PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication TEATT Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Thursday last designated Winair as a national airline of St. Maarten, paving the way for the company to service the St. Maarten-Curacao route with PAWA Dominicana under an ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) agreement.
The Minister signed the designation for Winair as a national carrier after the Civil Aviation Department, which falls under the Ministry of TEATT, requested the Minister’s approval of the designation. For Winair to be approved by the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority, the airline first had to be officially designated under the Multi-Lateral Protocol for the Liberalization of Air Transport as a national carrier of St. Maarten.
The protocol is signed between the four partners within the Kingdom (St. Maarten, Aruba, Curacao, the Netherlands). It regulates transportation within the kingdom with provisions similar to those found in an air transport agreement.
The protocol regulates among other things the grant of rights, designations, tariffs, commercial opportunities and safety and security to name a few. It allows Winair to transport passengers between two other countries if the flights have connections in its home base of St. Maarten. The protocol is also the tool that allows Winair as a national airline to enter into codeshare/blockspace and wet lease agreements with an airline from a third country provided that the airline hold the appropriate authority.
“I would like to wish Winair the best of luck and safe flying as the airline continues to spread its wings in servicing the people of St. Maarten and our regional neighbors. More airlift options to Caribbean destinations are always welcomed and the fact that we had the opportunity to tag a St. Maarten brand like Winair as a national brand, is always something we can be proud of,” the Minister said.