PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher made history on Tuesday when she signed the Economic Permit for SXM Airways, making the airline the first locally established airline to acquire such since St. Maarten obtained its new constitutional status. The economic permit allows SXM Airways to move forward with its operations and begin service. The signing was also a historic first for the Civil Aviation Department.
Civil Aviation advised the Minister to grant the permit based on the advice from the Central Bank which found the overall plan for SXM Airways to be realistic and feasible, and the company shows sufficient financial resources to cover the initial startup phase of the company and its first 6 months of operation which is a requirement by law.
The Directors of the company, Elvis Queeley, Michel Carter and Jeff Oliver were all present for the signing along with Head of the Civil Aviation Department Lou Halley. Oliver described the moment as a dream come true for three hard working young men who wants the opportunity to show their children that they can dream and then live their dreams.
The directors of the airline will now finalize the process to obtain the airline’s AOC (Air Operator Certificate) to allow the company to use its aircraft for commercial purposes. Most of this work is already done. The certificate will list the aircraft types and registrations to be used, for what purpose and in what area ect.
HOLLAND - It is no secret that king Willem-Alexander is keen on flying, but for the past 21 years, he has been a guest pilot on flights for KLM Cityhopper and before that for Martinair, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday. Twice a month the king has flown passengers on regular commercial flights, most of whom have no idea who is co-pilot on their flight. Now the king is retraining to fly Boeing 737s so he can continue to fly for KLM because Fokkers are being phased out.
The king first learned to fly after finishing highschool in Wales in 1985 and has all his professional papers. The twice-monthly flights for KLM enable him to keep his flying hours up to the 150 hour a year regulation requirement, he told the paper. ‘The most important thing is that I have a hobby which I can concentrate on fully,’ he said in an interview. ‘You have a plane, passengers and crew and you are responsible for them.’ Up to 9/11 when the cockpit door was left open on planes, people used to come and have a look and were always surprised to spot the prince, as he was then.
Now, with the doors closed, some people recognise his voice when he speaks to passengers during the flight, he said. ‘The advantage is that I can always say I am speaking on behalf of the captain and crew to welcome them on board,’ he laughs. ‘So I don’t have to say my name. But then, most people don’t listen anyway.’
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent – Air Canada today announced St. Vincent and the Grenadines as one of six new routes for the airline’s winter season.
A news release issued by Air Canada stated that weekly flights from Toronto to St Vincent and the Grenadines are now available for purchase.
“Air Canada is continuing its strategic, global expansion with a diverse range of exciting new non-stop routes this winter to Australia, South America, the Caribbean and the United States,” Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada said.
The airline says its first long-haul international scheduled service to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the other five destinations, “offers new choices for travellers looking to escape Canadian winters”.
CEO of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, Glen Beache expressed his elation with the announcement stating that “we are happy to welcome an airline such as Air Canada which has a rich history, to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We look forward to a successful partnership which will enable both entities to grow.”
The announcement from Air Canada comes as the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority continues on its quest to attract international carriers to the Argyle International Airport (AIA) which was officially opened on February 14, 2017.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Wednesday announced that growing Caribbean carrier Sunrise Airways, head-quartered in Haiti, will commence service to St. Maarten at the end of June.
She said Sunrise’s service will also connect St. Maarten and Cuba due to the airlines strong presence in that country where it services Sunrise Havana and Santiago de Cuba. Sunrise Airways serves three (3) gateways in Cuba as follows: Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Camaguey.
Sunrise will begin service to St. Maarten at the end of June, twice a week with the goal of servicing the destination 4 times a week should load factors meet established targets. Sunrise Airways was founded in 2010 and provides commercial and charter flights. In mid-2015 its started servicing to Santo Domingo and thus pave the way for further expansion including Cuba.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Shareholder governments of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, Tuesday night ended talks with regional unions representing employees with an agreement to ensure that salaries are to be paid on time and averting possible industrial action
The meeting discussed a move by the Antigua-based carrier to implement a late payment schedule to its employees that is likely to continue for the next five months.
But St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is chairman of the shareholder governments, told reporters that a settlement had been reached after the unions had threatened industrial action if the airline had proceeded with the deferrals.
“I think that instructions have gone to the bank for the payments, so depends on which bank you are in, some persons would get paid tomorrow [Wednesday] or the next day,” he told reporters, noting however that there was no guarantee that the airline would not be late with salaries again soon.
“The management is not saying that they would be in a position on each occasion over the next three months to pay precisely on time; there may be a couple of days’ deferral,” Gonsalves said.
Earlier this month, the airline’s acting chief executive officer, Julie Reifer-Jones, issued a statement saying that “LIAT’s management sincerely apologises for any disruption to the travel plans of our valued passengers at this time.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Officials of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, are meeting with a delegation of unions representing the airline’s staff here today in an attempt to quell the latest round of industrial unrest.
LIAT, which is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has already warned passengers to brace for delays and flight cancellations.
