Winair (WM, St. Maarten) has acquired two ATR42-500s, which will become its first two in-house units of the type and will replace another ATR42 wet-leased from Air Antilles (Pointe à Pitre).

The state-owned carrier said it took one year to analyse various fleet growth options before selecting the ATR - Avions de Transport Régional turboprops. The first will deliver in March 2023 and will be used on routes to Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Dominica Melville Hall, and Port au Prince, while the second will arrive a month later and be deployed to Antigua, Tortola, St. Lucia Vigie, Bridgetown, and possibly to other destinations which are still under review.

Winair is currently working with the St. Maarten airport operator and the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority (SMCAA) to clear all bureaucratic hurdles for the induction of in-house ATR42-500s.

The airline did not reveal the identity of the two ATRs and did not respond to ch-aviation's request for comment.

The Sint Maarten carrier said its cooperation with Air Antilles, which has lasted for six years, was an extensive proof of concept and demonstrated the viability of ATR42-500 operations.

"Our partnership with Air Antilles will continue to evolve, strengthening Winair's and Air Antilles' route structure in the Caribbean, also providing commonality of fleet type," President and Chief Executive Michael Cleaver said, without providing details as to the future nature of the cooperation.

Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows that Air Antilles' ATR42-500 F-OIXE (msn 807) continues to operate for Winair as of November 17, 2022.

Besides the wet-leased ATR42, Winair operates four in-house DHC-6-300s.