photo: Esther Henry

THE BOTTOM – The first CN-Express flight from Winair was on Monday, starting from Bonaire to St.Eustatius ending on Saba. “I originally left Curaçao to St. Maarten and had a straight connection from St.Eustatius to Saba. It was a fairly good range price”, expressed Eli Alives, Solar Park PV.

Ruud Peters, head of the shared service organization Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN), signed the CN-express agreement with Winair on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Interior this week. Winair ended the agreement of the CN-Express in January, due to financial obligations after hurricane Irma, but the two parties work it out this month.

New flight
CN-Express will fly every Monday and Friday. After six weeks, it is evaluated whether it meets the need. An ATR42 aircraft from Air Antilles will be used for the new route. This aircraft with 48 seats flies between St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Bonaire.

A Winair Twin-otter feeder is then used for the connection with Saba from St. Eustatius. The direct flight between Bonaire and St.Eustatius takes about 2 hours.

RCN takes a number of places each flight for medical broadcasts and employees. In addition, a fixed amount of places goes into free sales. Tickets have a price of $300.00 for a single ticket for flights from Bonaire to St.Maarten, Saba or St.Eustatius (or vice versa). The rate does not include airport tax and booking fees.

Beatrix Heyliger, security chief at the airport: “The ride was a little bumpy with several air pockets, yet it was a good flight. I came from St.Maarten while transferring to Statia. The ticket was pretty cheap compared to before. I used to pay about $300 for a trip from St.Maarten to Saba.”