Hodge: Winair shows some improvement

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Hodge: Winair shows some improvement

Unread post by michaelawai » Mon Aug 15, 2011

http://www.thedailyherald.com/islands/1 ... ement.html

Hodge: Winair shows some improvement
Monday, 15 August 2011
PHILIPSBURG--Windward Islands Airlines International Winair Managing Director Edwin Hodge reports that the airline's balance sheets are showing improvement.

Speaking on Soualiga Radio's "For the Record" on Sunday, Hodge said that although the outlook does not reflect a major financial improvement, "we are working towards it and we are seeing improvements."

The improvements of which Hodge spoke could be attributed directly to Winair's various cost-cutting measures that have been implemented since the start of 2011, including the decision to have the airline service only its core routes of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Barths. The airline also services Nevis, but under a special arrangement with the government of Nevis.

Hodge said management would have to cut cost while improving revenue, to improve the company's balance sheet and determine whether a capital investment were needed, explaining that this would have to be properly substantiated to the shareholders of the company (St. Maarten and Holland).

Considering that both shareholders have indicated that no finances are presently available for any sort of capital investment, Hodge said management's instruction was to "make the company healthy," which would allow the shareholders to identify a private investor.

"None of the owners wants to stay in the airline business; their goal is to privatise. They are of the opinion that government should regulate, not own," Hodge said, adding that privatisation was a good direction to take, as a private investor would look at the company from a different perspective than if the company were government-owned.

Hodge also clarified that the airline had reduced some seasonal staff (persons with contracts), "but this doesn't mean that those in permanent service will be laid off." He also said some contracts with certain vendors had not been renewed and that "cross-utilising" of employees was in effect. Winair's Ad Hoc Committee had taken the position that with fewer routes, Winair did not require the services of a large work force and, as such, the contracts of seasonal workers had to be terminated.

Hodge said the airline would lease two Twin Otter aircraft for the upcoming high season, in addition to the current three, to serve the usually increased demand.
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