By Chudi Chukwudi
SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (January 27, 2013)—The Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) has been voted the “most stunning landing” in the world by travel fans around the globe.
The PrivateFly.com Airport Approaches survey was conducted in December 2012, on PrivateFly.com. Results were generated by PrivateFly website users and from social media invitations across a range of global websites. According to the organizers, a total of 1,711 votes were received, with 83 different airports being nominated.
In her initial reaction to the poll, PJIAE managing director, Regina LaBega said: “We are very excited at the news that SXM Airport has been chosen as having the world’s most stunning landing.”
“This recognition comes at a time when we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the airport. It is, therefore, a most welcome birthday gift, so to speak. We are grateful to all who, obviously from experience, chose SXM Airport as number one in the world in this category,” said LaBega.
LaBega further added: “We are also pleased to offer all our customers a first-class international airport with an impeccable safety record, which continues to top our priority list. As a major hub in this part of Paradise, SXM Airport continues to upgrade its already excellent facilities and improve its services.”
“Not only is the landing on our island the most stunning in the world,” she said, “the legendary friendliness of our people and the spectacular natural beauty of St. Maarten, makes a visit to our island an experience that will move you.”
This is the third time in a row that SXM Airport has made the Top 10 in this annual survey of the most stunning landings in the world.
A panel of world-renowned experts in the travel and aviation industry chose a shortlist of the airports to be considered in the online poll. These included David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC); Peter Myers, editor of the business traveler pages at Reuters.com; Murdo Morrison, editor of Flight International, the world’s oldest aviation weekly and Sarah Miller, a former deputy editor of the Sunday Times Style magazine.
One of the voters in the online survey made the following remark about St. Maarten: “It’s a gorgeous approach over the clear blue sea, white sand beach with hills in the background. The beach goers can almost touch the landing gear as planes make their landing. It’s unbelievable, an aircraft lover’s dream. Nowhere else in the world can you get so close to the variety of aircraft, anything from a 747 to a twin otter.”
Viv Diprose of PrivateFly.com, organizer of the poll, in congratulating SXM Airport said, “We will be publishing details of the poll’s results, including a rundown of the Top 10 airports. We will be featuring the results on our website and issuing press releases to international and regional media and the travel trade.”
In addition, a “winner’s logo” will be sent to SXM Airport which can be used on the airport’s website and other promotional materials.
“All of these will generate a very positive PR for St. Maarten,” Diprose noted.
The complete list of the Top 10 airports in the “most stunning landing” category is as follows:
1. St. Maarten
2. Barra, Scotland
3. Los Angeles, USA
4. Paro, Bhutan
5. Las Vegas, USA
6. Phinda, South Africa
7. London City, UK
9. Mustique, St Vincent & The Grenadines
10. Nice, France.