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Lack of answers on BVI Airways scandal, 'it's prejudical' says Premier

- After pumping some $7.2 Million of public funds into BVI Airways, Government refused to answer most questions over the deal
There appears to still be hope for BVI Airways, however, no details were given to justify that the airline will indeed be flying anytime soon. Photo: www.gobvi.com
Minister of Finance and Premier Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) was scrutinized by Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, Opposition Leader, on the matter of the government paying out $7.2 million of tax payers money into the BVI Airways startup. Photo: VINO
Minister of Finance and Premier Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) was scrutinized by Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, Opposition Leader, on the matter of the government paying out $7.2 million of tax payers money into the BVI Airways startup. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - At the Ninth Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly (HoA) on August 1, 2017, Minister of Finance and Premier Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) was scrutinized on the matter of the government paying out $7.2 million of tax payers money into BVI Airways.

It appeared to be a tedious process for Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Leader of the Opposition to pull answers out of Premier Smiith in the question and answer iitem on the agenda on the matter. Premier Smith said the airline is currently discussing with potential investors, to make the startup possible and BVI Airways has not given up hope.

After investing some $7.2 million into the airline, BVI Airways released a statement on July 18, 2017 that they were laying off its entire flight crew, which led to a major setback to the commencement of flights. In addition, the airline has placed blame on the government for the delay in the airline becoming fully functional.

Prejudicial to answer some questions

Hon Smith was questioned in relation to when he was made aware that BVI Airways would need more money from the government, and if they would seek to recoup its $7.2 million, he said that it would be prejudicial to answer such questions.

“BVI Airways is currently engaged with various entities in relation to investment for the project. It will therefore be prejudicial for further discussions at this time,” explained the Premier.

In response, Hon Fahie commented that “Before the contract was signed, it was prejudicial; after it was signed, it was prejudicial; now it is not flying, it is prejudicial. So can the Minister of Finance tell me when I could get the answers for these questions from BVI Airways?”

More answers on BVI Airways in weeks

However, the Minister of Finance guaranteed that the answers that the Opposition is seeking will be ready within a few weeks.

“I can promise you that any other answers that you need will be available very soon, in the next few weeks, but at the moment negotiations are being taking place. I have been advised to be very careful how I respond to those questions.”

During the HoA, the Premier stated that there are no negotiations with BVI Airways to provide additional funding.

“Negotiations are with entities who are potential, possibly investors in the business; that’s what the negotiations are about. That’s why it is not right for me to have discussions which could have an impact on those negotiations.”

Premier Smith, when asked what was the $7 million of tax payers money was spent on, he stated that he could not accurately discuss what the money was spent for, noting again that negotiations are taking place and he cannot answer certain questions that are being asked.

“The negotiations are working towards the expectation of the service, which we agreed to in the initial agreement,” remarked Hon Smith.

9 Responses to “Lack of answers on BVI Airways scandal, 'it's prejudical' says Premier”

  • Windy (02/08/2017, 08:53) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    And not a man will go to jail!
  • dog (02/08/2017, 10:13) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    and who benefits when those planes, waiting for approval from US, get used in Cuba and Haiti and Dominican Republic.?
  • Bull Dawg (02/08/2017, 10:45) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    I really cant believe the premier don't know what the 7.2 million was spent on.
    That's just doesn't sounds right at all.
    Our poor tax money.
    Lord send help before we wind up like some other countries in the Caribbean.
  • Where the money gone? (02/08/2017, 11:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    All i can say is someone get a big eat
  • Nathan Allen (02/08/2017, 13:47) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    does the doc know what prejudicial mean in this context?
  • mad (02/08/2017, 13:56) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    While agree that more information should be provided are you guys really saying 7 mil is a lot to start an Airline with jets that can fly between BVI and Miami? LOL!!!!
    • to mad (02/08/2017, 14:32) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Yes, especially when they have to beg for 9million to build a high school.
  • Hold Up! (02/08/2017, 14:17) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply

    Hold up!

    Negotiations are with entities who are potential, possibly investors in the business??? What does that mean? You have found a way to circumvent the giving of funds to BVI Airways directly and will now be financing them through other companies, potentially owned by the same BVI Airways ...you will then label these smaller companies as potential and possibly investors?? Someone please lock up the public purse quickly??? This is serious!!



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