BVI Airways takes VI’s Carifta team to Curacao
The controversial airline, which has come under further criticism after one of its representatives barred a local reporter from attending a public event on April 12, 2017, took some seventy (70) passengers, including a local athletics team, supporters and persons from the sister territory, United States Virgin Islands (USVI) to Curacao where the 2017 Carifta Games is being held.
BVI Airways Director of Flight Operations, Bradley Goggin, had told selected media houses at its Open House that the company would be using one of its two 97-seat aircrafts to fly members of the BVI Athletics Association to the Carifta Games in Curacao, making its debut official passenger flight out of the Terrence B. Lettsome International airport.
“We will be flying the BVI athletics teams, the coaches, supporters and a few persons coming from US Virgin Islands and we are so excited. Also we will have one of the BVI’s top athletes on board (Kyron McMaster) and I am so excited to meet him and having the entire team with us on this first flight.”
Mr Goggin could not say, however, when their next intra-Caribbean flight will be despite the fact that they were granted their license since January 2017 permitting them to fly intra- Caribbean.
Controversial bailout deal/June new start date
The omen around the BVI Airline has not been a good one since Government announced plugging some $7 million into the carrier, which had abruptly pulled out of the VI in 2014 citing financial challenges and had left owing the BVI Airports Authority some $100,000.
Government has said investing in BVI Airways is necessary to ensure direct flights from Miami to Beef Island.
The decision to invest in a defunct airline that owes the BVI Airports Authority money has led to hot debates at all levels, on news sites, in newspapers, in the House of Assembly, among Government representatives and the most recent VI AirLink and InterCaribbean, who are being accused of attempting to flop BVI Airways by filing a petition against them.
Further, three start dates as announced by Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) have been missed.
But as the airline awaits permission from the US Department of Transportation to begin direct flights from Miami, they remain optimistic that they would now be able to start by Mid-June.
“We are still awaiting permission form the US Department of transport but we remain optimistic that will happen very soon because the docket is currently with the Department of Transport in the US. Hoping to get that stamped by the end of the month,” said Goggin.