Sundays.

“A boy’s dream has come true,” says businessman Antonio ‘Tony’ Ribeiro about the inaugural flight of Jetair Sunday afternoon to St. Maarten. Smiling broadly, the owner of the new Curaçao airline United Caribbean Airlines BV, license holder for Jetair Caribbean, posed with the pilot, crew and management next to the aircraft at Princess Juliana International Airport. CEO Robert Maas proudly says that the Fokker 70 belonged to KLM and served as a Cityhopper, until the aircraft was purchased by a company in Southeast Asia. “This aircraft is perfectly maintained, has relatively few flying hours and is in very good condition,” says Maas with a smile. “The plane seats eighty passengers and provides a lot of legroom.”

Jetair team - 02022020 JH

The 75-year-old Ribeiro had been retired for over ten years when Insel Air closed down and the inter-island air connection was limited. “We need a solution for that,” Ribeiro thought. He had no experience in aviation, but that did not prevent him from unfolding plans for a new Curaçao airline. “I am a businessman,” he emphasizes, adding immediately that he is more than just an investor. “Money comes in last place. The most important thing is to have a good team, that you have people with knowledge of aviation and who are familiar with the islands. I have the right people around me,” says Ribeiro with a wink at Maas.

Jetair managemeent team - 02022020 JH

Robert Maas is a former Cash & Treasury manager at Insel Air. Both he and Ribeiro insist that JetAir is not a second Insel Air. “Jetair is totally different,” both emphasize. “This company has a solid foundation and does not have the ambition to grow quickly. We now have two planes, one of which is in the air and the other serves as a backup. In an emergency, if the plane cannot depart, a replacement can be on site within two hours.”

Jetair Fokker 70 at SXM Airport - 02022020 JH

St. Maarten was initially not planned as a destination. “But there was a lot of demand for it,” says Maas. “We decided to use our aircrafts on those routes where there is a need for extra capacity. When we put it to the test with a number of charter flights to St. Maarten, the response was overwhelming.” Ribeiro adds: “The collaboration with the crew on St. Maarten is excellent” in reference to the team at Juliana Airport Handlers that is doing the handling for Jetair Caribbean on St. Maarten.

Jetair Juliana Airport Handlers team - 02022020 JH

When they speak about the future, Ribeiro and Maas talk about ‘steps’. Working out the route planning step by step, at our own pace, being service-oriented and efficient, is what Maas has in mind. Collaboration with other companies on new routes is possible, he says, but ‘step by step’ and according to clear agreements. Punctuality is of the most importance for JetAir, according to the management. “Travelers must be able to trust that their aircraft will depart on time and that they will arrive at their destination on time.”

Jetair Fokker 70 SXM Airport - 02022020 JH


Watch the beautiful landing over Maho Beach of the JetAir Fokker 70 with tailnumber PJ-JAC on Sunday, 02-02-2020: a date with destiny fulfilled as a boyhood’s dream came true>>>


Jetair bedient nu St. Maarten en Curaçao
Jetair to start scheduled service on the St. Maarten-Curacao route February 2
Jetair Caribbean almost ready to fly