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BVI Airways acquires 2nd jet; But no flight date announced

According to BVI Airways, the photo shows two of the four Honeywell LF507-1F engines that power the AVRO RJ 100 and allow it to take off and land on the Beef Island/Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport runway. Photo: BVI Airways
The first BVI Airways aircraft that landed at Beef Island in early November. Photo: Team of Reporters
The first BVI Airways aircraft that landed at Beef Island in early November. Photo: Team of Reporters
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), has dodged from giving a flight date for BVI Airways after watching his first three dates given passed and yet no flights as promised. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), has dodged from giving a flight date for BVI Airways after watching his first three dates given passed and yet no flights as promised. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A day after Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith failed to tell the public when exactly BVI Airways will begin its long overdue promised service from Miami, USA to Beef Island, Tortola, BVI Airways has announced it has acquired a second jet.

“BVI Airways has completed the purchase and taken delivery of its second jet aircraft as it prepares to launch non-stop service between Miami International Airport and Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands,” a press release from BVI Airways today, December 20, 2016 stated.

According to the press release, the AVRO Regional Jet (RJ) 100 will have a seating capacity of 86, including 12 in Premier Class. The 4-engine plane has a cruising altitude of 31,000 feet, and a speed of approximately 500 mph. At that speed, it said, the flight times between Miami and Tortola should be approximately 2.5 hours long.

The Avro RJ100, the press release continued, was manufactured by BAe Systems (formerly British Aerospace). It is currently located at “BVIA’s major maintenance facility” where the interior is in the process of being outfitted, the exterior painted and rebranded, and the plane thoroughly inspected.

“Our second plane is yet another major step in readying BVIA to dramatically improve the convenience and comfort of getting to the BVI,” said Jerry D. Willoughby, the CEO and President of the airline.

Start signing up! No flight date

“We are currently undergoing the certification process with our regulator and people can sign up by visiting our website – www.gobvi.com – for an instant email alert when we have the official approval to start ticket sales and regular service.

Mr Willoughby continued “We’re getting tremendous feedback from BVI hotels and charter companies, as well as the travel trade in the US, Europe and South America. They’re really excited by the opportunities we’ll be bringing to the islands with non-stop service from Miami to Tortola. So are we!”

BVI Airways, however, shied away from giving a date for lift off. This is after the public was given three start dates by Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith- at the end of October 2016, the end of November 2016 and December 2016.

Circumstances caused schedule to slip- Premier Smith

Speaking during the Third Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly (HoA) on December 19, 2016 Premier Smith disclosed that regulator Air Safety Support International (ASSI) had not given approval  for the airline to fly commercially.

"ASSI as a civil aviation regulator for the VI currently, will need to issue an air operator certificate to BVI Airways before they can fly commercially from the BVI," Premier Smith told the public.

In addressing the three time-frame delays without giving the residents an explanation, Dr Smith said "...it has been our intention that this airline be fully operational by the beginning of the winter season of this year, but circumstances have caused the schedule to slip," Premier Smith said.

However, Premier Smith failed to advise the public if all the other approvals required from the United States Department of Transportation via the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have been granted.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government pumped some $7M of taxpayers’ monies into BVI Airways, with a promise for direct flights between Miami, Florida, USA and the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport at Beef Island. This is even after the defunct airline left owing the British Virgin Islands Airports Authority (BVIAA) close to US$100,000.

Under the bailout deal for BVI Airways, if they never fly the VI Government is not eligible to get back any of the $7M.

18 Responses to “BVI Airways acquires 2nd jet; But no flight date announced”

  • Dumb move (20/12/2016, 14:30) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Starting with the worst Jets in market, these ''British Aerospace''planes ✈️ burn fuel like crazy, and don't talk about the maintenance to keep them running. So I could imagine the price to fly from Tola to Miami...
    • @ dumb move (20/12/2016, 15:36) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      Regardless,the fare will be affordable for some,maybe not all but for passengers who can afford,then power to them. The other options to get to Miami will continue. I cannot afford caviar but peanut butter and jelly will keep me alive and glory be for choices in this World.
    • Bruhh (20/12/2016, 15:57) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      once again.... NDP doesnt properly think through their ideas before they do it
  • vex (20/12/2016, 14:47) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    The lies and spin begins
  • Wendy (20/12/2016, 15:40) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    And NDP with no never mind continues...yeah!
    By the time Christmas comes,NDP would have given their naysayers and detractors the bowels....Yeah!
  • just $7 M (20/12/2016, 15:47) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    after the negative headlines yesterday they trying hard to change the headline...Dr. ZZZZZZZ has sold us out big time
  • Citizen (20/12/2016, 16:05) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    The premier must get the people's money back and use it to build our community. In the first place he did not get the okay from Virginislanders to use their money that way. What he did is what dictators do. We still do not have names of persons involved in this venture. Come on Mr. Primier give us the full and correct information about that airline venture. Looks like we will need a commission of inquiry in this one. You give away the people's hard earned money for nothing , now you are borrowing from the consolidated fund. How much of that is going like the seven million. All confidence is gone. We want a snap election to avoid more damage to our territory..
  • jack (20/12/2016, 17:24) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    So......what is the big secret ? Why won't anybody say how much a ticket is going to be ?
  • Struppz (20/12/2016, 17:26) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    why is this news?
  • wize up (20/12/2016, 18:47) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    You can see where your money gone(2 planes)
    • ha (20/12/2016, 20:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      7 mil cannot buy one plane, is 2?
      • 7 mil per (21/12/2016, 13:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Ha: Actually spending 7 mill on one plane is easy. You have the cost of the aircraft, plus the new interiors, plus the new paint, plus the full inspection, plus a bunch of other costs.
  • Just my thoughts..... WL (20/12/2016, 19:33) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    From my knowledge, airlines no longer purchase aircrafts especially if they are a startup airline. Ask sir Richard Branson he could provide advice from experience .......

    "In 1984, Branson started Virgin Atlantic Airways with a single leased airplane. The company struggled to survive but eventually became the second largest long-haul international airline in the UK."

    I hope BVI Airlines took the same approach of leasing instead of buying out right because if things go belly up in the early stages they could always give the plane back and and recover from a small leasing loss rather than die from a big purchasing one.

    Just my thoughts..... WL
  • Daisy (20/12/2016, 22:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This $7M deal has been a travesty,
  • NICK (21/12/2016, 02:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Are members of NDP in partnership and using a coverup? Whose airline is it? Come clean with the people Primier.
  • Jobraido (21/12/2016, 08:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Are these the same two planes that the old company had? just asking.
  • S.R. (22/12/2016, 09:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Has Dr. Smith ever headed up anything that came in "ahead of time & under budget"??
  • WTF (23/12/2016, 10:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP government needs to be jailed. They have committed to many destructive, unlawful acts against the people of this territory. So, since jail is unlikdely, Dr. Smith please get the people's money back. I for one will not be flying this No Frills Airline.


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