ANALYSIS: The end of an era - KLM flies last 747 to St Maarten

As KLM operates its last planned scheduled Boeing 747 flight into St Maarten, Routesonline takes a look back at the airline and Jumbo Jet operations into Princess Juliana International Airport, famous for its stunning landing and take-off procedures.

NOTE: Dates listed below may slightly differ to actual operation, as information is taken from published schedule listing.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines today (28OCT16) operates last scheduled Boeing 747 service to St. Maarten, marking the end of an era along with the icnoic picturesque views of the jumbo jet's landing on the island.

Based on schedule listing from OAG Schedules Analyser, KLM launched St. Maarten service in 1989.

KLM at the launch of winter 1989/90 season commenced scheduled service to St. Maarten, initially with DC10, operating once a week.

29OCT89 – 22OCT90
1 weekly DC10 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

KLM launched Boeing 747 service to St. Maarten for 5-week period at the start of winter 1990/91 season.

28OCT90 – 30NOV90
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

01DEC90 – 25MAR91
1 weekly DC10 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

From April 1991, KLM’s 747 aircraft begins operating on year-round basis. 2nd weekly rotation introduced at the start of summer 1992 schedule, while DC10 operated last SXM flight in October 1992.

01APR91 – 23MAR92
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

30MAR92 – 23OCT92
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly DC10 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

Operational routing split in effect from winter 1992/93 season until the end of winter 1993/94 season.

25OCT92 – 30JUN93
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

01JUL93 – 31JAN94
1 weekly 747-300 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747-300 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

01FEB94 – 24MAR94
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

27MAR94 – 29SEP94
2 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

As KLM gradually introduces MD11 fleet as DC10 successor, the airline begins placing MD11 aircraft to St. Maarten, along with the 747. Additional frequency for SXM added in winter 1994/95 schedule.

30SEP94 – 29OCT94
1 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

30OCT94 – 27FEB95
1 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam erationa

28FEB95 – 24MAR95
2 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam

25MAR95 – 29MAR96
3 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam (MD11 operates 1 of 3 weekly 24SEP95 – 30NOV95)

Operational routing changes gradually in effect in 1996, including service routing via Curacao, Aruba, San Juan (from Oct 1996). MD11 exclusively operated service to SXM from October 1996 to March 1998, instead of 747.

30MAR96 – 21OCT96
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam

27OCT96 – 31JAN98
2 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – San Juan – Amsterdam

01FEB98 – 27MAR98
2 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

31MAR98 – 31MAY98
2 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – San Juan – Amsterdam
2 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

01JUN98 – 22OCT98
2 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

25OCT98 – 25MAR99
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam

29MAR99 – 23MAR00
2 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

30MAR00 – 26OCT00
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

29OCT00 – 24MAR01
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam

29MAR01 – 25OCT01
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

28OCT01 – 28MAR02
2 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

01APR02 – 27OCT03
1 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

Brief operational routing changes, as well as temporary MD11 operation in winter 2003/04 schedule. Additional routing changes also in effect between March 2007 and August 2011.

28OCT03 – 15JAN04
2 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten

16JAN04 – 30OCT04
2 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

31OCT04 – 18MAR07
3 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam (2 weekly 29MAR05 – 31MAY05)

25MAR07 – 27MAR09
2 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Aruba – Amsterdam

31MAR09 – 26AUG11
2 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam
1 weekly MD11 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Bonaire – Amsterdam

02SEP11 – 28OCT16
3 weekly 747 Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Curacao – Amsterdam

KLM’s last MD11 scheduled service to St. Maarten was on 01NOV11. On 28OCT16, KLM schedules last Boeing 747 operation to St. Maarten, as the Skyteam member switches to 3 weekly terminator Amsterdam – St. Maarten service from 30OCT16, on board Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Initial schedule changes for winter 2016/17 schedule occurred in Late-June 2016, accompanied by brief statement posted on the airline's website. Summer 2017 schedule was updated by Late-August 2016, which also see operational aircraft and routing switches to A330-200.

In OAG Schedules Analyser listing, KLM mainly uses aircraft code 747, without specifying the -200/-300/-400 model. The aircraft code 743 was briefly used in 1993, while the code 744 appeared from Feb 2014.

Other notable scheduled 747 operation for St. Maarten includes Air France and Corsair.

Air France in 1986 started service to St. Maarten with Boeing 747, later switched to 747-300 from 01DEC91. Initially routing from 03DEC86 for winter 1986/87 schedule was 1 weekly 747 Paris CDG – St. Maarten – Pointe-a-Pitre – Paris CDG, whilea dditional 1 weekly routing was added between 07DEC87 and 20MAR94: 1 weekly 747 Paris CDG – St. Maarten – Fort-de-France – Paris CDG.

Operational routing variation includes Paris CDG – St. Maarten – Santo Domingo – Paris CDG, commenced from 27OCT91 to 27MAR93, as well as Paris CDG – St. Maarten – Antigua – Paris CDG in November 1995. From 01APR96, Air France service to St. Maarten consolidated to Paris CDG – St. Maarten – Santo Domingo – Paris CDG until 30MAR02, as the airline later moved to Paris CDG – St. Maarten Airbus A340-300 terminator service from the launch of summer 2002 schedule.

French carrier Corsair also served St. Maarten up to January 2012. Operational routing include (January 2003 schedule):
1 weekly 747-300 Paris Orly – St. Maarten – Fort-de-France – Paris Orly
1 weekly 747-300 Paris Orly – St. Maarten – Pointe-a-Pitre – Paris Orly

Until last flight in January 2012, the airline also served St. Maarten with 747-200 and -400.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m6fqV3rMro

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