Island Aviation

Island Aviation (911)

GREAT BAY – Is Olivier Arrindell at it again? The controversy about his ghost airline AVA Airways is gaining momentum with the bitter exchange of opinions with businessman Michael Ferrier.

It all started with Arrindell’s claim that he had obtained a business economic permit from the government of St. Maarten for his airline. Ferrier noted in his letter to the editor this week that all he got was permission to establish an NV or a BV. There is no economic license and no airline operators certificate, Ferrier wrote.

He also questioned Arrindell’s claim of 10 years of experience in aviation and called AVA “a hallucination airline.”

Arrindell did not waste time preparing a response. In a lengthy letter that appeared on curacaochronicle.com he started throwing figures around about the incredible growth of the airline industry in the Caribbean and Latin-America – a story of “trillions of dollars” and the need for more than 30,000 new aircraft in the next fifteen to twenty years.

Winair “and its dream owner Michael Ferrier,” Arrindell wrote, “have no aviation policy or economic plan to take advantage of these opportunities.”

He suggested that the government sell Winair to Ferrier and he also suggested that the businessman and the Democratic Party are to blame for the downgrading of the airport by Iasa. The government nor Ferrier fixed the problems, Arrindell noted and then muttered that the businessman had the nerve to ask about his qualifications.

We wondered about those qualifications too. On LinkedIn, Arrindell’s profile portrays him as the “creative director” of Grace Aviation Holdings LLC, a company presumably based in Wilmington, Delaware.

The website of Grace Aviation is a special one: it just shows a page with a picture of tall buildings; somewhere in the air there is a tiny airplane. There is no information whatsoever about the company’s activities and there are no contact options either. It’s just a screen with a picture.

The LinkIn profile reveals more about Arrindell. He describes himself there as “the quintessential entrepreneur”: with “diverse interests and an extensive portfolio.”

Those interests include aviation development, music production development, Caribbean political consultancy and real estate management.

Here is an interesting line from the profile: “Mr. Arrindell’s work as a political strategist helped him run a noteworthy, grassroots political campaign for the political office of the Island Council government of St. Maarten in the 2005/2006 election.”

First of all: there were no Island Council elections in those years. The elections took place in April 2007, but that could be an oversight.

In 2007, Arrindell was indeed somewhat involved in local politics, with the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) of Johan van Heyningen. The party won all of 69 votes in that election and Arrindell personally won 20 votes. So much for “a noteworthy grassroots political campaign.”

That’s not all: after the elections Arrindell was kicked out of the now defunct party, because, according to Van Heyningen, “he broke every rule in the book.”

Interestingly, Van Heyningen said in 2007 that Arrindell had claimed the following: that he had a degree from the University of Connecticut, that he was representing reggae artist Maxi Priest and that he had gone through the School of Corrections in Curacao – an institution that catered at the time to children with behavioral problems.

We checked the LinkedIn profile and indeed: Arrindell claims up to today that he has an associate’s degree in economics from the University of Connecticut School of Business.

Van Heyningen found out already nine years ago that this claim is false. “He was not registered at the University of Connecticut and he does not have a degree. When we confronted him he said he had to drop out due to financial constraints.”

Another claim on LinkedIn is that Arrindell after “leveraging his professional experience and business acumen” became one of the youngest members of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York.

We checked with the relevant Chamber of Commerce, but up to press time we had not received verification of this claim.

As a managing partner of Oliwest Ltd., Arrindell appeared in 2009 in the media on a picture with Baldwin Spencer, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda when the country renamed the highest mountain on its territory, Boggy Peak, Mount Obama.

On LinkedIn, Oliwest is now described as “a political consultant firm”, but back in 2009, the temporary website of this company sang a different tune:Oliwest Ltd. is an Antigua-based company that offers modern commercial complexes to the international and Antiguan business community. The Oliwest Ltd Business Complex balances safety, cutting edge features, and a positive atmosphere for all clients.”

Oliwest Ltd furthermore labeled itself as “an environmentally and eco-friendly company that seeks to develop in a responsible manner. The Antigua & Barbuda Business Center will therefore be developed using environmentally and eco-friendly products.”

On a website for entrepreneurs who are looking for financing, Arrindell portrayed his commercial complex again with a different name, this time as “a highly desirable, state of the art, 47 unit commercial business complex, Sky View Business Center.”

He also claimed to have plans for a shopping mall that would contain the island’s first Applebee’s and Haagen-Dazs-café. Arrindell wrote that he was in the process of buying the franchise rights for both Applebee’s and Haagen-Dazs. He put the value of his project at $5.6 million.

