AirStMaarten - Monthly Newsletter - September 2010

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In this September 2010 issue:

1. INTRO: Air Service From New Jersey To Grand Case Airport
2. SPECIALS: AirStMaarten Customers Fly Winair
3. ARTICLE: How Winair Was Founded
5. NEWS ITEM: Most Extreme Airports Documentary Airing
6. TRAVEL TIP: Know Your Partner's Clothing Sizes
7. AGENDA: Golfing In St. Kitts & Nevis
8. ADVERTISEMENT: St. Maarten Florist -
9. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How To Book With AirStMaarten

INTRO: Air Service From New Jersey To Grand Case Airport

Dear friends and clients,

What if there were direct flights from Newark, New Jersey, to Grand Case Airport on French St. Martin?
Apparently, St. Martin tourism officials are in talks with an unnamed carrier to offer scheduled nonstop airline service from a New Jersey-based airport to L’Espérance Airport in Grand Case Airport (SFG) later this year, said the director of the St. Martin Office of Tourism.

Plans call for 50-seat planes to offer what would be the first regular nonstop service from the U.S. to the French side of St. Martin. Dutch St. Maarten is currently served from several major U.S. cities by carriers including American Airlines, US Airways, Continental, JetBlue, Spirit and United Airlines.

L’Esperance Airport is located alongside the stretch of main road through Grand Case, on the north eastern side of the island. It is a certified airport with immigration, customs and security facilities. Grand Case Airport is currently served by Air Caraibes and Air Antilles Express, which offer flights to Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia, and St. Barth Commuter, which offers flights to Saint Barths.

I will keep you posted as more news become available. In the meantime, please read this month's issue featuring articles on how Winair got started and how I got St. Maarten and St. Barths airports on The History Channel's 'Most Extreme Airports'.

Happy Readings!

Terrance Rey

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2. SPECIALS: AirStMaarten Customers Fly Winair

AirStMaarten Customers Fly Winair

AirStMaarten Customers Fly Winair 

3. ARTICLE: How Winair Was Founded

Windward Islands Air - Old Winair logoDo you know that up until 1946 St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius depended solely on sailing crafts for the transportation of mail, cargo and passengers between the islands? A trip from Saba to St. Eustatius could take anywhere from four to twenty hours depending on sea conditions. A voyage from St. Eustatius to Saba could end in St. Maarten if the winds and weather so dictated.

Finally in 1946, the Compagnie Aérienne des Antilles (CAA) was founded. An airline with a lofty name based on the tiny island of Tintamarre (known as Flat Island) that made transportation by air possible and became the first local airline of the Windward Islands. CAA was founded by Rémy de Haenen, a ship owner in St. Barths, who started the airline company at the end of World War II with cheap surplus planes bought at American dumps.

St. Maarten had an airport since 1943, but CAA operated on the isolated islet in the north-east because the little island had its advantages when it came to smuggling contraband. To fly the planes De Haenen also hired “surplus pilots” – young men from the French Caribbean islands who had joined the Allied Forces and were eager to continue flying after the war ended. These pilots were used to flying in difficult circumstances and they would even land where there was no airfield (like on St. Barths and Anguilla) or where there was only an emergency landing strip, like on Statia.

One of these pilots was José Dormoy. He became one of the first to land on Statia’s 866-footlong, grassy emergency runway in November 1946, only a few weeks after the strip was laid out. José Dormoy continued regular flights to the island for CAA until the company ceased operations after 1947. He moved to Guadeloupe where he founded Guadeloupe Air Transport (GAT) and connected St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and St. Kitts with his service.

It was the opening of Saba’s airport in 1963 that brought Dormoy back to the Windward Islands after doing a stint in French Guyana. George Gréaux, one of the Winair’s founders and himself a local aviation pioneer, immediately thought of Dormoy when the company needed a dedicated pilot who could be trusted to land and take off at Saba’s newly constructed, tricky airport. José Dormoy became Winair’s first official, fully employed pilot.

But how did Winair get started?

George Gréaux, who like De Haenen, originally hailed from St. Barths, also realized the opportunity the Caribbean islands offered for air transportation and started flying between them in the Cessna aircraft his father bought him. Another St. Barths resident, Hippolyte “Faustin” Ledée was also doing the same thing. His father had bought him an aircraft too. Both pilots flew flights to St. Eustatius and Gréaux even managed to secure the airmail contract for Statia.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Donna brought destruction in 1960 and both Gréaux and Ledée lost their planes in the hurricane. Rather than resume their competition, they were advised to start again as a team. They did so and established Gréaux and Ledée Air Services (GLAS) within a few weeks. This company would not even last one year. Not because it failed. Rather, the opposite. Its success opened the eyes of the Windward Islands government to the necessity of organized air transport between St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba. They started talks with Gréaux and Ledée. Norman “Chester” Wathey, agent for KLM on St. Maarten, soon joined in the discussions and after a meeting in the Lido Bar in Philipsburg, the three entrepreneurs came to an agreement. On August 24th, 1961, Windward Island Airways (WIA), now better known as WINAIR, was born. That was almost 50 years ago.

