Winair Flight at Nevis International Airport
Photo courtesy of Nevis1.com
April 01, 2009
Windward Islands Airways International N.V. (Winair) has announced that its planned closure of the Nevis route will not go ahead as it had initially announced some weeks ago. This was the disclosure made by the airline’s Managing director, Mr. Edwin Hodge, noting that after several days of fruitful discussion with the Nevis Island Administration an agreement has been reached to keep the operations in Nevis ongoing.
“Maintaining a reliable, scheduled air link between Nevis and St. Maarten is in the best interest of the island and the people of Nevis, especially in the present world economic climate,” said Premier and Minister of Tourism on Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry. “Our objective was to maintain St. Maarten as a gateway to Nevis for international travelers while providing the opportunity for Nevisians to travel to St. Maarten for a day trip. This we have achieved and I’m sure that the mutually beneficial relationship, between Nevis and Winair, will continue into the future,” said the Premier.
Nevis was initially slated to form part of the company’s four route block that was to have been disconnected due to a number of reasons, among them being low passenger rate and rapidly growing operational costs which placed continuous strain on the airline’s finances. However, immediately after announcing plans that Nevis was expected to be cut, the government of Nevis approached Winair with a view of salvaging the destination.
The Dominica route was closed on March 1st, while Tortola and St Kitts had their last flight on March 29th.
“The attempts and efforts made by the Government of Nevis demonstrate the excellent and long term relationship that both Winair and Nevis have shared over the years. Therefore, I commend Premier Parry and his team of officials for their efforts and significant work in saving the route as they understand the importance that Winair has been playing within the community,” Hodge said.
He thanked the Premier and others for the work that was executed in ensuring that an agreement could be reached between both parties, thus ensuring that all sides are happy with the outcome of the negotiation.
The company’s Managing Director pointed out that the airline has been able to establish a number of interline agreements with some of the world’s major carriers, among them being Delta, United, Northwest, Air Canada and Air France, which he noted will be able to connect passengers to St Maarten via Nevis.
“Winair provides a perfect platform for the growth and continued development of tourism in Nevis as it serves the island as a springboard for many tourists and visitors attempting to connect with some of the world’s top airlines. We see a win-win situation with the input that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has made and commend them for jumping immediately on board as it is their vision which has brought the level of success that we are already enjoying,” he stressed.
Hodge added that the continuation of the service to Nevis, uninterrupted, represents a deep level of commitment and intimate relationship that both Nevis and Winair experience.
“The depth and worth of our intimate relationship has been tried and tested and I am happy to say that the relationship that both the NIA and Winair experience is inseparable. I trust that we (Winair) will continue to deliver as the expectations are very high,” Hodge promised.
Hodge pointed out that his airline operates a cargo and express pack service to the sister island, urging the public to take full advantage of this service. “It is widely known that our cargo and express pack service is the cheapest as we recognize the urgent and pertinent need of such a service. Therefore, I am happy to add that we will also continue this service as we seek to strengthen and cement further the excellent relationship that we already have with the people of Nevis,” he concluded.
Winair began service to the island of Nevis in 1962 and has had uninterrupted service ever since.