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Still not ready to take off but USA DoT grants BVI Airways approval

- Still must struggle to get approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration & US Transportation Security Administration
The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has given BVI Airways a one-year exemption to the requirement for a foreign air carrier permit. Photo: gobvi.com
Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) surprised many when he wrote a letter to the United States Government bashing the locally owned VI Airlink in support of the foreign carrier BVI Airways. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) surprised many when he wrote a letter to the United States Government bashing the locally owned VI Airlink in support of the foreign carrier BVI Airways. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Tax payers of the Virgin Islands can breathe just a small sigh of relief as the government funded BVI Airways recently obtained approval from the United States Department of Transportation (DoT).

The once bankrupt airline that has been bailed out by the Dr D. Orlando Smith's National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration to the tune of over USD$7M in exchange for direct flights to Miami International Airport has received permission from DoT, according to a notice issued on April 28, 2017.

The notice explains that DoT has given BVI Airways a one-year exemption to the requirement for a foreign air carrier permit.

While this is a step forward the carrier must still obtain permission from the US Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration, according to what Premier Smith, the airline’s chief sponsor and lobbyist, told Parliament last month.

BVI Airways officials have reportedly stated that they hope to begin flights between Beef Island and Miami in June 2017; however, the Premier had given three previous dates that never happened.

Premier took side of foreign airline over local

Two other airlines doing business in the Virgin Islands (VI), VI Airlink and InterCaribbean Airways, had objected to BVI Airways’ DoT application on the grounds that they never received a copy of it, and that government’s support of the airline would put them at a competitive disadvantage. They also questioned the accuracy of the ownership structure BVI Airways stated in its application.

In response, the Territory's leader Premier Smith wrote a letter to the United States Government bashing the locally owned VI Airlink in support of the foreign carrier BVI Airways, a move that surprised many.

Premier Smith’s letter to DoT was published by our newsroom. In 2014 BVI Airways pulled out of the VI claiming that it was bankrupt. It left owing the BVI Airports Authority almost $100,000.

30 Responses to “Still not ready to take off but USA DoT grants BVI Airways approval”

  • long look me come from (01/05/2017, 22:45) Like (14) Dislike (7) Reply
    I was not surprised he took the side of BVI airways over the local
    • wize up (02/05/2017, 07:39) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
      @ long look: BVI full of copy-cat: some of us will sit around doing absolutely nothing until our next door starts something: the local group been operating long before 2016 and had that option to develop that route and still have the option to do so(the more fights in and out of BVI is the better)...the tax is given to them now to assist them operate
      • Money don't matter? (03/05/2017, 11:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        @wize up, are you saying that the 7 million given to a company that owes you 100,000 is better than giving 6.9 million to a local company that doesn't owe you money and has a track record of flying for decades? Your name says what?

        You must be drinking that NDP kool-aid, and everything they do is right, I bet you still think the VIP left through country broke even after the audit says otherwise
  • Freedom! (01/05/2017, 22:47) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
    "BVI Airways officials have reportedly stated that they hope to begin flights between Beef Island and Miami in June 2017; however, the Premier had given three previous dates that never happened."