Old Windward Islands Airways advertisement

Background information about the founding of Winair provided by the AVIATION PIONEERS OF THE CARIBBEAN FOUNDATION.
For more information visit


Cheap Air Flightbanner

5. NEWS ITEM: Most Extreme Airports Documentary Airing

Terrance Rey on The History Channel Documentary "Most Extreme Airports"

In 2010, the most noteworthy project Terrance Rey, AirStMaarten's CEO, worked on in his capacity as President of the Aviation Pioneers of the Caribbean Foundation is working together with a production company called BrushFire Films to produce a documentary featuring the Most Extreme Airports around the world for The History Channel.

His work with the Aviation Pioneers on Facebook had attracted the attention of the producers working for The History Channel. Therefore, he was approached to advise on this film project. After recommending airports in St. Maarten, Saba and St. Barths as possible candidates for this documentary, St. Maarten and St. Barths were chosen. Due to budgetary constraints Saba could not be filmed. (A missed opportunity.)
The History Channel's 2 hour documentary "Most Extreme Airports" was aired on July 20th, 2010, and continues to be broadcasted worldwide to an audience of millions of viewers. In this documentary, Terrance Rey gave commentary on both the St. Maarten and St. Barths airport in his role as President of the Aviation Pioneers of the Caribbean Foundation. (See screenshot above.) St. Maarten's airport ranked #4 and St. Barths airport ranked #3.

Besides being regularly repeated on television, this documentary is often uploaded in various segments on to Due to copyright infringements these are quickly removed by Youtube. However, one can always tell when it has been on Youtube, because the videos spreads virally throughout Facebook and Terrance often receive emails about his role as a commentator in this documentary.

The exposure for St. Maarten and St. Barths due to this documentary is phenomenal and will continue to attract attention worldwide for a long time as long as the documentary is repeated on air and uploaded by fans to the internet. If you ever get a chance, please watch this documentary featuring St. Maarten and St. Barths and see why Princess Juliana International Airport is ranked #4 and Gustavia Airport is ranked #3 on The History Channel's list of "Most Extreme Airports". Visit for listings.

6. TRAVEL TIP: Know Your Partner's Clothing Sizes

I wanted to be politically correct with this month's Travel Tip, but this tip is really for us men: get your wife's measurements before you go on vacation!

Most men have no clue what their wives' clothing sizes are. Well.... maybe just the cupsize. ;-) The result is that most wives don't receive any clothing gifts with much fashionable worth. For most men it is much easier to buy jewelry, household appliances (not recommended!) or take their significant other out for a nice romantic dinner at an expensive restaurant. But if you really want to impress your girlfriend, fiancé or wife with a gift, get her correct measurements and buy her a nice fashionable item in one of St. Barths top clothing boutiques. 

7. AGENDA: Golfing In St. Kitts & Nevis

 Golfing in St. Kitts & Nevis for St. Barths visitors

If  you are in St. Barths on vacation and you get the urge to play some golf, you can consider flying to St. Kitts & Nevis. St. Kitts & Nevis' three golf courses include an 18-hole championship course on Nevis, plus an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole course on St. Kitts.

Here is who you will have to contact to make reservations:

Royal St. Kitts Golf Club
P.O. Box 858 Basseterre
St. Kitts W.I.
Phone: 869-466-2700
Fax: 869-466-2701

Four Season Resort
P.O. Box 565 Pinney’s Beach
Charlestown, Nevis W.I.
Phone: 869-469-1111
Fax: 869-469-1112

8. ADVERTISEMENT: St. Maarten Florist -

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Visit our website and place your order for flowers, bouquets and giftbaskets online today. We will deliver your orders to homes, businesses, hotels, villas, hospitals, gated communities, schools, universities and funeral parlors anywhere in St. Maarten. Just place your order and we will send you a pro forma invoice with payment instructions. You can pay online with your creditcard once you receive our invoice. After your payment is received, we will process your order and deliver according to your specific instructions. We also do wedding bouquets, boutonniers and centerpieces. 

9. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How To Book With AirStMaarten

Booking Procedure & Reservation Information

Submit a reservation request online at Once we receive your request, we will send you a Reservation Offer for your consideration. Once you accept our proposal, we will require payment. You can use our credit card form to send us your credit card information. We accept all major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. You can also pay by bank transfer, check, cash or Paypal. Once payment is received, we will book the commercial flight or private charter and send you a Reservation Confirmation.

If you have requested additional services such as VIP Transfer Services, we will send you a Final Confirmation containing all details of your travel itinerary and services booked. And that's how you book with AirStMaarten.

Other Customer Service Resources:
Our Shared Charters concept explained in full detail
VIP Transfer Services through Princess Juliana Int'l Airport
Island Concierge Services on St. Maarten and St. Barths
Read what our satisfied clients are saying about our service
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