Wednesday , March 22 2023

Winair quits CN-Express due to financial constraints

After Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Saba and St. Eusta­tius developed an urgency for air transportation to revive the tourism sector, for medical referrals and work-related traffic. Due to financial constraints Windward Islands Airways International Winair, how­ever, stepped out of the agreement with Caribbean Netherlands CN-Express to establish direct flight con­nections between Bonaire, Statia and Saba.

This connection between the three islands of the Ca­ribbean Netherlands would originally become opera­tional early January.

Winair’s facilities in St. Maarten were completely destroyed by Irma, caus­ing the need for a new fa­cility to enable Winair to firstly serve its customers by opening a new sales and reservations office on Nis­beth Road in Philipsburg.

In addition, Winair leased the second floor of this building for its Accounting and Human Resources De­partments to operate.

“Customer and vendors reception has truly been positive”, stated Winair’s Chief Executive Officer and President Michael D. Cleaver to online news out­let Caribisch Netwerk.

The launch of CN-Express experienced delays due to financial and operational issues. Although there initially was a principle agreement between par­ties, Winair backed out, which made it impossible to launch the air connection.

Unfortunately, and de­spite the best efforts of Wi­nair and its partners in The Hague, they were unable to achieve a workable plan to accommodate and facilitate the CN Express operation, according to Winair.

Their current operational and financial situation post Irma/ Maria precludes Wi­nair from taking avoidable risks at this time, it was stat­ed. The ministries involved are currently looking into possible other solutions.

The Daily Herald.

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  1. The solution for this problem was already there one year ago. We can start straight away. Due to the BES law and the unwilling ILT ( Inspectie Leefbaarheid en Transport) we cannot start our operation with new aircraft from Statia. Discussions are ongoing in The Hague.

  2. No one helped Saba after Irma and Maria – island held to ransom of making people pay to charter when needing to get to or from island – no office is not an excuse in an electronic age – if they were able to charter flights to people, then they were able to run flights to island. Winair were running free evacuation flights from SXM to Antigua – so they could have run flights to Saba and St Eustatia as well.