PHILIPSBURG — Winair’s CEO, Michael Cleaver, in an interview with TODAY News Online used the opportunity to highly commend the staff of Winair. “I am really proud of the employees. They have come through like champions.” Cleaver said. “The same goes for the workgroup working on our rebuilding efforts and for the many people, who to our surprise, even people you would not expect it from, came out and helped us tremendously. They are all champions in my book and people know I don’t say that easily.”
Cleaver told Today News Online that the old office building has been gutted and that the company is working on rebuilding the hangar. The new steel for the frame structure has been ordered. In the meantime, maintenance on the aircrafts is being done at night. “I would like to let our customers and the general public know that eventhough we operate the aircrafts during the day, with the good cooperation of PJIA, we are able to work at night on the aircrafts.” Cleaver pointed out. Safety still remains a key value for the airline company. “We work very closely with the PJIAE company and the working relationship is very good” Cleaver reiterated.
Winair announced this week that they will be resuming flights to Guadeloupe, Dominica, Puerto Rico, Curacao and Haiti. Effective Monday, October 23rd, Winair will resume the following flights with partner Air Antilles on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday: Guadeloupe to Dominica; Dominica to St. Maarten; St. Maarten to San Juan; San Juan to St. Maarten; St. Maarten to Dominica; and Dominica to Guadeloupe.
“We will be maintaining the same schedule we had to Dominica that we had prior to hurricane Irma with three flights a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. We will be using the ATR aircraft operated by Air Antilles. These aircrafts are practically new aircrafts, just over two years old and one even 1 year old.” Cleaver explained.
In addition effective Tuesday, October 31st, Winair will resume following the services on Tuesdays: Curacao to Haiti; Haiti to St. Maarten; St. Maarten to Curacao. On Saturdays: Curacao to St. Maarten; St. Maarten to Haiti; and Haiti to Curacao.
“We are definitely looking forward to servicing the St. Maarten-Port au Prince route. The Haiti market is a vibrant market and we have good expectations on that route. We just need to work out a good schedule with our partner PAWA, which we are busy doing right at this moment.” Cleaver said.
PAWA Dominicana is the partner airline company Winair has a wetlease agreement with to operate their MD80 jet aircraft on the St. Maarten-Curacao-Haiti routes.
Winair presently has three Twin Otter aircrafts operating a limited scheduled from St. Maarten to Saba, Statia, Nevis and St. Barths. Before hurricane Irma, the local airline company operated five Twin Otter aircrafts. “We will be re-introducing new schedules and introducing new routes as the work with our rebuilding efforts progress. We are working very hard at that.” Cleaver concluded.
Photo caption: One of the Air Antilles operates on behalf of Winair on the routes to Guadeloupe, Dominica and San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Princess Juliana International SXM Airport (PJIA).