CN-Express connects Windward islands with Bonaire
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) are joining forces to establish a direct air link between Bonaire and the Winward islands.
This week, Ruud Peters (Head of the Shared Service Organization RCN) signed the agreement with Winair on behalf of BZK.
After hurricanes Irma and Maria, the important international hub of St. Maarten experienced difficulties. Saba and St. Eustatius are in need of extra accessibility to support economic development, medical referrals and commuter traffic.
Under the name of CN-Express, there’ll be flights every Monday and Friday for a period of three months. After six weeks, the CN-Express is evaluated whether it meets the needs. The first flight is scheduled for February 26. 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 2 hours.
RCN will purchase 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). The rate doesn't include airport tax and booking fees.
The CN-Express starts two months later than hoped. In recent weeks, a lot of effort was done to finalize the agreement with WinAir, which in the months after the two hurricanes was focus on restoring the existing routes.