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BVI Airways already pocketed full $7M plus; Are they asking for more?

April 21st, 2017 | Tags: BVI Airways flight date HOA tax payers bailout
It was revealed in the House of Assembly on April 20, 2017 that BVI Airways has already pocketed the full $7M plus from Government. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, peppered the Premier and Leader of Government Business Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, with questions over the controversial $7 Million bailout of BVI Airways in exchange for direct flights from Miami to Beef Island. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, peppered the Premier and Leader of Government Business Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, with questions over the controversial $7 Million bailout of BVI Airways in exchange for direct flights from Miami to Beef Island. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It was a dramatic day at the House of Assembly meeting yesterday April 20, 2017 during the questions and answers segment when it came to BVI Airways.

Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) peppered the Premier and Leader of Government Business Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) with questions over the controversial $7 Million bailout of BVI Airways in exchange for direct flights from Miami to Beef Island.

At the House Sitting, Premier Smith declined to answer many of the follow-up questions about his government’s bailout with BVI Airways, but he admitted that there is an addendum to the original agreement, but it was unclear during the session what it entailed.

More lies from the NDP? $7M in BVI Airways’ pocket

The National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration, known for their lies to the people in answering questions in the House of Assembly (HoA), told the public on January 12, 2016 that it had given the defunct BVI Airways $7million and it would be spread (paid out to them) over three years.

They labeled it as an “investment” to help airlift as there was a need for direct flights from mainland USA to the Virgin Islands.

However, in a big u-turn, the Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Smith announced in his answer to Hon Fahie yesterday, April 20, 2017 that BVI Airways after just seven months (not over three years that was told to the public) had collected all government’s money.

In fact, not only did BVI Airways collect from January 22, 2016 to August 26, 2016 the full tax payers $7M, government was required to pay out an extra $207,000, the Premier claimed, to open an account.

However, after being pressed in the HoA by the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Smith claimed that the extra pay out was “shared”.

It’s important to note that the way the agreement is structured, if BVI Airways never flies the VI Government, hence the tax payers, are not eligible to receive a dime back on their “investment”.

No responses now on take off

After promising three dates of when the airline will take off that never happened, Premier Smith yesterday declined to say when it will fly but made reference to a date of June 2017 as announced by BVI Airways. This will be the fourth date announced for when the airline will fly. BVI Airways in a press release a few months ago stated that it had bought a new aircraft.

More money for BVI Airways?

There seems to be confusion as to whether BVI Airways is asking for more money. Premier Smith denied that a request was made by the airline for more money; however our newsroom has other information from our senior NDP sources that a request came to Cabinet for more money. The final conclusion is unclear.

In 2014 BVI Airways pulled its service from the VI, claiming financial challenges. They left owing the BVI Airports Authority almost $100,000 and to date it remains unclear if this amount has been settled.

