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As you know many nationalities can transit via several EU airports, like CDG, if the rule below is respected:

Passengers transiting through Paris (CDG), arriving from a non-Schengen Member State with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight within 24 hours to a third country which is not a Schengen Member State

My question - for which I am unable to find an answer, is - does SXM count as "a third country which is not a Schengen Member State" ?

The route would be NBO-CDG-SXM-DOM

Thank you.

EDIT

They were denied boarding because Kenya Airways alleges the passengers transit in two Schengen countries.

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  • 4
    SXM is definitely out of Schengen, as are all Caribbean posessions of EU states. Dec 7, 2023 at 12:46
  • 2
    Was this all on a single ticket? Traveldoc says the itinerary is valid.
    – jcaron
    Dec 7, 2023 at 13:22
  • 2
    The real question, of course, is whether passengers board the flight from Paris to SXM in the intra-Schengen part of the airport or not. It looks as though that flight left from gate K33, which seems like an international gate, but I am not familiar enough with CDG to know for sure.
    – phoog
    Dec 7, 2023 at 16:31
  • Yes single ticket.
    – Kiribati
    Dec 7, 2023 at 17:06

1 Answer 1

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Your itinerary is:

  1. Nairobi, Kenya.
  2. Paris, France.
  3. SXM = Princess Juliana airport in Sint Maarten, a Dutch overseas territory.
  4. Dominica.

Only the second step is in the Schengen Area. So the allegation that “the passengers transit in two Schengen countries” is definitely wrong. That would be the case for a double transfer in Paris and Amsterdam, for example. But not for a single transfer in Europe. The Schengen area only consists of territories in Europe and close to Europe, including islands in the North Atlantic and Spanish territories on the coast of North Africa, but not including any place in the Caribbean.

The Paris CDG (Roissy) airport allows airside transit if you are connecting between two non-Schengen flights on a single ticket. Most nationalities (including Kenyan) do not need a visa for airside transit. The rules for needing an airside transit spell out when you need one: in terms of flight destinations, it is solely based on the Schengen Area. You do need to be careful about general statements which could plausibly have an exception for overseas territories of an EU countries, but this French government page does cover overseas territories and mentions no such exception. So flights to Sint Maarten do count as flights to a non-Schengen territory, so they depart from and arrive at the “international” (more properly: non-Schengen) zone of the airport. For a connection NBO-CDG-SXM, you do not need to enter France.

By the way, even flights to/from French overseas territories depart from and arrive at the non-Schengen zone of the airport. This is a minor point of political contention since these are domestic flights.

At SXM, I can't find an official source, but I see multiple sites that state that nobody needs a transit visa providing that you have a connection on a single ticket and are transiting on the same day (the airport closes at night, so for a next-day connection, some nationalities need a tourist visa for Sint Maarten).

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