Published On: Wed, Jun 7th, 2017

Insel Air, stop whining and focus!

Insel-Air-MD80-FOTO-Insel-AirWho would have thought that when in 1961 Capt. Georges E. Greaux, an adventurous St. Barth owner/pilot of a small 5 seat Piper Apache airplane approached and convinced colleague St. Barth pilot Hypolyte (Faustin) Ledee and St. Maarten business friend Chester Wathey to start up Windward Islands Airways International (Winair), the airline would not only survive the next 56 years, but thrive and continue to grow in 2017!

Newest routes added just last Saturday, June 3, 2017 are St. Maarten – Haiti and St. Maarten – Curacao, utilizing MD-83 jet aircraft under a so-called ACMI arrangement with Pan American World Airways Dominicana (Pawa). For 56 years Winair’s lights have been kept on by its unbelievably tenacious and dedicated employees headed subsequently by Managing Directors Capt. Georges Greaux, Rob Volgers, Robert Cors, Erwin Romer, Sydney de Weever, Eugene Holiday, John Strugnell, Capt. Edwin Hodge and now Michael Cleaver (CEO) and Roberto Gibbs (CFO).

Overseen and supported by a lean 3 man Supervisory Board headed by Capt. Greaux’s son, Georges Greaux Jr., Winair has to-date outlived airlines like: ALM, Air Aruba, Air BVI, Antilles Air Boats, Caribair, Cardinal Air, Caribbean Star, Caribbean Sun, DAE, DCA, Eastern Airlines, Executive Airlines (American Eagle), Prinair, Sea & Sun Airlines, Tiara Air, Viasa and others I cannot recall right now. And all the while with no cash injections by any of its various Government owners.

So Insel, instead of whining about our National Airline, focus on what you want for yourself and do the best for the Curacao hub you operate out of. In the meantime, we Windward Islanders are immensely proud of and grateful for the foresight of Capt. George Emilien Greaux and his partners and are convinced that for a long time to come Winair will take us there!

By Michael J. Ferrier,
St. Maarten

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