Winair: New Plane New Newsletter

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By Lesroy W. Williams Observer Reporter
(Cole Bay, St. Maarten)”Windward Islands Airways International (Winair) is in the process of acquiring another Twin Otter aircraft by early December, bringing its fleet to seven. It is a new move designed to meet peak demands and increased routes in the Caribbean, despite the challenges and difficulties that currently facing the airline. The airline has also launched a historic monthly newsletter in an effort to educate its passengers and staff on current issues, developments and decisions affecting the airline and its operations. The newsletter will also carry a segment on health and safety matters pertinent to its passengers. It will be distributed to staff, Winair passengers, and the general public at selected outlets. The launching of the newsletter coincided with the yearly station meeting that brought together station managers from all of Winair’s destinations to discuss how customer service and other areas of the airline’s operations can be improved. Two of the areas looked at had to do with e-ticketing and the new baggage policy which allows one piece of check-in luggage at 50 pounds.” Managing Director of Winair, Mr. Edwin Hodge, told reporters the airline was in it for the long haul and debunked allegations that the airline will be forced to close due to high fuel and operational costs. He spoke at a press conference at Port-de-Plaisance Resort and Casino, Cole Bay, St. Maarten, on Nov.20. “The airline is also exploring a number of plans as we seek to improve our service to the public and while I must admit that I will not disclose any detailed plans regarding the new aircraft I can tell you that our passengers are expected to be more pleased with some of the plans that we will be introducing in 2009,” Mr. Hodge said. “We anticipate being more efficient with transporting our passengers with the additional aircraft taking into consideration that a number of persons travel during the winter season,” he said. “Currently we have two aircrafts undergoing their yearly inspection as we seek to better service to our passengers, as safety will continue to be our number one priority.” As such it means that we are operating under immense challenges as we try to continue providing the same level of high service to everyone,” he added. Winair has been in existence since 1961 and has recently added two new destinations”Montserrat and Barbuda, to its already 10 destinations, which are: Tortola, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Saba, St. Barths, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Dominica, and Anguilla. Mr. Hodge, at a press conference in St. Kitts on Sept. 22, said that maintenance of the St. Maarten to St. Kitts/Nevis route will be highly dependent on subsidies from the respective governments in light of rising fuel and operational costs. The new twin otter aircraft will cost Winair close to US$4 million US. “We are fully committed to continue serving the people of this region by providing affordable prices and safety in traveling to people of all walks of life in the region,” Hodge said in the new newsletter.

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