Hodge believes Winair should be privatized

POSTED: 08/15/11 12:31 PM

St. Maarten – Managing Director of Windward Islands Airways International Edwin Hodge has said he believes privatization is the best way forward for the airline. He was speaking on For the Record with Eddie Williams on Radio Soualiga 99.9 Choice F.M.
According to Hodge both the shareholders – the government of St. Maarten and the Dutch government – prefer to regulate the airline industry, not own an airline. Hodge agrees with this because he thinks that business people will take a different approach from the government when it comes to running the airline. The move would also be good because neither shareholder currently has money to pump into the airline.
Hodge also explained that the company has begun cost cutting measures like laying off seasonal staffers and returning to the core business of flying to Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Barths. The airline has also maintained service to St. Kitts because of an agreement it has with the local government. Both these activities are expected to improve the airline’s financial position.
Hodge also took time to assure permanent staffers that they have nothing to worry about because the temporary staff had been let go. The decision had been taken to release the temporary staff because the Ad Hoc Committee appointed by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams was of the opinion that fewer staff was needed considering the scale back of the routes.

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