According to the Chairman of the Board of the aviation company AVA Airways, Olivier Arrindell, the current Director General of the Civil Aviation, Louis Halley with the approval of the Minister of TEAT is protecting the St. Maarten airline. This is not contributing to St. Maarten economic development at all. “This is causing serious damage to the flying public that needs a good air service, safety and competitive prices,” said Arrindell.
Arrindell also stated that the Minister is violating all recommended ICAO practices to promote competition in air service in an equal plain playing field for all involved. St. Maarten continues to maintain an IASA FAA cat 2 safety record with no direction of getting out because of these questionable practices by the SMCAA. “How can the Director General, Louis Halley with the approval of the Minister of TEATT approve an ACMI (“wet lease”) by Winair with another airline that has a questionable operation specification and certification? How is Winair going to do this with a questionable wet lease of an airline in Haiti with an aircraft registered in South Africa that they, themselves, are wet leasing?”
“To my knowledge St. Maarten does not have an air transportation agreement of this sort with South Africa. Even if St. Maarten had an air transport agreement with South Africa how does one wet lease a wet lease? What do you call this ‘flood lease’?” According to Mr. Arrindell, the safety of the St. Maarten people is of big concern of his and he is questioning the capabilities of the Director General of St. Maarten CAA and the Minister.
The Winair - PAWA wet Lease deal did not work. “Today we are seeing that another special questionable construction is about to take place instead of St Maarten and Winair come together and certify and Airbus aircraft as a dry lease onto Winair’s operation specification. In that way Winair can contribute more to St. Maarten and provide direct jobs such as cabin crew.
Aircraft leases are used by airlines or leasing companies and other aircraft operators. Airlines lease aircraft from other airlines or leasing companies for two main reasons: to operate aircraft without the financial burden of buying them, and to provide temporary increase in capacity. The industry has two main leasing types: wet-leasing, which is normally used for short-term leasing of 6 months, and dry-leasing which is more normal for longer-term leases. The industry also uses combinations of wet and dry. For example, when the aircraft is wet-leased to establish new services, then as the airline's flight or cabin crews become trained, they can be switched to a dry lease.
Is Winair doing this? No, therefore Winair’s operation is one that needs to be reviewed and has to be evaluated. An airline that is wet leasing an aircraft cannot in turn wet lease it to another airline.