Published On: Fri, Apr 6th, 2018

Sint Maarten and Curaçao want Open Skies with Gulf States

AirportWILLEMSTAD - The Dutch government wants to make Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates on behalf of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This allows free flights between the areas. This appears from a letter sent by Minister Blok van Buitenlandse Zaken to the Dutch Parliament.

Last week it became clear that the Netherlands made an Open Skies agreement between Qatar and Curaçao in 2015. From the Lower Chamber of Parliament there were still questions about this. One of the questions was whether more treaties are in the pipeline.


This appears to be the case from Minister Blok's answers. Curaçao wants to conclude an 'air services' agreement with a whole number of countries, including Colombia, Denmark, Oman, Sweden, South Africa and Singapore. Sint Maarten wants agreements with Brazil, Canada, Finland, Iceland and Qatar.

Gulf States

The Netherlands also wants to conclude an agreement with the United Arab Emirates on behalf of the two islands. The Emirates include Dubai and Abu Dhabi. With the agreement of Sint Maarten with Qatar, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar then have the opportunity to start a direct connection to both islands.


In the treaty that was previously concluded between Qatar and Curaçao, no restrictions were imposed on the frequency, the airlines allowed to operate on the route or the capacity. Both Sint Maarten and Curaçao do not have an airline that can fly directly to the Middle East.


The Lower House wanted to know, among other things, whether Qatar Airways will use the Open Skies agreement to carry out passenger flights between Curaçao and Schiphol. This may threaten the position of Dutch companies. Blok states that these passenger flights will not come, because in the treaty between the Netherlands and Qatar, no fifth freedom of the air rights have been included.

Fifth freedom rights

These specific rights are necessary for a foreign airline to fly from Schiphol to another country. For example, Indian Jet Airways uses this on the route between Schiphol and Toronto. In the treaty between Qatar and Curaçao only the rights have been included to land and start.

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