St. Maarten Government requests “Survival Plan” from Winair

POSTED: 07/22/11 12:30 PM

St. Maarten – The Government of St. Maarten has asked the Supervisory Board and Management of Winair to submit a “Plan of Survival.” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, who is Shareholder Representative for Winair, announced the request during Wednesday’s Council of Minister’s press briefing in reply to a journalist’s question about how much debt the airline is dealing with.

The request for this new report follows “several exercises” where the company has put forward its actual financial position and reporting on urgent measures that were taken to keep the airline flying.

“In that proposal to government matters like the debt to the airport will be mentioned and questions will be asked of government in terms of how government would like to move forward on it and by moving forward by government, what it could mean or not mean for Winair. So that complete picture in terms of decisions to be made by government regarding Winair, we expect to receive shortly,” Wescot-Williams said.

Winair’s debt to the airport ranges between four and six million guilders that is spread over several years. Heyliger, who is Shareholder Representative for the Princess Juliana International Airport, said that company has been willing to let the debt slide in order to ensure that service to the sub-region continues.

“No real measures have been taken by the airport against Winair in hoping to come out with a solution with this new revision of what is going on. So they are actually on that to see what will be the progress with Winair in the future,” Heyliger said.

The deputy prime minister has also opined that Winair, like other regional airlines, will look to government to help them get out of their debt ridden position.

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