The catch line was in the last paragraph of Arrindell’s quest to find investors. In tantalizing language he promised investors fabulous returns on investment. “At Oliwest Ltd, we are open to all kinds of investors. We have designed very attractive programs and extremely desirable returns which are highly competitive. For an investment of $2.5 million US, Oliwest Ltd normally offers 30% APR over 30 months and 20% share in the project’s net profits. We are open to all negotiations and financial scenarios.”

Airport Road, St. MaartenContinuing their successful winter season and introduction of new destinations, WINAIR will offer an expanded summer schedule this coming season in addition to the regular services to Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barth, Dominica – Douglas Charles Airport, St. Kitts, Nevis and Tortola.

Antigua

Commencing June 20, 2016 WINAIR will increase their service between St. Maarten and Antigua to daily flights. WINAIR will also connect St. Kitts and Nevis to Antigua with these daily flights. These flights will be operated with the DHC-6 300 aircraft.

Dominica Canefield

With increased demand for flights to the island of Dominica, combined with a new interline agreement with British Airways, WINAIR is delighted to offer daily services between Antigua and Dominica-Canefield and St. Maarten and Dominica-Canefield to their local/ regional customers as well as their international connecting passengers. These flights will be operated with the DHC-6 300 aircraft.

San Juan

Due to the decrease of service between San Juan and St. Maarten, WINAIR and their partner Air Antilles now increased their service to 4 flights a week, utilizing a state of the art ATR 500 series aircraft. Flights will be on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and the flight time is approximately 60 minutes. For times, more information and bookings please visit www.fly-winair.sx

Michael Cleaver, President & CEO states “The San Juan market is important to St. Maarten and as it was being underserved WINAIR and Air Antilles decided to operate this vital service.”

AIRPORT ROAD, St. MaartenWINAIR and British Airways have announced the successful implementation of an interline agreement between both carriers.

As British Airways serves Antigua, this will greatly assist passengers to and from any WINAIR destinations to make seamless connections to and from Europe.

Michael Cleaver, President and CEO of WINAIR, states:” This agreement will further enhance WINAIR’s reach via British Airways London hub to all destinations served by British Airways. It also puts all WINAIR destinations within reach of British Airways passengers.”

WINAIR also has interline service agreements with Air France, KLM, Copa Airlines, United, Air Antilles Pawa Dominicana, Liat, Caribbean Airlines, Air Caraïbes, Insel Air, Corsair.

This gives customer’s greater access to destinations with value added services such as checked through baggage.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - AVA Airways was granted its business economic permit to operate its Airline business plan. According to the Chairman of Ava Airways, Olivier Arrindell the airline is now on its way to certified its Airline and finalized with their Airline Operators Certificate (AOC).

AVA-director Olivier Arrindell feels very positive and looking forward to working with the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority. According to him, It’s time for St. Maarten to get out of IASA CAT 2 and move the island into the right direction of Aviation. St. Maarten needs airlift. The island cannot be dependent upon North American traffic anymore," Arrindell in an invited comment. Recently Arrindell and The President of AVA Airways Curacao Giovanni Atalita presented AVA Airways plans to the Ministry of Transportation, Civil Aviation and Economic Development, "One of our main objectives is to learn from the past and to propose a bold new direction for commercial aviation in St. Maarten. St. Maarten's economic situation needs this at the moment. St. Maarten's only local airline, Winair is going through some financial tough times due to its way of thinking and narrow legacy view of things.

Insel Air is a Bankrupt Airline that keeps getting help from Government of Curacao St. Maarten has no way to compete with the high cost of travel within our Antilles. The financial institution Korpodeko has 20% of the shareholdings of Insel Air and lent the Insel Air some needed cash. This is wrong and is a violation of the fear trade agreement within the Kingdom.

Insel Air has serious financial problems because of the way they manage their company not because of funds stuck in Venezuela. This is just an easy excuse. Korpodeko will also look to other financial institutions for the other part of the amount need by the airline.

This doesn't give much hope for the airlift and the economy of the island," Arrindell stated. "Right now, the fastest growing market for St. Maarten and the Caribbean is Latin America and it's mostly premium traffic.

Meaning, Latin America does consist of more countries and not only Panama. I understand that St. Maarten has a historical connection with North America, but right now it's time to expand our borders. There are other markets out there," Arrindell indicated.

