The Democratic Party (DP) on Thursday extended warm congratulations to national airline WINAIR as it commemorated an impressive 62 years of unwavering dedication and outstanding service to St. Maarten and to the Caribbean’s aviation industry. Party Leader MP Sarah Wescot-Williams said that this remarkable milestone is a testament to the airline’s enduring commitment to excellence, sound management and leadership, and recognizing the crucial role it plays in connecting people throughout the Caribbean.
“The success of WINAIR can be attributed to its incredible team, loyal passengers, and visionary management, all of whom have played an integral role in shaping the airline’s journey to success,” MP Wescot-Williams said.
The MP recalled the days of significant financial struggles for the airline, with many opining that St. Maarten should cut bait and let the airline go. As part of the governments of the former Netherlands Antilles, the DP was often ridiculed for having accepted WINAIR as part of its portfolios of responsibilities. Winair, along with PSS and Telem were considered the “headache” companies and thrusted into the lap of the first Prime Minister of the country St. Maarten. However, none of these companies have folded, rather to the contrary, the DP leader proudly added.
“My belief was that a successful future for the airline was possible if properly managed and if staff bought into the vision for the company”, the DP leader added as she recalled her tenure as shareholder representative of Winair.”
“Now years later, WINAIR is blossoming into an exemplary company and the pride of our still young nation,” she said.
Wescot-Williams said the airline’s team has consistently demonstrated remarkable dedication, professionalism, and expertise in their roles. Their tireless efforts behind the scenes, she said, ensure the seamless operation of flights, the safety of passengers, and the delivery of a top-notch travel experience.
To its credit, the MP continued, over the course of its 62-year journey, WINAIR has earned the trust and loyalty of countless passengers who have experienced the airline’s unparalleled commitment to their comfort and convenience. “Their passenger-centric-approach and the airline’s focus on providing a positive and enriching travel experience have contributed to fostering strong relationships with its passengers, transforming them into lifelong advocates of the brand, and not just passengers from St. Maarten,” Wescot-Williams said.
“I would like to credit the leadership team at WINAIR, past and present, and fervent believers such as Michael Ferrier, Georges Greaux and Hans de Jong, who have shown remarkable vision and resilience, steering the company through rough times and an ever-evolving aviation landscape. Sometimes they had to take 10 steps back, in order to make the current leaps forward. But they never stopped embracing growth opportunities. In short, they never stopped believing. Their strategic decisions, innovative thinking, and ability to navigate challenges have been key factors in the airline’s continued growth and the substantial positive impact it has on the broader economy,” she said.
As Georges steps down from his position at Winair, I wish to personally thank him for his passion and dedicated leadership over the years. I hope he remains a phone call away to advise his successor if needed, former shareholder representative MP Wescot-Williams surmised.
“We congratulate the airline, its exceptional team, and its management for their outstanding contributions to the industry. As we reflect on WINAIR’s achievements, the DP looks forward to witnessing the airline’s continued success, as it continues to shape the future of Caribbean aviation, contribute to economic growth, and provide exceptional travel experiences for generations to come,” MP Wescot-Williams concluded.