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Today’s Tweede Kamer Parliament Hearing FEB 4: QUESTIONS CONCERNING WINAIR MORTGAGE LOAN

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On January 4, the member Van Raak (SP) proposed to the State Secretary of
Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations two written questions
(reference 2021Z00022) and on January 7th, members Van Dam and
Amhaouch (both CDA) asked us both a number of written questions (ref
2021Z00179) following the mortgage loan to Winair. In this
letter we answer both sets of questions.


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Questions from Member Van Raak (SP) to the State Secretary of
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations about the salary of the top
van Winair (submitted on January 4, 2021).
Question 1
How much does the general manager of Winair earn? 1
Answer 1
The CEO of Winair earned € 169,000.00 in 2019. About the rewards of
the Board of Directors is reported in the Annual Management Report
State holdings that your Chamber annually from the Minister of Finance
receives 2.
Question 2
Lowering the salary of the top of Winair has been part of
the support operation? If not, why not?
Answer 2
The cabinet has commissioned a study into the economic situation of
Winair. It showed that the Winair top in April 2020 paid the salaries of the
The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board has cut by 25%. If
condition for the mortgage loan, we have stated that Winair no
bonuses, profits and dividends may pay as long as the loan is not
refunded.


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Questions from members Van Dam and Amhaouch (both CDA) to the
State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the
Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management about the mortgage loan
to Winair (submitted on January 7, 2021).
Question 1
Have you taken note of the message “Million dollar state aid per
device “? 3
Answer 1
Yes.
Question 2
Winair’s financial problems are solely caused by
the corona crisis? Is there an underlying (business administration)
analysis of the causes? Would you like to share that analysis with the House?
Answer 2
The cabinet has decided on the mortgage loan following a
request of the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten on December 8, and op
basis of a political, social and business economic test according to the
“Assessment framework for support requests for individual companies” that was sent to you on 1 May 2020
Room has been sent 4.
This test had already started in response to the broader request for support
that the company Winair has previously done to the cabinet. Part of this
assessment framework is a business economic analysis. This has shown that
Winair is a healthy company at its core, but that is the consequences of the Covid-19
crisis puts the company in financial trouble. About the financial performance of
Winair is reported in the Annual Report Management of State Participations that your
Chamber receives annually from the Minister of Finance. The research it
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has commissioned consists of
phase A and phase B. The results of phase A are enclosed with this letter. The
Phase B results contain business-sensitive information; these become
confidential with your House.

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Question 3
What conditions are attached to the mortgage loan for a
affordable air connection with St. Eustatius and Saba? Is there
was there a form of tendering?
Answer 3
As reported to your House in the letter of 31 December 20205 there are
conditions imposed on the mortgage loan. The company stays until the loan
is paid back no bonuses, dividends or profits. In addition, must
the company operates the routes Sint Maarten – Saba, Sint
Maarten – Sint Eustatius, and Saba – Sint Eustatius once serve the Covid-19
entry measures have been lifted. In addition, the company must provide access to
central government with regard to financial management.
Providing a mortgage loan does not require a tendering process.
Question 4
Is it true that recently with financial support from the (Dutch)
government a renewed route Sint Eustatius – Bonaire has been opened (also
performed by Winair)? Is it true that the Dutch government has a
guarantee a significant number of seats on this route? That’s right
it is that approximately the same time the route Sint Maarten – Curaçao – Bonaire
has been resumed by Winair? Are these routes not such mutually
competitive that there is a great danger that both routes will not
be independently viable?
Answer 4
Entry restrictions due to Covid-19 are regular
air connections between the windward and leeward islands of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands dropped out. The Island Governors of Bonaire and Saba and
the government commissioners of St. Eustatius have indicated themselves seriously
worry about the consequences of this. The Ministry of the Interior
Affairs and Kingdom Relations considers it important that the islands in times of
crisis remain well linked, and for this reason has resources
made available with which a temporary weekly flight between Bonaire and
Sint Eustatius is guaranteed. An inquiry has been made to several
airlines, and Winair is the only party to indicate this assignment
to want to accept. The routes are not competitive because between Bonaire and
St. Eustatius no direct connection is offered. There are only flights
with multiple transfer times due to the applicable entry restriction
are impossible.
5 Parliamentary document number 2020Z25899
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Ministry of
Home Affairs and
Kingdom Relations
Directorate General
Kingdom Relations
Characteristic
2021-0000061728

Page 5 of 6 Question 5
What role does the fact that central government is a 7% shareholder in
Winair in the decision to provide a mortgage loan?
Answer 5
The government is a 7.95% shareholder in Winair. On behalf of the Dutch State
the shareholder role is fulfilled by the Ministry of Infrastructure and
Water management. The provision of a mortgage loan to Winair follows from the
importance of keeping Saba and Sint Eustatius connected. That importance also lies
basis for the shareholding in Winair. The risk to the state is non-existent
the chosen option of a mortgage loan is kept as small as possible.
Question 6
Which other airlines provide connections between
the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom? Was guaranteeing the
flight movements between Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten are not
a great opportunity to experience diversity and competition in the
the aviation world, in favor of consumer prices?
Answer 6
There are a limited number of airlines operating scheduled flights between
Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, including Divi Divi, EZ Air, Jet Air,
and Winair. There is therefore little market forces and competition. Saba
and St. Eustatius are served by only one company: Winair. This one
connection is not cost-effective due to its small scale. In the absence
of a mortgage loan to Winair, the company would expect
have had to apply for a moratorium, with the result that very
no offer of scheduled flights to and from Saba and Sint Eustatius in the short term
would be. The accessibility of Saba and St. Eustatius is with provision
of a mortgage loan secured in the short term. The cabinet looks up
how accessibility can be guaranteed in the medium term.
Question 7
What is the financial situation of these airlines?
Do these also receive support from the national government? If so, how much? If not,
why not?
Answer 7
See the answer to question 3. The companies based in the Caribbean
The Netherlands can claim the Covid-19 schemes of the State.
Question 8
What is the state of play regarding the recommendations of the
Expert group Connectivity, which advocates the flight connections between

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to treat and subsidize the islands as a form of public
transport?
Answer 8
Partly as a result of the Connectivity Expert Group, a pilot with a
Ferry connection between the Windward Islands announced 6. This pilot can
be carried out after travel restrictions due to Covid-19 have been lifted.
The flight connections in the Caribbean Netherlands are monitored by the cabinet.
The accessibility of Saba and Sint Eustatius is with the provision of one
mortgage loan secured in the short term. The cabinet is looking at how this
accessibility after this period can be guaranteed.
6 Parliamentary document number 2020D16123

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