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‘Know who you jump into bed with’- Cromwell Smith to NDP Gov’t

- but calls on VIslanders to invest in BVI Airways
Talk show host Mr Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka has chided the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government for allegedly not properly investigating the principals behind BVI Airways before ‘getting into bed with them’. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands Government of Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) has said it has honoured its obligations in the agreement to BVI Airways, including a $7.2M pay out, and told BVI Airways to begin flying. Photo: VINO/
The Virgin Islands Government of Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) has said it has honoured its obligations in the agreement to BVI Airways, including a $7.2M pay out, and told BVI Airways to begin flying. Photo: VINO/
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - "We need a consortium of BVIslanders who have money to invest in the airline because it has got to get off the ground," Mr Cromwell Smith aka Edju En Ka said on his recent talk show episode of Spotlight on JTV Channel 55.

Mr Smith was referring to BVI Airways, which has said it is in need of more money, among other things, to begin direct flights between Miami International Airport in the United States and Terrance B. International Airport on Beef Island, Virgin Islands.

On July 18, 2017, BVI Airways said it had laid off all staff due to financial and other challenges and blamed the Virgin Islands Government led by Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) for its failure to honour its agreement. The announcement came as a surprise to many as the airline had reportedly received all the necessary authorisation it kept saying was the final straw to get the airline flying into and out of Miami.

The Virgin Islands Government has said it has honoured its obligations in the agreement to BVI Airways including a $7.2M pay out and told BVI Airways to begin flying.

Invest in BVI Airways

However, known National Democratic Party (NDP) supporter and talk show host Mr Cromwell Smith believes Virgin Islanders should step up to the plate and invest in BVI Airways.

"Invest in the airline and get a share of the airline and be at the table of decision making so that we can make sure that our BVI have air access and this airline and these people who come here broke don't decide when they want to turn off and go someplace else and we left hanging the pitch like how many other airlines have done to us in the past,” Mr Cromwell Smith stated.

Know who you jump into bed with

However, Mr Smith in his wisdom blasted the government of the day for not properly investigating the principals of the BVI Airways before signing the deal with them.

"We need to start securing ourselves because this is a national security issue….We need to be more vigilant when people come with their nice haircut and fancy suits and PowerPoint presentation. We need to know where they are coming from. We need to do due diligence and find out who these people are before we jump into bed with them."

According to Mr Smith, it was no secret that the people behind the controversial airline wanted more than the $7.2M this government has already invested in them.

"It seems like these guys came in here expecting the government to fund the whole thing and they just run it and keep all the money, knowing that we need airlift for the growth of the economy. They putting the pressure on us, they putting the squeeze on us," the talk show host asserted.

"We know that they need money and to me if you coming to open up an airline you ought to know what it’s going to cost and you need to come with cash in your pocket."

More excuses from BVI Airways

BVI Airways had already missed four flight dates prior to its announcement of having more challenges. One of its latest excuses was that improvements to the airport allegedly required under its contract to meet basic commercially acceptable standards for processing a certain passenger volume were not completed. According to BVI Airways, the current system is “antiquated” and barely works for low density flights and that there was a clear understanding from the onset that this needed to be corrected and better training of personnel provided prior to its launch of service.

Mr Smith; however, refused to accept that excuse from BVI Airways.

"All the other airlines are dealing with the situation as it is, whatever is there now. You have LIAT, Cape Air, Caribbean Air, VI Airlink, we got a bunch of airlines flying out of Terrance Lettsome International Airport and dealing with whatever the situation is there," Mr Smith argued.

28 Responses to “‘Know who you jump into bed with’- Cromwell Smith to NDP Gov’t”

  • Jaigon Jumbie (24/07/2017, 08:27) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cromwell, you really think people stupid and will take their hard earn money to put in this bankrupt airline. Look at the behavior of BVI Airways, $7.2 million of tax payers dollars, and the result is? So why must the ordinary man invest in this airline. The government is already at a lost, so are we deft, blind and dumb. Maybe we should call on BVI investment club to invest. Are you saying this to ensure the BVI Airways fly and shame is taken out of the Government face. I really cannot see any right thinking person investing their dollars in this Airline
    • wize up (24/07/2017, 09:58) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ jigon jumbie: News-Flash: don't overlook that 99,000.00 that was due-which one of you could owe any government adminstration in the BVI and not be taken to court much less given more money....whatever happened to those good standing certificates that are required before being awarded a government contract.....pure white collar transactions
  • wize up (24/07/2017, 08:52) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    the citizens of this territory should have been approached to discuss investment: had all went well the people would have been left out as usual: our elected people must stop putting the cart before the horse and only have value for us a few days before the general election
  • Local (24/07/2017, 08:57) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    I agree with you
  • Just saying (24/07/2017, 09:06) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    And still no one will go to jail!
  • may be (24/07/2017, 09:13) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    May be we have to ask necker if he can invest in the airline on its way. The truth is this is a real sad story 7.2 million.
  • tell me (24/07/2017, 09:17) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    If I choose to open a business...anywhere. Who should I rely on to fund it? Whether its an airline, vehicle, supermarket, beauty salon - if the principals of the company cannot afford it, then they leave it alone. The knock-off airline in this case is one thing, but its the government and how they just tek up millions of the people's money and hand to them on a silver plate with a stroke of the pen. Jus so.

