Hans van de Velde becomes the new CEO of Winair on Sint Maarten. The Dutchman succeeds Michael Cleaver, who served the regional airline for 12 years.
Van de Velde will board a plane in the coming week to settle on Sint Maarten with his family.
The Supervisory Board and the shareholders of Winair say they have worked on the selection of a new CEO, with the international consulting firm Deloitte leading the recruitment process. That process yielded a total of 33 applicants. The goal was to find a candidate who possesses a unique blend of leadership qualities.
On two occasions, Michael Cleaver was asked to postpone his retirement due to events affecting the island and the regional aviation sector. “With confidence that stability has been restored, it was announced in November 2022 that he would retire in 2023,” reports Winair, which connects Sint Maarten with Saba and Sint Eustatius, among others.
Van de Velde faces a challenging task to further expand the network and optimize the result. He will have a number of ATR aircraft at his disposal, the first of which was delivered last Friday. The ATR 42-500 will be the largest aircraft in Winair ‘s fleet, which now mainly flies the DHC-6 Twin Otter.
Van de Velde worked at TUI for nineteen years and then at Holtrop Havesloot for two years as a headhunter. He was managing director at TUI fly in the Netherlands until 2016, before moving to Paris to become CEO of TUI France. He has been head of TUI fly Netherlands since 2013 and has a long career with the travel company. During his career, he was head of the Contact Center and Manager Planning & Logistics, before taking charge of all operational departments of TUI fly.