Attending the meeting held in the Managing Director’s office at WINAIR’s Headquarters at the Princess Juliana Iinternational Airport, were from right to left: St.Eustatius Commissioner Clyde van Putten, Saba Commissioner Chris Johnson, WIA Advisor Michael Ferrier, WIA Managing Director Michael Cleaver, WIA Director of Operations Capt. Edwin Hodge and WIA Director of Finance and Change Manager Roberto Gibbs.

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On Friday last week Commissioners Chris Johnson (Saba) and Clyde van Putten (Statia) met with WINAIR to address some of their concerns regarding the air connectivity the local airline continues to provide the two BES islands and to get an update about the company’s future plans as they relate to Saba and St. Eustatius. Discussed were the flight frequencies, the cost per ticket and on a joint request by the two Commissioners, the possibilities of direct flights between the two BES islands. Implementing Statia to Saba and vice versa routes will, according to the two Commissioners, greatly reduce or eliminate the much longer and obviously more expensive need to fly back to St. Maarten before getting to either Saba or St. Eustatius by residents, business people and government officials of the two smaller Dutch Caribbean islands. Especially for this topic, the meeting was briefly attended by Mr. Siebert van Dam of the Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN), who expressed that it is anticipated by his office that on an annual basis as many as 3,000 tickets for Dutch and BES Islands’ Government officials for trips between the three BES islands could be needed. Possibilities of St. Maarten (SXM) – Saba (SAB) – Statia (EUX) – St. Maarten and at the same time, SXM – EUX – SAB – SXM flights crossing each other in the SAB/EUX passage were discussed, as well as the possibility of also having a WINAIR Twin-Otter overnight on Saba just like WINAIR has implemented on St. Eustatius approximately one month ago. Transparency in cost calculations based on efficient operations for all the requested services will be provided by WINAIR and a proposed schedule of these services and their cost will be made available to all stake-holders when they become known in the not too distant future.