Airport:--- SMN News has been reliably informed that Air France and their sister company KLM have decided to move their businesses from Arrindell Aviation to Halley Aviation services. The source said that the two companies will end their contract with Arrindell Aviation as early as November 2011.
SMN News further understands that a meeting between Arrindell Aviation, Air France and KLM is scheduled to take place on October 28th where the company will receive official notification on the business divorce. Sources say that personnel from the purchasing department of the two companies are scheduled to arrive on St. Maarten next week to meet with Arrindell Aviation.
The source said Air France and KLM were offered a lower handling fee by Halley Aviation and the two companies grabbed the deal since there is an economic recession which is still affecting the airline industry. SMN News contacted Air France Station Manager, Walter Borel for an official comment on the change of airport handlers and Borel said he was not in a position to comment on the ongoing discussion. Borel said that representatives from the two companies are expected on the island next week and they will make the official announcement once they meet with Arrindell Aviation.
It should be noted that Halley Aviation worked with Air France for some 28 years prior to losing her contract with them some six years ago.
SMN News further learnt that Arrindell Aviation met with their employees on at least three occasions last week where they gave about 17 employees the opportunity to either stay with Arrindell Aviation or move over to Air France and KLM.
SMN News learnt that the company met with their workers on three occasions and informed them that their salaries and benefits will remain the same should they stay with Arrindell Aviation. However, those that choose to move must inform the company by the end of this month since Arrindell Aviation will begin hiring more staff for the upcoming holiday season.
The source said that Arrindell has about 80 persons in their employ and the loss of the two major Airlines will not affect the job security of the workers.
Efforts made to obtain an official comment from the CEO of Arrindell Aviation Frank Arrindell was pushed aside. SMN News managed to get Arrindell on the phone but as soon as we posed the question to him about the loss of the two airlines he hung up the phone.