Olivier Arrindell has been in the aviation business for almost a decade now. He said that one of the things he always sees is that Aviation companies in St. Maarten do not focus on new ideas. "It feels like the airlines, especially in St. Maarten are stuck in time. "They tend to follow the same ideas that others have done in the past. This does not work anymore. You have to be innovative. This is the only way you will survive now," Arrindell said. AVA Airways will start its operations with the A319/A320 aircraft types. The Airbus A320neo family is a family of aircraft under development by Airbus replacing the predecessor A320 family (now A320ceo (current engine option).

The letters "neo" stand for "New Engine Option" and are the last step of the modernization program A320 Enhanced (or "A320E") which was started in 2006.

According to Arrindell this type of aircraft fits perfect into AVA's operations on an East West hub.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Monday April 25th, 2016 representatives from Caribbean Airlines and Halley Aviation in the persons of June Douglas and Priscilla Molina-Halley presented food packages to Women’s Desk on behalf of clients.

The welcomed donation was received on behalf of the clients by Ms. Aida Holaman Department Head of Community Development Family and Humanitarian Affairs and Coordinator of Women’s Desk Mrs. Elencia M. Baptiste-Boasman.

The donation was a gesture from a food drive carried out by the staff of Caribbean Airlines Ltd. on the occasion of Administrative Professionals Week who wanted to give back to the community. 

The donation in food is also in keeping with Caribbean Airlines’ slogan “We Care, We Connect, We Create, We are the Caribbean”.

Women’s Desk take this opportunity to expresses sincerest gratitude to Caribbean Airlines and Halley Aviation on behalf recipients of the food packages received and look forward to a fruitful working relationship.

 

SOUTHLAKE, Texas, and SAN JUAN, Puerto RicoMillions of travelers who use one of Fareportal’s consumer brands (including CheapOair and OneTravel) will soon benefit from more advanced and intuitive shopping capabilities. Already a long-time Sabre customer, Fareportal has expanded its relationship with Sabre and is now adopting Sabre’s advanced air shopping data and intelligence APIs powered by Sabre’s Travel Insight Engine.  

To further customize the online booking experience, Fareportal has integrated Sabre’s Travel Insight Engine into its booking path to enhance customers' booking experience by offering vital travel information such as when to book and what to expect when going to specific destinations during a particular time frame.

“As a next-gen travel concierge, incorporating the Travel Insight Engine into Fareportal’s existing technology provides our customers additional travel booking assistance and ease,” said Harsh Sood, Chief Technology Officer. 

With Sabre’s APIs, Fareportal can offer users the ability to start their search with questions such as: “What beach destinations can I fly to for five days within my budget of $500? Or “I’d like to go to Ottawa for three days in March, what are the cheapest travel dates?”  Travelers that know their dates can ask: “I need to fly to New York next week, what’s the best day to travel from Toronto?” or ”I’m interested in flying to London the week of  October 20, is this a busy time to travel and are fares higher or lower compared to what others paid recently?” Once the request is made, travel options and results are provided instantly.

“Shopping for travel continues to evolve and a one-size-fits all approach isn’t enough for consumers today,” said Wade Jones, senior vice president for Sabre Travel Network. “Every trip is different, every traveler is unique. So their approach to shopping and creating the best itinerary should be tailored to meet their individual needs. That requires powerful, data-driven technology like Sabre’s Travel Insight Engine.”

The Travel Insight Engine consists of air shopping and booking data that can be used for everything from inspirational searching to theme based shopping. Sabre’s APIs leverage big data and rich shopping information captured from the Sabre travel marketplace. This data includes billions of pre-computed flight options and prices. Patent-pending technology continually captures shopping data while intelligently keeping the data refreshed to ensure a high level of reliability.

ROSEAU, Dominica – Dominica Government officials and a team from regional airline LIAT are meeting here Thursday.

The meeting comes in the wake of criticism by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit over what he called Dominica’s treatment by LIAT.

“Actually we are meeting with the LIAT executives to continue to lobby for better access in and out of Dominica,” Tourism Minister Robert Tonge said.

Dominica, along with Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are the major shareholder governments of the airline.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Deann Pat Portia Plummer, 33, a flight attendant was remanded to prison when she appeared in court Thursday on a number of drug related charges.

The St Lucian national has been charged with possession of five kilograms of cocaine, possession of 1.3 grams of cannabis, possession with intent to supply cocaine, trafficking cocaine, and the importation of cocaine.

Plummer was held at the Grantley Adams International Airport last month and interviewed by personnel from the Drug Squad.