42 Responses to “BVI Airways already pocketed full $7M plus; Are they asking for more?”

  • Jack B Nimble (21/04/2017, 13:02) Like (29) Dislike (0) Reply
    I can tell you. The governor will not sit back and allow them to give this airline who hasn't produce anything for the 7 million they already received to get more of tax payers money... The Governor will not allow it...
  • Liat 521 (21/04/2017, 13:05) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    SMH
  • lord o. (21/04/2017, 13:05) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
    To give this Airline more money​ will be criminal... We need an investigation to see if NDP or any member has financial interest in this Airline..
  • Pilot (21/04/2017, 13:07) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    For the people of the BVI ,Airlines do not buy planes they lease them so the Government and Vi Airways don't own any plane..The Premier time has come,he was fast a sleep when that deal was cut and still have to pay more money ,this is a serious movie..
    • So (21/04/2017, 14:42) Like (4) Dislike (20) Reply
      So what you're are saying is that gov't help VI Airline lease their fleet too? Glad you clarified that I am surprised. We should not be angry at the gov't then if they had helped VI Airlink and Seaborne to help acquire the respective planes to assist in air access.
      I am very disappointed, because like all of you who are crying foul... about our tax monies being sluggishly spent on a bankrupt company whom under new investors including locals, sort to have their name tarnish by a local company. They to have invested their money into the start-up of this already flying and satisfying the Athletics team including a few from the USVI. Why are we upset at the govt? We should be upset at VI Airlink because they are trying to stop the process for us to even have direct access. I am still trying to get why so much of you are denying or not even backing the Govt proposal, this issue of a next company bias behaviour puts our tax money in jeopardy. We should be trying everything to keep the investment alive than bringing in down, after all, is all of US $7 million.
      No one seems to care how they talk about it, but if the plane doesn't fly then we still lose to the idiotic and laughing the govt down... then say they wasted our $7 mill. People be real, understand what is at stake here. We all have to worry about this delaying process because it's wasting time on progress and our money has being spent in the process.
      • What's the plan? (21/04/2017, 18:58) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
        The government needs to be more transparent and open with what they are doing. Are we building the airport? Are we starting and airline? Are we doing both? Is there a master plan available for all to see? We the people need to see and hear the plan.
      • Hmmm (23/04/2017, 11:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        As far as I know VI airlink isnt leasing any plane, and the Government did not help them acquire any. Check you records everthing is online public info.
        • Hey Hmmmm (24/04/2017, 12:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          All you need to do is plug the tail numbers of the aircraft into the country of registry database and you can see very quickly who owns the aircraft. What the database does not show is who is the operator or the leesee.
          from what I can see the aircraft are not owned by BVI airways. So in short the taxpayer and the airline has acquired no assets at all with that money. So the question is...where did that 7 million go?
      • Hmmm (24/04/2017, 10:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        I Think you have you head up ur @$$$ too long all you smelling is Sh...
  • Yes (21/04/2017, 13:10) Like (6) Dislike (11) Reply
    Happy at least our bvi team to carfita got the first airlift lol
    • iii (25/04/2017, 19:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I so hate when people twist stories in their favor. To bring forth their point
  • well meh bwoy (21/04/2017, 13:29) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    The NDP is really for outsiders
  • So What? (21/04/2017, 13:34) Like (1) Dislike (22) Reply
    We can see what the money was spent on. How much has Government spent on VI Airlink, Seaborne, LIAT and others? I guarantee you it's much more than $7mil and we haven't seen the return that we are seeing with BVI Airways.
    • Hmmm (23/04/2017, 11:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      If you think its more then$7 mil why the Government can't give a figure why they hiding it. Food for thought
  • just asking... (21/04/2017, 14:20) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I like the headline pocket the 7 m, but what about others who in on the deal?
  • wize up (21/04/2017, 14:25) Like (3) Dislike (13) Reply
    Air BVI went out of service under a VIP Goverment many many years ago and they did nothing to restore a flag carrier for BVI: loads of tax money went into several foreign carriers and this was done for many many years(do the maths)....
    • So (21/04/2017, 15:42) Like (2) Dislike (12) Reply
      @wize up; I have finally agreed with you on one thing, seems like you spoke to the right people in the gov't and found our for yourself what bias behaviour it portraits on the starting of something different. Glad you bring it to light. All we are hearing is lies and our $7 mill is bad spent. Let us be real here, who all will benefit from this... We the people. Our lazy mentality has to change if we can ever progress. Keep speaking the truth.
    • karrat (21/04/2017, 17:05) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      2 wrong does not make 1 right.
  • Prophet (21/04/2017, 15:51) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ wize up do the maths... for many many years at least, we saw what the foreign carriers did. The fact is we cannot see what BVI Air did with the $7 million given to them and the cloud of doubt being created by the answers given in the HOA.
    • wize up (21/04/2017, 19:49) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
      @ prophet: the very same way you can invest in foreign air carriers; why can't you invest in your own airline(that's my point)..Don't you understand that 2 aircraft were purchased from that 7 million plus dollars!!! Some of you out there think nothing is good for the people of the BVI; we giving up most of the top jobs to the UK and other people wihlie our qualify people can't get a job in this BVI: for some of you out there being able to travel directly from BVI to Miami is to good for our people: if you are questioning the process is one thing BUT If you are questioning the process then I know you have political issues: i am looking at the progress of this place for my grandchild(who vex stay vex) my rent done pay
      • Music (22/04/2017, 01:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Planes leased not bought. Do you realise this plane model has not been made for 20years? You seem to forget that the object of this project is to bring in tourists. That locals can also use the route is secondary, though the mind of many locals is only thinking about themselves.
  • Jack B Nimble. we the public. (21/04/2017, 17:02) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Tell us what you did with 7 million and what your plans are for the next 3 millions, that's all we need to know. If satisfy we will approve
  • One word (21/04/2017, 18:14) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Corruption!
  • BREAKING NEWS (21/04/2017, 18:24) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    THEY REALLY NEEDED 7 MILLION TO EXECUTE DEAL BUT SOME WHEELBARROW MONEY WAS FUNNELED TO WHITE COLLAR NDP BIG WIG IN THE TOURISM SECTOR FOR CUTTING DEAL.

