Princess Juliana Airport on St. Maarten could reopen to
commercial flights in a week, said Rolando Brison, St. Maarten's director of
The airport was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma on
Wednesday and has been closed since then.
"We cannot begin repairs and cleanup until after
Hurricane Jose passes, which is supposed to be this weekend," Brison said.
"A number of airlines, including Copa, Caribbean Airlines,
Seaborne and Winair, have indicated they are ready to come in as soon as we
give the word. They can transport visitors to other Caribbean islands that have
commercial flights to the U.S. and elsewhere," he said.
He described the hurricane as "the worst scenario ever."
"All of our hotels have damage from minor to severe. We are
in a difficult time regarding our infrastructure. Many of our roads are
inaccessible, but the [cruise] port held up pretty well. We will recover and we
will bounce back," Brison said.