She was subsequently referred to Customs and a search revealed five kilograms of cocaine in her handbag.

A search warrant was later executed at her apartment and 1.3 grams of cannabis were discovered. (PHOTO: Barbados TODAY Photographer Gregory Waldron)

SOUTHLAKE, TX, USA, and San Juan, Puerto Rico Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), one of the global leaders in travel technology solutions, reported its first quarter 2016 financial results this week.

Sabre reported strong growth in the first quarter 2016. “Our solid start to the year sets us on a course to meet our full-year operational and financial objectives,” said Tom Klein, Sabre president and CEO. “Our focus on creating platforms for innovation and enabling our customers' success continues to drive our growth. The breadth of our software solutions and depth of our customer relationships uniquely positions us to continue to define and lead the travel technology industry.”

The company’s business focuses on two lines of business and reports results in those categories:  Travel Network, a global travel marketplace that connects more than 420,000 travel agencies and travel management companies in more than 160 countries with airlines, hotels, car hire, cruise lines, tour operators and other travel suppliers across the world, and the Airline and Hospitality Solutions business, which provides technology software solutions and consulting to the global airline and hospitality industries.  For the first quarter 2016, highlights included:

                    Travel Network revenue increased by 23%, while bookings increased 28%

                    Travel Network growth was driven by last year’s Abacus acquisition and bookings growth across much of the world, driving global market share up 1.7 points to 37.4 percent

                    Travel Network experienced gains in every region

                    In the Airline and Hospitality Solutions business, revenue increased 16 percent

                    183 million passengers were boarded using the SabreSonic reservations system – a growth of 45 percent year-over-year.  The American Airlines migration in Q4 2015 and Air Seychelles SabreSonic migration in March 2016 contributed to this increase

                    In January 2016, Sabre closed its acquisition of Trust Group, taking the number of hotel properties using Sabre’s guest reservations system to over 30,000 worldwide

                    Significant progress on the rollout of the SynXis property management system in the first quarter, with hundreds of properties live, and implementation continued at Wyndham Hotel Group which operates more than 7,800 hotel properties worldwide

Outside of North America, the company reported the following:

  • In Latin America and the Caribbean region, Sabre Travel Network increased market share, consistent with the company growing market share in all operating regions.  Strategic airline customers based in Latin America continue contributing to 16 percent global revenue growth for Airline Solutions.
  • EMEA led global Travel Network growth, where bookings, driven by new agency conversions and solid share gains, increased 12 percent – more than five times the overall GDS market growth in the region
  • In APAC, the integration of the Abacus business into Travel Network continued to help drive growth and the strong market share in the region gives the company a platform for new business development.

“We continue to innovate to enable change in the industries we serve while earning a greater share of the technology spend in those growing sectors,” said Klein during a conference call to investors on April 28.  “We are seeing very positive customer response to our new product offerings and our ability to execute on our customers’ behalf.

“As the only provider that goes to market with our broad capabilities, we have a unique advantage of being able to see opportunities and needs across a very broad spectrum of the industries we serve.   Our customers expect us to bring them new innovations and new technologies that can have a big impact on their business.   As we execute against our deep investments in platforms, processes, and tools that increase our clock speed of innovation, we will capture a greater share of an increasing pie of technology spend,” said Klein.

“Every time we introduce new innovations like Sabre Red Workspace 3.0 in Travel Network and Revenue Optimizer in Airlines Solutions – two new products that will be on display at our upcoming Investor Day – we view that as an opportunity to not only increase our share of market, but to potentially increase the size of the overall spend in the market.   We are selling into a very good environment that rewards innovators and is hard on those competitors that cannot keep pace,” said Klein.

U.S.-based Sabre is headquartered in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth region of Texas, and processes more than US$120 billion of estimated travel spend annually, serving customers in more than 160 countries around the world.  It has nearly 10,000 employees globally. 

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Deann Pat Portia Plummer, 33, a LIAT flight attendant will appear in the District “B” Magistrate Court tomorrow on a number of drug related charges.

The St Lucian national has been charged with possession of five kilograms of cocaine, possession of 1.3 grams of cannabis, possession with intent to supply cocaine, trafficking cocaine, and the importation of cocaine.

Plummer, who arrived here on Tuesday, was interviewed by personnel from the Drug Squad.

She was subsequently referred to Customs and a search revealed five kilograms of cocaine in her handbag.

A search warrant was later executed at her apartment and 1.3 grams of cannabis were discovered. (Barbados TODAY)

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