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BVIAA to meet with VI Airlink to find solution to hanger rental issue

- said rental of hangers is a revenue stream to be capitalised on
Following a public outcry by VI Airlink over the decision by the BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) to begin constructing and renting out hangers at the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport, the BVIAA has since said it is willing to meet with the local airline to find a solution that would be in the best interest of both parties. Photo: VINO/VI Ailink
It was since November 2018 that VI Airlink’s Neville C. Brathwaite Jr had said, ‘the airline continues to bleed excess resources to maintain its airplanes’ overseas due to a lack of maintenance facility at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
It was since November 2018 that VI Airlink’s Neville C. Brathwaite Jr had said, ‘the airline continues to bleed excess resources to maintain its airplanes’ overseas due to a lack of maintenance facility at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
The BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) has said it empathises with the management and staff of Virgin Islands Airlink, with respect to the challenges they have faced following the devastation caused by the hurricanes of 2017. Photo: BVIAA
The BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) has said it empathises with the management and staff of Virgin Islands Airlink, with respect to the challenges they have faced following the devastation caused by the hurricanes of 2017. Photo: BVIAA
Brothers Norville Braithwaite (Left) & Neville C. Brathwaite Jr (right) who are both Pilots. Photo: Team of Reporters
Brothers Norville Braithwaite (Left) & Neville C. Brathwaite Jr (right) who are both Pilots. Photo: Team of Reporters
BEEF ISLAND, VI- Following a public outcry by VI Airlink over the decision by the BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) to begin constructing and renting out hangers at the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport, the BVIAA has since said it is willing to meet with the local airline to find a solution that would be in the best interest of both parties.

In a press release of November 27, 2019, BVIAA said it empathises with the management and staff of Virgin Islands Airlink, with respect to the challenges they have faced following the devastation caused by the hurricanes of 2017.

In fact, it was since November 2018 that VI Airlink’s Neville C. Brathwaite Jr had said, “the airline continues to bleed excess resources to maintain its airplanes, to one of the highest safety standards in the world under the overseas territory requirements.”

According to Mr Brathwaite, as a local company operating in its home country, VI Airlink “feels that BVIAA is making very difficult to continue to operate, as the cost to maintain our aircrafts has drastically increased due to the lack of a maintenance facility.”

He had noted that in an effort to reduce fuel cost and provide better pricing to customers, VI Airlink requested to bring in fuel for private use, but that also was declined.

Rebuilding programme

It said that during the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Authority’s hangar stock at the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport was completely destroyed and that since rebuilding from scratch became the only option, the then  Board of Directors and Management opted to make the best of the unfortunate situation and to design a rebuilding programme that takes into account the intentions for expansion and upgrade of the facilities at Beef Island and which falls  into the scope of the master plan for the new airport infrastructural development.

The BVIAA further said the new and present Board of Directors and the Management team inherited certain arrangements already in place, but made a decision to go a step further and to execute a plan that would facilitate resilience, expansion of revenue generation capacity over the long-term, and cater for demands over the next 50 years.

New hangers

“With respect to the allocation of hangars, the situation arose where there is an increase in demand for hangar facilities that is beyond the pre-hurricanes level. This demand is expected to grow even further when current efforts to attract additional airlift providers begin bearing fruit. In this regard, and considering the medium- to long-term strategy and projected land use, it is necessary to relocate the hangars to a different parcel of BVIAA real estate.”

The authority said the legal formalities for the relocation of hangars have been recently completed and preliminary engineering work has begun to facilitate the construction of new hangar facilities in the near future.

Rental of hangers

“The BVIAA has been mandated to be prudent in the management of its operations so that it reduces the burden on the Treasury. Meeting this directive means having to develop and optimise aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenue streams.”

Rental of hangars, the BVIAA said, is one source of aeronautical revenue that most airports around the world rely on for income, and the BVIAA is intent on responsibly managing this asset when construction is completed.

VI Airlink ‘valuable’

The Authority said; however, it values VI Airlink as a valuable member of the Territory’s aeronautical ecosystem and would be working to address the airline’s concerns.

“As a BVI-branded, BVI-owned and BVI-registered airlift provider, VI Airlink’s decades of service to the Territory and its role in creating a proud Virgin Islands legacy, cannot and will not be treated lightly. It is therefore the intent of the Authority to convene a meeting shortly with the management of VI Airlink to explore options for lessening the challenges facing the local airline.

“The Authority is confident that by working together, both parties can find a solution that works for all stakeholders. We remain, BVI STRONG!” the press release stated.

10 Responses to “BVIAA to meet with VI Airlink to find solution to hanger rental issue”

  • anegada (01/12/2019, 22:24) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes please work with the Brathwaite pilots. They are excellent at what they do, they provide a valuable service and deserve to have a fair chance of running a successful business.
    Also, BVIAA work with whoever it is that has our airport shut down after dark
    Emergencies can happen any time
  • i from here (02/12/2019, 02:31) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    They always against the locals
  • Set that hated locals (02/12/2019, 04:43) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    The NDP could have given the local Brathwaite that 7.2 m to help them
  • NezRez (02/12/2019, 08:10) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our local airline should NOT be struggling to stay in business. What is wrong with the BVIAA? These young Braithwaite brothers have years of experience and are the nicest professionals I have ever met. Do the right thing BVIAA.
  • Runway (02/12/2019, 09:55) Like (3) Dislike (11) Reply
    They should be reminded that their ingratitude and efforts to snuff and bankrupt BVI Airways will forever haunt their future. Biting the hand that feeds you is a self inflicted curse.
    . That is how the Universe turns. Any "win" for BVI Airlink is illusionary and will be short lived.
    • The watchman (02/12/2019, 16:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is rebuked in Jesus name
    • lol (02/12/2019, 17:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Looks like the thieves run away with some of your investment. Blame them not VI AIRLINK. The reason they did not start has nothing to do with VI Airlink. Just like what is done all over the world the involved parties are given a choice to object when operators apply to operate within their country.

      I rebuke that in JESUS name. God be with you and your anger.
      • tru dat (02/12/2019, 21:51) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
        So true..
        Biting the hand that feeds you, results in a self inflicted curse.
        This is fact.
        Gratitude is paramount for success.
  • wings (02/12/2019, 13:51) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    That damn BVIAA is made up of a bucket of INEPT PEOPLE. Go ahead BVI, continue to run and mistreat the people that is a great service to the Country away. Don't get mad at the. Locals when they go away to school and they don't return.


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