BVI Airways threatens to sue
"Recently, BVI Airways was attacked and slandered on the floor of the House of Assembly, and VI Airlink, a BVI based carrier, has sought to delay, retard and block our launch of service to Miami by objecting to our application," said Willoughby in a press release.
Recently the local VI Airlink and interCaribbean of Turks and Caicos Islands filed a joint petition against BVI Airways' application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The two carriers are petitioning the application with claims that they were not provided with a copy of the BVI Airways application although the proposed service would affect their operations. They also cited the local Govenment's plug of $7M into BVI Airway is likely a conflict of interest.
Both VI Airlink and InterCaribbean declined to comment when reached by this news site.
Political gains/VI Airlink claims baseless
In an open letter to the people of the Virgin Islands (UK), Willoughby said they are highly disappointed that the collective investments of time and capital to make non-stop service to Miami, Florida a reality has been recklessly placed at risk for political gains and greed.
BVI Airways labelled VI Airlink’s petition as baseless, anti-competitive and fraudulent and will delay their launch and increase the pre-operating financial losses significantly.
"The false claims made on the floor of the House of Assembly accusing BVI Airways of unpaid obligations, insider trading and unscrupulous business practices are patently false, lack any legal basis, and are an affront to our hard-working employees and the many Virgin Islanders in both the public and private sectors who have toiled long and hard to bring this venture to reality. Moreover, VI Airlink’s baseless, anti-competitive and fraudulent objections to our service to Miami will delay the launch and increase the pre-operating financial losses significantly."
Legal action being considered
BVI Airways also claimed that as it stands now, their legal teams locally and the United States are reviewing the viability of claims to obtain recompense from the offending parties.
"BVI Airways remains committed to launching non-stop flights from the BVI to Miami once the vitriol, objections and road blocks are overcome. Our aircraft proudly bears the flag of the Virgin Islands and we fully intend to maintain the superior level of service and practices that the Territory is known for the world over through its financial services and tourism industries."
According to BVI Airways, their goal is to support the development of an aviation industry in the Territory and an enterprise that authentically reflects the people, industry and culture of the Virgin Islands.
“Unfortunately, the uncertainties caused by the announcement in December 2016 of the selection of a preferred bidder to extend the Beef Island runway, as well as ongoing efforts by certain parties in the BVI and other Caribbean operators to discredit, malign, disrupt and ultimately block the launch of our service to the mainland of the United States will at a minimum delay the service and significantly increase costs and ticket prices. Despite this, we remain steadfast in our commitment to improving air access to one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, our home base, the British Virgin Islands.”