Together with the Domino’s Pizza franchise at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), Sint Maarten’s national airline Winair is claiming a world record for delivering freshly made take-out pizza from one restaurant to the largest number of countries within a 45-minute period.
Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, August 21, the PJIA franchise of Domino’s and Winair collaborated to deliver straight-from-the-oven pizzas to eight countries and island territories in the Northeast Caribbean in just 45 minutes.
According to the Sint Maarten newspaper The Daily Herald, which published a news story on August 22 on the novel record attempt, the countries and territories receiving the pizza pies were Sint Maarten, Saint-Martin, Anguilla, Saint Barthélemy, Saba, Sint Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Daily Herald also reported that the original plan for the record – to date not an official record category for Guinness World Records – also included Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, but the runway of the island’s airport was closed that night.
Winair flew Domino’s pizza-delivery carriers from PJIA (IATA code SXM: the airport now brands itself as ‘SXM Airport’) to Saint Barth, Saba, Nevis, St. Kitts and Sint Eustatius.
Domino’s delivered pizzas by land to Sint Maarten and Saint-Martin, a French collectivity which shares the island of Saint Martin with the Dutch autonomous country of Sint Maarten. It delivered a pizza to the nearby island of Anguilla by sea.
The two companies are submitting their record attempt to Guinness World Records, according to The Daily Herald.
Guinness World Records told the companies no such record category existed, but provided them with verification criteria that if satisfied might lead to their effort being listed as a new world record, according to the newspaper.
So, using three different measurement methods, the companies logged and documented all the steps they performed in the record international pizza-delivery attempt in order to satisfy the verification process, The Daily Herald reported.
The record attempt came about following the introduction of a flying Domino’s Pizza-delivery service by Winair from SXM Airport on August 1, under an agreement with John Caputo, the owner of the airport’s Domino’s Pizza franchise.
Winair’s aerial pizza-delivery service on behalf of the SXM Domino’s franchise came about as the result of a spoof April Fool’s Day advertisement placed by Caputo.
The advertisement jokingly said the franchise would deliver pizzas on demand to residents of the volcanic islands of Saba, 30 miles south of Sint Maarten; and Sint Eustatius, 33 miles southeast of Sint Maarten.
But so many residents of Saba and Sint Eustatius thought the ad was real and called the Domino’s franchise to order take-out pizzas that when Caputo talked with Winair CEO Michael Cleaver about the episode, both men realized the joke actually represented a good business idea.
The two companies quickly drew up an agreement to offer the service and since August 1 Winair has been flying take-out pizzas in insulated delivery boxes to the islands of Saba and Sint Eustatius, which are both special municipalities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Customers from the two islands call the SXM Airport Domino’s franchise in advance, order their take-out pizzas and pay for them over the phone using their credit-card numbers.
Domino’s Pizza bakes each take-out pie fresh just in advance of the next Winair scheduled flight to the relevant island, delivers it to the aircraft and notifies the customer to come and collect it at the island’s airport.
Although a current Domino’s Pizza advertisement for the service states “More islands coming soon!”, Winair CEO Cleaver notes, “Thus far there are no plans to deliver to other islands, due to customs regulations.”
Cleaver describes Winair as “first and foremost a passenger airline” and “limited as to cargo acceptance” because of the low cargo capacity of the 19-seat de Havilland Twin Otter 300 turboprops which form its core fleet.
“There are daily boat services to the surrounding islands whereby customers ship required supplies to their final destination,” says Cleaver.
However, the airline does carry some small, high-value and time-sensitive items as cargo on its network when required.
“We do deliver computer parts, documents and machine parts and various last-minute needed supplies,” Cleaver confirms.
Cargo represented 1.5 per cent of Winair’s total revenues in 2014, according to Cleaver.