According to Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Winair Georges Greaux, the airline has posted a modest operational profit in 2012, quite a turnaround from the period before October 2010, when the airline booked accumulated operational losses of US $16.8 million and accumulated a sizable debt, resulting in a US $9.2 million negative equity position. Since the company was taken over in October 2010 from the now defunct Netherlands Antilles by Country St. Maarten (92.05%) and The Netherlands (Saba and Statia (7.95%), Greaux said the present management board worked diligently in streamlining the operations and implementing cost-cutting measures, while taking advantage of new opportunities. “The airline is in a much better position today than where it was when we came on board,” says Greaux, who is also the son of the principal founder of the local national airline. He added, however, that while operationally the airline has made a major turnaround, the debt burden and negative equity position continues to weigh heavily on the company.
The Chairman congratulated the Executive Management team, his fellow Supervisory board members, the shareholders and especially the employees for having done a tremendous job in turning the company around. “Observations were made about the company as a whole showing renewed energy and pride by all employees that have created such a positive image in our regional aviation world that people are not only wanting to work for the company, but many are also wanting to do business with it again,” Greaux said.
Some of Winair’s highlights in 2012 were: Obtaining National Flag Carrier status in March signed by the Minister of Transportation; re-instated Passenger Self-handling in October with a hired staff of 27 on a budget neutral basis; re-instated Ground Handling Services to third parties with additional or upgraded equipment, plus additional six staff hired; inserted a stop in St. Kitts on the St. Maarten-Nevis daily flight that has had positive effect on load factors; and met the requirements to renew the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).