Island Aviation

Island Aviation (1056)

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – A plane carrying up to 189 holidaymakers came precariously close to missing the runway at one of the world’s most notorious airports last week, it has been alleged.

Footage shows a Boeing 737 flown by Canadian airline WestJet aborting its landing at Princess Juliana International Airport on the Caribbean island of St Maarten, which attracts scores of planespotters due to its close proximity to Maho Beach.

According to the aviation website,

, those on the beach were “shocked” at the “close call” on March 7.

The video shows a second successful approach made around 45 minutes after the initial attempt. Nervous fliers will no doubt wince at the video, but WestJet claimed there was “nothing unusual” about the incident.

AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten Monday March 6th to Thursday March 9th, 2017 KLM / Air France auditors returned to St. Maarten to conclude the code share safety & security audit. All findings and concerns were addressed, which will allow KLM to finalize commercial code share agreement between KLM and WINAIR. In addition, existing code share between Air France and WINAIR will be extended per Air France/KLM procedures.

The successful implementation of this code share between KLM and WINAIR will further enhance travel options for customers wishing to connect from KLM, Air France and WINAIR’s route networks. Passengers now can check through the hubs Princess Juliana Airport, Schiphol and Charles de Gaulle airport seamlessly as passenger and baggage through check in will be in effect.

Code share agreements allow each airline KLM, Air France and WINAIR to market, advertise and affix their airline codes on their existing flight schedule. KLM and Air France will now offer flights to the 11 destinations served by WINAIR.

AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten Tuesday March 7, 2017 WINAIR, Air France and KLM held a joined Sales & Marketing meeting in Antigua. Presenters were Claudio Buncamper representing WINAIR, Martijn Ten Broecke representing Air France and KLM. The objective was to raise awareness that Winair connects Antigua not only to their destinations in the region, but also to the US, South America, Europe and not forgetting the connections through our interline partners. Also, the latest developments and market trends that exist between between Air France, KLM and WINAIR were shared to further enhance this market.

Schedules, traffic patterns and growth of European customers were shared with the stakeholders in Antigua. In addition, the planned code share between KLM and WINAIR, that will further enhance connections to Antigua, utilizing the hub facilities of SXM, Schiphol (AMS) and Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airports, was discussed. Growth in the Italian and German market to Antigua has seen an increase since inception of the code share agreement between WINAIR and Air France. Now we will truly unite the entire Air France, KLM and WINAIR route structures. With this we will offer better connectivity to Antigua and the Caribbean region.

AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten – On February 24th 2017, the Gwendoline van Putten School of St. Eustatius organized their second annual Career Fair. It was organized with the objective to provide the students with meaningful information that will enhance their career readiness by providing them with the tools and pathways for their future.

As the purpose of this fair was to provide students the opportunity to learn more about higher education and careers they might be interesed in, the Career Guidance Counselor Eldrigh Merkman-Pompier approached WINAIR to particpate and showcase career opportunities and requirements within our organization.

First Officer Timothy Vaseur greeted many enthousiatic students at the WINAIR booth, answered a lot of interesting questions and was trending topic on Instagram for some time.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - As a direct result of the continued grounding of a part of InselAir’s fleet by the Aruban Civil Aviation Authorities InselAir has no choice but to temporarily suspend services to the following routes starting Wednesday March 8, 2017: Barquisimeto, Caracas, Georgetown, Haiti, Havana, Kingston, Las Piedras, Manaus, Medellin, Miami, Paramaribo, Port of Spain, Santo Domingo and Quito. Inter-island services to Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and St. Maarten will remain in place. As soon as aircraft will become available again InselAir will look into re-launching some of its routes. In this case passengers will be informed accordingly. InselAir expects to return to regular operations again by June of this year.

PHILIPSBURG,St. Maarten - Because inspection by Dutch aviation authorities has established that the Civil Aviation Authority in Curaçao is not based on the law but on arbitrary decrees of minister Suzy Camelia-Romer and therefore illegal, whereas parts of the local legislation on aviation is provable not in compliance with international aviation standards, the Dutch government has now placed the civil aviation in Curacao under Dutch supervision.

The lack of a sound and transparent structural organization of the Civil Aviation Authority and its supervision of the aviation business in Curaçao have led to this situation. The only person responsible is minister Suzy Camelia-Romer who has held the tenure for civil aviation for a year now and, notwithstanding our warnings, has spent well over ANG 2.000.000 upholding Oscar Derby as the also illegal head of the Civil Aviation Authority. ANG 2.000.000 down the drain, without even the most basic document in order for Curaçao to ever reach the FAA Category 1 status, i.e. an approved business plan for the Civil Aviation Authority, being in place.

