Philipsburg- Temporary suspension of the operational permit of Guadeloupe-based Air Antilles by the French General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC), has led to the grounding of the entire fleet of Air Antilles, owned by businessman Eric Koury.
According to ‘Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile’ , deficiencies have been noted in the maintenance program of the French Antillean Carrier.
All flights between Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Dominica and other Caribbean Islands are now cancelled.
The operational issues at Air Antilles have an enormous impact on WINAIR as the latter depends on wet-leased planes from Air Antilles to execute flights to the ABC islands and to Haiti, among others.
Air Antilles must now review and improve its maintenance program before it can retake flights. The improvement plan should be approved by DGAC, before Air Antilles can resume normal operations. Air Antilles at present has a fleet of 11 planes, among others the ATR42, ATR72 and De Haviland DHC-6 ‘Twinotters’.
While Koury has expressed the expectations that the permit would be reinstated within 48 hours, WINAIR in the meantime has communicated that ATR flights are probably suspended through at least September 7, 2021.
The situation at Air Antilles must be like a déjà-vu to WINAIR, who saw a similar situation arise with then-partner PAWA-Dominicana, which ultimately led to the complete shutdown and demise of the Dominican carrier.
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