    a politician's words in public are hardly credible, even a premier's words.
    • krina (03/05/2017, 15:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      what if the dates given were correct but something happen. Things can happen. We get anxious because we are not in the loop of what going on. Patience
  • Disguested (01/05/2017, 22:49) Like (16) Dislike (5) Reply
    I find this hard to swallow $7.2Million. How can we all be so blind.
    • wize up (02/05/2017, 07:18) Like (8) Dislike (9) Reply
      @ disgusted: just a simple question(how of our tax subsidize American Eagle) & (how much of our tax money is given to Seaborne) & (how much of out tax money is handed over to LIAT) and How of our tax money subsidize VI Airlink(just a question)......
      • Answer if you know? (02/05/2017, 09:24) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
        Seems to be sarcastic question as you may already have the answer so go ahead and let us know Mr wize up. You better wise down before you get lock down hiding behind social media.
  • Liat 521 (01/05/2017, 22:50) Like (10) Dislike (8) Reply
    Let's not be too hard on BVI Airways they will fly in June
    • S.R. (04/05/2017, 08:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Believe it when I see it. Is the silent partner here, the Chinese? They own Beef Island, are starting a bank and will build the airport. What else are they silently in with the Governments help?????
  • ... (01/05/2017, 22:52) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    If BVI Airways actually fly that could actually be a good thing — I can do breakfast or lunch in Miami
  • approval (01/05/2017, 22:54) Like (9) Dislike (7) Reply
    I am encouraged by our "investment" in this regard.
  • wize up (02/05/2017, 07:31) Like (6) Dislike (11) Reply
    what will district one come up with at the next sitting of the house of assembly(based on the pass talking in the house(play the tape) DOT would not granted permission anytime soon; the paper work this and the paper work that).....now talk this: some of us will fight against most things that are beneficial to the folks of these Virgin Islands( I am yet to hear the member stand up during any sitting of the house and speak about a crime fighting plan for these islands) pier park up and running and that airline will be up and running as well) let the blogs begin !!!!
    • @wize up (02/05/2017, 09:05) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
      Thank God for district one that you are here TRYING to make look incompetent, if it wasn't for district one only God knows what more your beloved NDP government would do to our country. Continue to speak up for us District one. Don't be distracted by people like wize up. Continue to inform the people district one.
  • dog (02/05/2017, 07:42) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Ok june is next month we are on standby
  • .... (02/05/2017, 07:44) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    We inching closer. SOON COME.
  • SMH (02/05/2017, 08:12) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
    that plane will never fly
    • It is flying. (02/05/2017, 17:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The plane is in Haiti right now flying from Haiti to Cuba.

      https://caribaviation.net/2017/05/02/sunrise-airways-leasing-arj-100/
  • Sugarcane boyz (02/05/2017, 09:42) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    If it were not for BVI Gov. financing & stark letter of support (almost begging in tone) for this endeavor would it have actually made it this far? The inked deal is lop-sided and in favor of the limited foreign investor while the tax payers are on the hook for any and all losses. Hope this 'investment' bodes well for the majority and not just the privileged few!
    • @Sugarcane (02/05/2017, 10:51) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply

      Just like we paid through our @$$e$ to LIAT and American Eagle who both shafted us in the end? If people are so genuinely concerned about tax dollars why not ask Government to reveal the subsidies paid to ALL airlines operating here in the BVI, local or foreign.

      • @ Reply (02/05/2017, 12:26) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        it certainly was not & 7 Mill plus and no one got kicks backs
        • ha (02/05/2017, 14:18) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
          Certainly not, MUCH MORE than $7 million, try about over $50 million in the last 10 years in subsidies and what did we get for it?!
    • Wendy (02/05/2017, 15:01) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      No matter the variables, the Go. Letter would have been worth noth ing if any of the authors were flagged on the FBI list as a person of interest.
  • Great!!! (02/05/2017, 11:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope they also fly to Puerto Rico because those other airlines killing us. The more competition the better it would be for the customer.
  • Jack B (02/05/2017, 12:21) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    They know they made a mistake... Soon one brave, courageous and Godly member would come out and speak out and admit that BVI Airways was a mistake.. It was rushed...
  • question (02/05/2017, 14:17) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do these jackpots(both Government and BVI Airways) think that ONE single plane(maybe 2) could service that miami / Tortola route ? The plane is some kinda 80 odd or 90 odd seated, can someone tell me how will this boost tourism? Can someone also tell me when there's hundreds of tourists here to get back on any given day , how can one plane take them back. My thing is , if u do not have enough planes to service this route with at least three flights per day what f...ing sense does it make.. Lots ah ppl still have the hassle of going STT to get out because the government feels that investing seven million in an airline fhat privides us wifh one plane and possibly one flight per day(if any) makes any f...ing sense.....
    • wow (02/05/2017, 21:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You obviously went to school on the short bus. No use even arguing with you!! LOL! You really think they will just have 2 planes? These things take time to develop and 2 plans with a test schedule is enough until the demand presents itself. That's like saying VI Airlink should have a 90 seater because of how many people go to Anegada Lobster Fest.
    • Wendy (05/05/2017, 09:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      They are leaving you with an option to also start your airline which will fill the anticipated void that you are criticizing. Seize the opportunity before someone with a lot more than negativity and empty pockets like yourself steps in.
  • fact (02/05/2017, 14:17) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    FAA approved the Airline on 10 April as confirmed by the DOT in their release on Friday.


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