Printed in AirSXM News, Fri 29-Oct-2004
ExelAviationGroup acquires Winair
Philipsburg -- Winair has been acquired by the ExelAviationGroup and will be continuing under the future name of WinairExel. The acquisition was finally approved by all stakeholders, local creditors, island governments and central authorities in Curacao. Exel paid an amount of 4,75 million Antillean guilders to secure the future of the regional carrier thereby guaranteeing the continued airlift between the islands of St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.
|Winair DHC-6 Twin Otter used to provide airlift between The Windward Islands|
Winair, which was set to be renamed WindwardExel, is officially known as Windward Islands Airways International N.V. and was a government owned regional airline founded in 1961. The airline operates four Twin Otter and two Britton Normand Islander aircrafts between nine destinations around the North Eastern Caribbean area.
Winair offers daily connections from the Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten to the islands of Saba, Statia, St. Barts, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua and Tortola. Winair code-shares and interlines with a number of airlines. US Airways code-shares on all Winair routes. Other code-share partners are Caribbean Star and Air Caribes, catering to destinations such as Antigua and Santo Domingo.
|Winair routes in the North Eastern Caribbean region|
ExelAviationGroup (EAG) is headquartered in The Netherlands and is an alliance of companies and divisions active in the global airline industry. The group consists of companies such as ArubaExel, BonairExel, CuracaoExel and DutchCaribbeanExel which all operates in the Dutch Caribbean. In Europe other sistercompany airlines operate with the Exel extension such as HollandExel and BelgiumExel to name a few. Although each group member offers a specific expertise, product or service, it is this combination of qualities within the alliance - plus the financial backing of the major shareholders, Erik de Vlieger, Nick Sandman and the company's CEO, Harm Prins - that makes ExelAviationGroup a force to be reconned with in the Dutch Caribbean airline industry which has been in much turmoil after the demise of Air Holland and Dutch Caribbean Airlines, better known as DCA, the Curacao-based airline which refused a joint-venture with EAG and was subsequently declared bankrupt earlier this month. With the acquisition by EAG, Winair has been saved from a similar fate. AirSXM commends all stakeholders involved on their decision to safeguard the airline's long term operation and the continuation of flights between the sister islands of the Windward Islands.
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