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More questions for Premier Smith on controversial BVI Airways bailout

More questions will be asked of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government one the controversial bailout of BVI Airways when the House of Assembly meets on April 18, 2017. Photo:
Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, will be peppering Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, with a number of questions about the BVI Airways bailout. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, will be peppering Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, with a number of questions about the BVI Airways bailout. Photo: VINO/File
The House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands will be meeting on April 18, 2017 and a number of Bills will be on the table for consideration. Photo: VINO/File
The House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands will be meeting on April 18, 2017 and a number of Bills will be on the table for consideration. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It was our newsroom that first advised the public two weeks ago that the House of Assembly will be meeting on April 18, 2017.

The House of Assembly this morning, April 10, 2017 confirmed the meeting and released the Order Paper, which shows that a number of Bills will be on the table for consideration, as well as the Opposition Leader peppering the front bench with questions.

Out of the some over 60 plus questions by the Opposition Leader Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), many will be again on the government’s controversial bailout of bankrupt BVI Airways. In 2014 the airline pulled out of the Virgin Islands (VI) after a short stint, claiming it had financial challenges.

Who got the BVI Airways $$$$?

Two years later the Administration of Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) pumped some $7M of tax payers money into the airline in exchange for direct flights from Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island to Miami, Florida, USA.

Well, at the House of Assembly (HoA) Sitting next week, Hon Fahie wants to know, in questions to Premier Smith, of the $7M reported for BVI Airways as an investment, how much has been disbursed to BVI Airways, and the answer is to include the date each disbursement was made, the amount of each disbursement and the person(s)/company each disbursement was made payable to.

In addition, Premier Smith, who has fought a local company VI Airlink and has gone as far as blasting the local company before the United States Government to promote a foreign company, BVI Airways, is also to explain in detail how the development of this project satisfied the tenants of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management.

Would they ever fly?

The big question as to the date BVI Airways will commence its service of flights from the VI to Miami, and vice versa, is also to be answered.

Premier Smith has promised the people two dates, the first being the end of October 2016 which never happened, then the end of November 2016 which also never happened.

As speculations are rampant, the Premier is to tell the HoA, in a question from the Opposition Leader, if there exists any other agreement, or addendum to the agreement previously agreed to. If so, Hon Fahie wants Dr Smith to furnish Parliament with this information.

The Opposition Leader, in continuing his line of questioning on the controversial $7M BVI Airways bailout, wants to know if any more funding, equity or investment of any kind is presently being considered to be given to BVI Airways, separate to the initial investment of seven million dollars and, if yes, for what purpose, how much and in what form will the investment be made to BVI Airways and when. "If no, will any more investment be made during this year 2017? And; if yes when?"

More money requested for BVI Airways?

Finally, the newly appointed Opposition Leader, who is also the Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party, is asking the Premier and Minister of Finance to inform the HoA whether BVI Airways has requested any more funding from the Government of the Virgin Islands and, if yes, when was the request received and for how much, and whether their request will be honoured in any form and to explain in detail if yes.

In 2014 when the defunct BVI Airways pulled out its operations from the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport they had owed the government agency BVI Airports Authority some $100,000. It is still unclear if that money was repaid.

21 Responses to “More questions for Premier Smith on controversial BVI Airways bailout”

  • dog (10/04/2017, 23:06) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good questions foy
  • pat (11/04/2017, 00:12) Like (29) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen.
  • wize up (11/04/2017, 01:15) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just a follow up: what about the presentation of the audit report(school children say it dates back to the VIP days)......
    • Yes (11/04/2017, 09:39) Like (19) Dislike (9) Reply
      Andrew asked for the reports and I'll bet my last dollar he will be sorry he did.
  • SMH (11/04/2017, 08:28) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    this was nothing more than a high class kickback, i seriously doubt that these planes will ever fly
  • ABC (11/04/2017, 08:53) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    My 7million gone up in smoke
    • wize up (11/04/2017, 10:25) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ABC:thus far more than 7 million gone and will continue going to that sweet biwater deal!!! Almost one million each month X 12(months) agriculture land gone as well
    • Yours? (11/04/2017, 11:20) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
      Your 7mill? Lol but when them start flying you will be saying OUR 7 mill went to good use! You only know what you read, it's clearly you're not intelligent enough to understand that people or companies are being paid by government all the time, this one just tickles you because it's not satifying the people fast enough. Again, go get educated and come back and correct My 7mill comment to OUR 7mill. Waste man, trust issue!
  • SMH (11/04/2017, 10:42) Like (2) Dislike (12) Reply
    What's funny is that none of them making noise now had solutions to our airlift issues and now our Government put money where their mouth is, there is a problem. Once the plane is flying they will find something else to complain about.
  • @wize up (11/04/2017, 11:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I just don't get how you make so much comment on the way govt spend the money like you're right under the nose of these officials. Yet you talk so much about issues, have you even question them when you are riding the wave with them? Pettiness, lack of understanding... seems like you just like to be in the boat just for the ride. Talk the issues with the govt, why bring up a contract on biwater when we shouldn't have had them in the first place under the last party stupidity. Now you acting brand new about the contract that ties the govt down. Your comments are clearly a hate and not the real issue, we still paying for the water no matter what. All our money is in it, not just yours. You can't expect all to be done the right way and the easy way all the time, I'm pretty sure all this heated hate is still benifiting your pocket for riding the boat and being a whistle blower at the same time.
  • i from here (11/04/2017, 17:16) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The bvi voters will regret electing this government.
  • usd 7 m (11/04/2017, 17:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    A local company would have never got this offer
    • Why (11/04/2017, 18:49) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
      Why should they if they only have two pilots and can't even manage properly, all they do is make noise!
      • fool! (11/04/2017, 20:59) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
        There are OVER 5 pilots. Get your facts right before posting foolishness on here.
  • Why (12/04/2017, 10:39) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    So the 5 pilots fly every day? How will they convince the govt to put money in when they only have pilots for big charters? Again they only have two pilots, ask the rest to leave their full time won't help pay bills in a two man show!
  • Clearly (12/04/2017, 14:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Clearly the local company would not have interest the ndp because they would not be paying them any interest.

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