    If you have travelled through Beef Island recently, the place is blue. New blue seating to match the 'coming soon direct flights to Miami' blue signs. There is another security machine and new staff. Who pays for all this. But....we have not seen the agreement that the NDP hooked us in, so only them know what they are not complying with.

    I bet if American or JetBlue want to expand or make changes to any airport, they find the money to do it.

    This reckless and blatant disregard for the public purse needs to stop. Money is money, and if the social services in the territory could be improved in all of the needed areas, I would be much more comfortable. Dr. Smith and crew, you guys threading on a thin line, and its time for youall to check yourselves.
  • UK Observer (24/07/2017, 09:24) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply

    I hope the BVI Government don't have to pay Miami Airport for these con a..... failing to fly on the day they were schedule to fly..Airports work by scheduling not by excuses,and it look like when BVI Airways finish with the NDP Government the Treasury only will be spending "Sea Weed"..July 22nd is gone and not even the breeze from the plane was felt ,a sad time for our country Millions and Millions more through NDP door...

  • just wrong (24/07/2017, 09:30) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    How would it be possible to support a full time staff of Pilots and Flight Attendants, and of course all the support structure with only a couple flights a week on weekends? And the Government bought into this ??
  • CRUMS IN THE WELL (24/07/2017, 09:47) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    To bad and too late because somebody bank account full leaving crums in the well Mr. Cromwell.

    They need to go to jail.

    Especially the newly resident Bahamas home man.
  • Just saying (24/07/2017, 10:10) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply

    He full of sh*t? How come he is not marching?

  • Wes (24/07/2017, 11:15) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    The wife had to be very good. No rubbers or nothing. Now they have the drips. SMH
  • Free give aways... (24/07/2017, 11:43) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Host: "It seems like these guys came in here expecting the government to fund the whole thing and they just run it and keep all the money"

    B.V.I.A: "well!!..... you did it for B! W@ter, why not us?"
  • E. Leonard (24/07/2017, 11:48) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    No doubt, transportation is vital for continued economic growth, development and sustainability. Nonetheless, in the VI case, ferries and airlines are the only options. Ferries and airlines should/can be linked. The airline business whether passenger or cargo is a capital and labour intensive operations with a razor-thin profit margin. Every flight that takes off and land have fix costs that must be met with paying passengers or cargo.

    Assuming that airlines have the working capital to get airborne, staying airborne requires attaining a consistent passenger load factor, ie, minimum number of seats that must be filled. Every flight has a break even load factor. But just breaking even is not good enough; a profit is needed. Moreover, just as hotels must put heads in beds, and ferries butts in seats so too must airlines put butts in seats.

    Moreover, no airline willl start a route or continue on a route with a below the desired passenger load factor. If the MIA -EIS route is so profitable, why has AA, Delta, United, Jet Blue.....etc not explored the opportunity to start flying the route. Furthermore is BVI Airways interesting in partnering with VI investors? In any event, the airline business is a tough business so VI investors should do their homework, exercising due diligence.
    • @E. Leonard (25/07/2017, 11:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I do see what you're saying and all that you've said makes sense. Why didn't bvi airways try and partner with Jet/AA/United to do a flight from EIS - STT and connect with those then to go to Miami or wherever?
  • Interested (24/07/2017, 12:58) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm sure Cromwell knew he would ignite a firestorm with this suggestion of local investment.In these tough economic times ,people are hesitant to blindly relinquish their precious dollars to an unsure project.
  • Richwhitefriends (24/07/2017, 12:59) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply

    Okay, now is the time for the "rich-white men" who love the BVI to do something. The one who has Vir.....A....., why he doesn't come forward; he has money to burn. No, them don't want to help the BVI, they want to rape it, get islands for nothing and then put sharks around it to bite people and dogs on the beach to run locals. The same thing they did in Africa, they want to do here. What, they believe we are monkeys and so we must be transported from tree to tree on whist? And some of our people think they are our friends. They are only friends until they get what they want - "No Trespassing" Our people don't read and understand the past. A people without the knowledge of their past will be bound to repeat it again -- white man give black man trinket, in the end they take your land and gold and gone left you. Seven million could have bought a decent ferry boat, pay two customs officers overtime to clear the people coming from St. Thomas. Save up some money then expand the airport. Where there is no vision and leaders sleeping, the citizens will perish.

  • Confuscious (24/07/2017, 13:32) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    If you go to bed with something American, you're probably going to get screwed.
  • Still Sleeping (24/07/2017, 14:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This dude is crassszzy, he is really suggesting Another investment clom Scam Like the water one they pull on us where over one thousand people invest and only a few get returns. OMG. When will it stop!
  • Soldier Crab (24/07/2017, 16:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    I still waiting on these m*dda sk**ks to march.

    A set a crooks left right and center.

    Ayo say deh Premier sleep but dem say the Lord will return like a thief in the night. NDP thiefing day and night!

  • complainant (24/07/2017, 16:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't see why you all complaining, when you guys put them there. You know the saying...''majority rules''.
  • Mark (24/07/2017, 19:32) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI investment Club did not jump up on this that means its a bad deal.
  • Hassan (24/07/2017, 21:23) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This Laboratory mice always pimpipimpin
  • hawker (25/07/2017, 21:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI airways is a bad deal are the principals willing to step down and let someone else take over who knows the business

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