Site Luchtvaart Nieuws writes that Winair CEO Hans van de Velde wants to focus on better punctuality, strengthening ties with major airlines such as KLM and Air France and listening better to the staff. Hans van de Velde was the former top manager at TUI in the Netherlands, France and Morocco has been leading Winair, the airline since last year.

Hans van de Velde, CEO Winair

While airlines in the overseas part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands often don’t last long, Winair is an exception to the rule. The airline was founded in 1961 and has the Dutch State (7.92 percent) and the country of Sint Maarten (92.08 percent) as its sole shareholders. The Dutch government helped the company through the corona crisis with a loan that has since been repaid, partly to keep the islands of Saba and St. Eustatius accessible by air.

Currently, the fleet consists of four Twin Otters and two ATRs. In addition to Saba and St. Eustatius, the airline also flies to Saint Barth, Saint Kitts, Antigua, Dominica, the ABC Islands, and the British Virgin Islands. Some of these destinations have no or only a limited number of long-haul flight connections so Sint Maarten acts as a hub for travelers to overseas territories.

Van de Velde wants to add an additional DHC-6 Twin Otter (19 seats) and one or more ATR 42s (48 seats) to the fleet. In addition, his ambition is to expand cooperation with major international airlines such as United, JetBlue, Air France, and KLM. “However, the demands that these airlines place on us are very high. If we don’t live up to that, the bottom falls out from under our existence. So I want to work with the big boys and meet their quality requirements.”

Van de Velde continues: “We now have ten airlines with which we have interline agreements, but I would prefer codeshare agreements to grow turnover. To this end, we recently started a process to be IOSA certified in about a year. This is a prerequisite for legacy carriers to enter into codeshare agreements on the ATR fleet.”

Luchtvaart Nieuws


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One comment

  1. Hans does not mention that he also considers the wishlist of his clients. That could result in a different view.
    His recent action to create Winair income by offering large discounts for one-day tourists to travel to Saba and Statia is very detrimental for the residents. They see their travel options significantly reduced as seats are taken by tourists.

    One-day tourists may be OK for restaurants that offer lunches, and WINAIR, but not for the residents.

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