Caribbean Netherlands: 4 percent more air passengers in 2022 than in 2019

Aviation on Saba
In 2022, more than 475 thousand travellers passed through the airports of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. This is nearly 64 percent more than in 2021 and 4 percent more than in 2019. The number of aircraft movements to and from these airports was almost 14 percent higher than in 2021. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on newly released figures.

Air passenger arrivals and departures in the Caribbean Netherlands
maand2019 (x 1,000)2020 (x 1,000)2021 (x 1,000)2022 (x 1,000)

The highest number of passengers travelling to and from the three airports of the Caribbean Netherlands was recorded in July and December 2022: 45 thousand in both months. The busiest day was Saturday 19 February, when 2.5 thousand passengers passed through the terminals of Flamingo Airport on Bonaire, F.D. Roosevelt Airport on St Eustatius or Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport on Saba.

Most passengers flying to and from Bonaire

In 2022, nearly 432 thousand travellers arrived at or departed from Flamingo Airport on Bonaire, i.e. 91 percent of all passengers in the Caribbean Netherlands. For the airports of St Eustatius and Saba, this was 5 and 4 percent respectively. The runway at Flamingo Airport on Bonaire is 3 km long, which makes it possible for larger aircraft to land. The runways on Saba and St Eustatius are shorter, which is why the aircraft for these islands are smaller.

Flights and passengers in the Caribbean Netherlands relative to 2019
categorieeiland2020 (%)2021 (%)2022 (%)
passengersSt Eustatius -68.7-63.8-46.0
flightsSt Eustatius -53.5-34.3-25.9

Sharpest increase in air passenger traffic on Bonaire

Compared to pre-pandemic year 2019, 4 percent more passengers travelled to and from the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands in 2022. These additional passengers all travelled to and from Bonaire, representing an increase of more than 12 percent (from 384 thousand passengers in 2019 to 432 thousand in 2022). Last year, the number of flights to and from Bonaire was far below the level of 2019.

More flights to and from Saba

In 2022, the airports of St Eustatius and Saba together recorded over 8.6 thousand aircraft arrivals and departures. This was 44 percent of all flights to and from the Caribbean Netherlands and 16.4 percent more than in 2021. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport on Saba was the only one of the three airports in the Caribbean Netherlands where the number of flights increased in 2022 compared to 2019.

Aircraft movements to and from Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
luchthaven2019 (x 1,000)2020 (x 1,000)2021 (x 1,000)2022 (x 1,000)
Flamingo Airport (Bonaire)15.77.810.011.2
F.D. Roosevelt Airport (St Eustatius)
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (Saba)

Most flights on Saba and St Eustatius to and from St Maarten

In both 2019 and 2022, most flights on Bonaire were to and from Curaçao and Amsterdam: 84 and 78 percent respectively. Most flights on Saba and St Eustatius together were to and from St Maarten (83 percent in 2022).

Bonaire’s airport fourth largest in the Netherlands in 2022

Nearly 11.2 thousand flights were operated at Flamingo Airport on Bonaire in 2022. This puts Bonaire in fourth place among Dutch airports after Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Eindhoven Airport and Rotterdam The Hague Airport. This also applies to the number of passengers carried.