“These current irregular operations may continue to occur over the next few days as we work towards resolving the issues. We advise our passengers to contact LIAT’s Reservations Team prior to leaving for the airport”.
But the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIAPA) has distanced its members from being part of any industrial action at the cash-strapped airline.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The union representing LIAT pilots Monday called for the removal of the company’s management.
The call comes in the wake of a dispute between the management and trade unions representing employees at the airline over the late payment of salaries.
On Sunday the management of LIAT said they are experiencing several flight delays and cancellations due to industrial unrest.
acting Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer-Jones apologized to travellers for any disruption to their travel plans.
Unions representing LIAT employees had earlier threatened to take action if LIAT goes ahead with plans to pay salaries late.
The unions have also argued that in 2014 they participated in a salary deferral exercise, which was projected for five months, but lasted 14 months, without any tangible results.
FULL STATEMENT FROM LIALPA
The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) unfortunately has no other choice but to call on the Shareholder Governments to remove the current LIAT management. We reluctantly make this call because we will not stand by and watch the airline’s financial health continue to deteriorate at massive levels, to the point where LIAT can’t even pay salaries on time.
First of all, we want to clear the air and state categorically that a just recent LIAT Press Release referencing “Flight Disruptions Due To Industrial Unrest” has nothing to do with LIALPA and we are not involved at all. As a matter of fact, we continue to pledge to the Caribbean People that we are currently going above and beyond the call of duty to get the Airline running at Optimal Levels, even to the extent of not having meal breaks and working 11 hour shifts. We have already worked almost an extra week without pay. However, this is not sustainable.
Our concerns relayed to Management over many years about the loss of market share, the insufficient crews and poor scheduling practices, continue to fall on deaf ears. Here are a FEW examples of incompetent management and poor decision making:
The aircraft fleet has decreased from 18 to 10. Lack of adequate crew.
The Head of Flight Operations’ incompetence was exposed as he stood idly and did nothing to address the mass departure of 19 experienced Pilots, after the Airline just spent over 100 thousand dollars to train each pilot. Now the attention is on hiring new inexperienced pilots.
Loss of 10 million dollars in hangar fire due to records not being properly backed up off site
Loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for removing a flight route from Grenada schedule
Loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in routes being taken over by competitors
LIMA, Peru – Passengers on board a Boeing 737 had a lucky escape this week after their plane missed the runway – and burst into flames.
The Peruvian Airlines aircraft, on approach, swerved to the right.
The wing crashed into the ground, causing fuel to start leaking out of the aircraft.
A fire then began to form along the fuel line, eventually reaching the damaged aircraft – which had now skidded to a halt on the grass.
Emergency services rushed to the scene to extinguish the blaze and treat passengers.
PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN - The AvA Airways Inc. management team has taking notice of an infringement of trademark by Martinique company Ava-Air SAS being represented by Mr. Renard David, with company number 523 966 927 and located at AEROPORT AIME CESAIRE ESP. AEROSERVICE Lamentin Martinique 97232 FRANCE.
AvA Airways Inc, is an aviation company duly registered and incorporated in the United State of America. AvA Airways Inc. represents Ava Air, Ava Airways (“Curacao”), Ava Airways (“St. Maarten”) and just the name Ava, in connection with its Airline Transportation Services. The use of Ava Air and any form of Ava or AvA Airways is in violation of International Trademark Rights, as ratified by the 176 signatory countries of the Paris Convention Stated the Chairman of AvA Airways Inc., Mr. Olivier Arrindell. This convention offers protection of intellectual property rights, common law service mark rights, and trade name rights.
Mr. Arrindell stated that “The United States federal registration (“IC 039. US 100 105. G & S: Airline Transportation Services”) where the trademark of AVA Air is registered provides us with property rights under the bilateral intellectual trade agreement between the Republic of France and the United States of America, as referenced by the Trademark registration. We are entitled to restrict the use of our trademark, or a confusingly similar trademark in association with confusingly similar products or services. Our trademark services/names are an important and distinctive representation of our company’s product as well as the goodwill of our company.”
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) iFly Sweepstakes, part of the cooperative marketing campaign between the STB and KLM Dutch Royal Airlines, has garnered a record breaking 120,000 plus participants, the highest number of any of the previous iFly sweepstakes from any destination.
The intention of the campaign was to promote St. Maarten in several key media channels of KLM. The campaign consisted of a full spread in iFly KLM Magazine, an online publication of KLM, and it included a “Little Secrets” video of St. Maarten.
The cooperative marketing campaign also contained the iFly Sweepstakes component that offered a chance to win a trip to St. Maarten from the Netherlands with KLM. “It was great the receive the news today that our sweepstakes had the biggest reach ever compared to previous destinations chosen by KLM, especially considering that some previous sweepstakes destinations were some of our biggest competitors,” Head of the STB Rolando Brison said.
“Every single one of those 120+ thousand participants made it clear 'we want to go to St. Maarten’, and the buzz about St.Maarten is still huge in the BeNeLux market as a result of this sweepstakes and promotional effort."
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