WINAIR to regain service to BVI

Netherlands government owned regional airline WINAIR, resumed flights into the BVI on December 1st, 2003, reports Representatives from the airline, Senior Analyst Denicio Richardson and Director of Customer Service and Marketing Claudio Buncamper, met with officials from the BVI Tourist Board and hosted a press conference on Wednesday November 26th.Since September 11th, 2001, WINAIR ceased operating flights to the BVI, due to difficulties in meeting targets. Airline officials have said with the global tourism market recuperating, WINAIR would re-introduce the service out of St Martin into Tortola daily.Officials from Windward Islands Airways International N.V. said they have expanded their fleet of aircraft to six, including 4 twin otters, (19 seat aircrafts), and 2 islanders (smaller 7 seater’s), that would be used mostly for charters. This equates to some 5,200 seats a month into the British Virgin Islands.WINAIR has entered into arrangements with a number of major carriers, including Caribbean Star and Caribbean Sun, which provides more regional lift to and from the islands of Antigua, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts, Saba, Statia, St. Maarten and Anguilla.Similar arrangements were also negotiated with US Airways and, from the European market Air France and KLM.WINAIR also code shares with Air Caraibes three times weekly and the local Dominican Republic population should now have more convenient access to flights from Tortola to Santo Domingo.The 43year old St. Maarten-based company, which is owned by the federal government of the Netherlands Antilles, also announced plans to introduce an online booking engine by mid January 2004, to boost booking possibilities around the world and so that passengers can receive electronic tickets.Marketing Manager of the BVI Tourist Board Ms. Lynette Harrigan welcomes the resumption of WINAIR flights into the British Virgin Islands. She said this would “alleviate many of the connectivity issues the territory was faced with”.