Winair (WM, St. Maarten) has bought a previously leased DHC-6-300, PJ-WIX (msn 238), which is now its first and only owned aircraft. The airline said the transaction was to ensure greater operational control and efficiency.

"For nearly five decades, Twin Otter aircraft have been the backbone of our operations, particularly for essential routes to Saba and Saint Barthélemy. The decision to acquire this aircraft reflects our long-standing experience with the Twin Otter's reliability, coupled with the current economic climate and the health of our company. This strategic purchase allows us to reduce our reliance on leasing and paves the way for future growth," Chief Executive Hans van de Velde said.

The 55.1-year-old aircraft was previously leased from Aviastar Mandiri. It is Winair's most recent fleet addition, as the airline has operated it only since June 2023. The carrier also operates three more DHC-6-300s on lease from Unity Group, according to the ch-aviation fleets ownership module.

Winair's fleet also comprises two leased ATR42-500s.

The St. Maarten-based carrier is currently bullish about its future as it aims to capitalise on market gaps left by the demise of LIAT (Antigua and Barbuda) and Air Antilles (2016). The government of Sint Maarten, a constituent country of the Netherlands, which owns around 93% stake in the airline, recently said it would look for new investors given the airline's positive prospects.