    HE IS SILENT NOW BUT THROUGH NEW YORK A SET OF CASH WAS PEDDLED AND THAT IS WHY THEY HAVE THE ACCOUNTS BEING HANDLED FROM UP THERE INSTEAD OF HOME IN BVI.

    FBI IS WATCHING CLOSELY THE MONEY'S AND THE CRUISE SHIP PIER IS ANOTHER ON CLOSE EYE.

    CORRUPTION AT IT'S BEST!

    THE GOVERNOR IS ABOUT TO ACT LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
  • de silent one (21/04/2017, 19:09) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    It's seems like the airline are getting closer to starting to operate, so why don't we the would be benefactors start been a bit more positive/supportive and give them the chance that they deserve to get going. How much has these small airline done to really move people. They need to be more innovative in expanding their wings and stop criticizing the Government for trying.
  • Bubba (21/04/2017, 20:14) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The government probably doesn't know what they have agreed to. Sadly the lack of sophistication means they probably didn't understand the contract (no defence) and probably didn't pay for a top law firm to help them negotiate it. Outwitted again.

    Maybe the stamp duty from the sale of riteway can fund the airline investment.
  • Yes (21/04/2017, 20:25) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who are the shareholders of the shell company that has shares in BVI Airways. Let me see.....lets see who was invited to the opening and all that backslapping! So how are you going to call an investigation on yourself? Welcome to Parasitic Oligarchic Policy-making 101
    • wize up (22/04/2017, 08:31) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ LOL: the tax money funded this project and to prevent old talk a board of directors was frabicated and this so called board includes local to make this operation look legit....the issue some of us have with this transaction is the process: there should be no questionable transactions by any government in this BVI when the people's tax money is being used: far to many hush hush transactions within the halls of government:
  • the plan (21/04/2017, 20:52) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    If they ask for more money, then we the people need to own shares in the company. It is a great opportunity for us to renegotiate the contract and secure representation on the board. I say we Hold off on the runway extension fix the roads and the sewage and let's revisit the extension in a few years.
  • de silent one (21/04/2017, 22:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Either they toe the line or be sent for behaviour modification, NDP must go
    • wize up (22/04/2017, 10:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ de silent one: I absolutely love it; behaviour modification(but a bad habit is hard to break so it will take some time modify NDP's behaviour)
  • WOW!!! (21/04/2017, 23:51) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    http://i.imgur.com/O87IOlR.png
  • Irate (22/04/2017, 12:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    What the NDP Government has done here is criminal. The premier continue to lie to the people. If that plane flies or not, those members of government should be made to pay. The money back to taxpayers. The whole deal looks fishy. If any members of government or their friends are involved as share holders The only way to find out is with an investigation.
  • Juan Ping (22/04/2017, 21:17) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I would like to know how a government official can become an investor with our tax money?

    It is our money! How can they claim our money? Under what legalality?

    If the governor don't put them in jail worst will happen because they are white collar crooks!
  • Where the locals? (24/04/2017, 20:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You all claim locals have shares but yet this is what was filed with the DOT in the US...

    PAULINE JONES - UK CITIZEN 30%
    BRADLEY GOGGIN - UK CITIZEN 21%
    COLCHESTER AVIATION- US RESIDENT- 49%

    Bradley Goggin is the chief pilot that recently moved to the BVI. So which locals? Are there another set of owners that the goverment is hiding? Was this sent to the US DOT under false pretense? BVI wake up. Let the local speak out. US does not take things like this too lightly. Unless there is another company and shareholders. That is what was presented to the US. So thats what we know. They keep saying the planes are owned but yet they are showing as leased under Tronos... ummmm what's the truth. BVI we owe it to ourselves to find out! Stop being blinded!
  • NO $ (25/04/2017, 18:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This gov't has no more money - increase work permits, charging tourists, how did this happen?! Early Vote!
  • kick backs (26/04/2017, 21:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If this was the US, the bank accounts of those concerned would be scrutinized for racketeering


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