Now it has even resulted that the Civil Aviation Authority has neither inspectors nor a Director of Safety in its employment, but rather has consultants, with limited experience in the field, working as inspectors.

It has now also resulted that there are one or more inspectors engaged by the Civil Aviation Authority doing private commercial business with the private company Insel Air. This, in the meantime, has also led to the firing by Insel Air of its Head Maintenance, Mr. Oduber, who, together with his partner/spouse, who is also employed by Insel Air as its representative in Colombia, and a former employee of Insel Air, a certain Diangelo Maduro, who was to be appointed in the position with Insel Air presently held by Mr. Juny Sluis. Oduber, his partner/spouse Liz Castaño Tamayo and the said Maduro are engaged in the sale and other business deals with the inspectors of the Civil Aviation Authority in question via their company M & O Aviation Services N.V..

AIRPORT, St. Maarten - At the routes Americas conference in Las Vegas, the St. Maarten delegation comprising the Ministry of Tourism and Airport were briefed by jetBlue representative Mr. Nicholas Han, Senior Analyst Route Planning of the performance of the current jetBlue services to St. Maarten, as well as future prospects with the destination, namely Fort Lauderdale

jetBlue eyes the possibility of opening the route in 2018, though a solid commitment to opening the route will require more discussion. A follow up meeting was suggested to be held in New York. Mr. Han also briefed the delegation of the performance of the San Juan Routes.

Despite jetBlue no longer servicing the San Juan route itself, jetBlue is pleased with their arrangement with Seaborne Airlines. In an earlier meeting with Mr. Hector Montanez, Vice President of Seaborne Airlines, it was announced that Seaborne would be greatly increasing their service on the San Juan – SXM routes by doing daily flights for the remainder of 2017.

“This could result in not only a drop in fares, but also an increase in service and reliability,” explained Mr. Montanez. Seaborne has also seen a significant increase in corporate clients both in San Juan and St. Maarten.

AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten  –  Saturday February 11 Winair participated at the Puerto Rico 2017 Travel Trade Show organized by SOME (Sociedad de Mayoristas de Excursiones de Puerto Rico) to promote travel from Puerto Rico to the Caribbean and the rest of the world.
Winair was present to promote St. Maarten and the destinations served by Winair. Amongst the booth holders at this Travel Trade Show Winair’s partner Air Antilles and the French St. Martin Tourist Office were also present.
From various stakeholders that Winair approached to join our delegation to sell their product to the Puerto Rican market, the Towers Mullet Bay and Commodore Suites represented by Clarence Derby and May-ling Chun and their respective teams participated.

MIAMI In a recent interview the aviation expert Nelson Ramiz stated that the commercial air service between the ABC- islands and Sint Maarten is really needed for the tourism and the regular commerce business for the Dutch Caribbean. “These islands are in need of a well-funded and visionary airline with a business plan that will develop the proper service between these islands and connect them with direct flights to the northeast of the U.S. and other destinations where direct flights do not exist. Destinations where the most important market for tourism exists,” said Ramiz.

“The current situation where you have an InselAir which is on its death bed and Aruba Airlines that is ill-financed and with the wrong type of aircraft and business model to serve the islands purposes opens the door for a new Dutch Caribbean Express.”

Ramiz declared that if the new government which should be installed in the next weeks should cooperate with him, as it did when he took over DAE and reactivate the airline's certificate, he will bring back his team, the financial resources, the aircraft need for this purpose. He will also hire all those excellent professionals of the aviation industry in Curaçao that today do not have jobs, had to leave the island or are afraid of their uncertain future working for an airline that is in its final days.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - A delegation from St. Maarten is currently attending the 10th Routes Americas conference is Las Vegas and will kick off a series of meeting with airlines, new and potential, for destination St. Maarten.

Routes brings together a range of airlines, airports and tourism authorities, including some of the largest carriers from North, Central and Latin America. This event offers the opportunity to meet with some of the most influential aviation professionals from across the Americas region.

The Routes Americas Strategy Summit along with a welcome reception will be held on Tuesday, followed by key face-to-face meetings and networking on Wednesday. Discussions held at Routes can pave the way for future negotiations to secure additional airlift to the island.

Attending on behalf of St. Maarten is a group from the Princess Juliana International Airport lead by Manager of operations Michel Chance and Manager of Marketing & Customer Service Department Suzy Kartokromo, representatives from the Cabinet of the Minister of Tourism Senior Policy Advisor Julian Lake and Chief of the Cabinet Mellissa Doncher, Tourism/Marketing consultant Rolando Brison and representative of the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau Marla Chemont.

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