Port-of-Prince, Haiti- A large number of Winair passengers on flight 807, executed by PAWA-Dominicana, has been stuck in Haiti since yesterday. Their unfortunate adventure started when the PAWA plane made an intermediate stop in the Toussaint Louverture airport of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Passengers were initially told that the stopover would be little over half an hour, but in the end the PAWA airplane ended up being grounded by the Haitian Airport Authority due to outstanding payments.
A large group of passengers, of which about 42 of Dutch Nationality were hold for hours in a separate room at the airport, before finally being taken to a local hotel in the Haitian Capital. It took many hours before the group of passengers were provided with something to eat and drink.
Until now it is not completely clear when the passengers will be able to leave the island. Rumors have it that the flight out of Haiti will not be before Thursday of this week.
The issues of the group of passengers, some of which are working for RCN, brings into question the ban imposed by RCN on using Insel Air for flights between Curaçao and Sint maarten. The ban was imposed after critical remarks from the Dutch Aviation Inspection about the Insel Air’s safety, when the company’s MD-80 aircraft were grounded by Aruba Aviation Authorities at the beginning of 2017.
Critical observers question if Winair/PAWA is indeed a better or safer option, now that the Domincan Airline also seems to be confronting serious financial trouble of their own. A second question mark is if the Dutch Aviation inspection has evaluated the safety of PAWA at all, before banning flights on Insel but allowing them on PAWA. PAWA at the moment hardly seems in better shape than Insel was at the beginning of the year.
Recently The BES-Reporter reported on the fact that essential services to PAWA’s offices in Las Americas airport in Sto. Domingo had been cut for some weeks without reaching a solution. There are more signs that the airline is in deep trouble.
St. Maarten’s Winair had recently entered into a commercial agreement for the execution of flights using PAWA aircraft between Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Haiti. Winair issued a statement on the company’s website today, explaining that the passengers of its flight 807, executed by PAWA, had been ‘caught in an unfortunately situation’.
“Being caught in the middle of this situation Winair has been mediating vigorously to resolve the issue, but unfortunately had to cancel the flights for Tuesday”, according to the statement on www.fly-winair.sx
Winair said they sincerely apologized to their customers for the inconvenience and that the carrier was doing everything to accommodate the passengers the best they could in the hope that passengers could continue their journey as quickly as possible.