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VI Airlink objects to BVI Airways US service application

- makes joint application with TCI based interCaribbean Airways
VI Airlink (one of its planes above), along with another regional air carrier, has reportedly filed a joint objection to a recent application made by BVI Airways (one of its planes below) to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for Exemption Authority and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit. Photo: Internet Source
An aircraft belonging to interCaribbean Airways, which has reportedly filed a joint objection to a recent application made by BVI Airways to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for Exemption Authority and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit. Photo: Internet Source
An aircraft belonging to interCaribbean Airways, which has reportedly filed a joint objection to a recent application made by BVI Airways to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for Exemption Authority and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit. Photo: Internet Source
Local pilot and shareholder in VI Airlink, Captain Neville C. Brathwaite Jr told Virgin Islands News Online that the airline was not commenting on the matter at this time. Photo: VINO/File
Local pilot and shareholder in VI Airlink, Captain Neville C. Brathwaite Jr told Virgin Islands News Online that the airline was not commenting on the matter at this time. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Virgin Islands based airline VI Airlink, along with another regional air carrier, has reportedly filed a joint objection to a recent application made by BVI Airways to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for Exemption Authority and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit.

According to articles circulating on various websites, including Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) and Caribbean Aviation today March 9, 2017, VI Airlink and Turks and Caicos based interCaribbean Airways claimed they were never served a copy of BVI Airways application in violation of DOT requirements.

Last month, BVI Airways applied to the DOT for permission to conduct scheduled foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail between the prescribed UK Caribbean gateway points via intermediate points, to points in the United States and beyond.

It also sought authority to carry out charter foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail between the [British] Virgin Islands and any point(s) in the United States.

The airline plans to offer service four times each week between Beef Island, Miami International and San Juan Luis Munoz Marin airport in Puerto Rico – increasing flights to daily.

Locally owned VI Airlink and interCaribbean Airways claim their operations may be affected by the application.

Impartiality of VI Gov’t comes into question

Both airlines have also questioned government’s impartiality given an alleged investment made to stimulate demand for flights between the VI and the United States.

The airlines, according to CMC, made reference to press report in which Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) is quoted as saying his government has “invested” US$7 million into the development of flights between Miami International and Beef Island.

Officials from VI Airline and interCaribbean Airways state that BVI Airways had previously claimed the funds mentioned, to be a loan.

They argue that the issue of direct financial support will create a conflict of interest between locally-owned airlines and the VI government given the latter’s purported role in BVI Airways’ operations, according to CMC.

Meanwhile, local pilot and shareholder in VI Airlink Captain Neville C. Brathwaite Jr told Virgin Islands News Online that the airline was not commenting on the matter at this time. 

The National Democratic Party (NDP) has been lambasted for injecting millions into a defunct airline that had abruptly ceased its operations in the VI some years ago and left owing the BVI Airports Authority some $99,000.

Critics of the government have been asking why the VI government did not instead invest in the locally based VI Airlink.

32 Responses to “VI Airlink objects to BVI Airways US service application”

  • Tax Payer (09/03/2017, 19:41) Like (22) Dislike (12) Reply
    My 7 million down the drain
    • Angry (09/03/2017, 19:52) Like (8) Dislike (9) Reply
      Boycott these airlines.
      • --------------------- (09/03/2017, 20:34) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
        But I know Orlando is delusional enough to think this $7M investment is a good idea.
      • facts man (09/03/2017, 20:44) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
        The worst part of this is that once again, the small ndp circle and a few wealthy people of this country are going to benefit while the working people and poor people suffer.
  • cay (09/03/2017, 20:22) Like (22) Dislike (13) Reply
    Doc Smith and Harrigan have been left scrambling to marshal support from their own party and others over this bad deal!!!

    local businesses hate it.
    pilots hate it.
    other airlines hate it.
    • old man (09/03/2017, 21:15) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hmmmm. Whoever said the Smith-Russell gang ever acted without forethought?

  • SMH (09/03/2017, 20:25) Like (24) Dislike (18) Reply
    Only those who profit from this loves it
  • Real Talk (09/03/2017, 20:29) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    I am simply mystified by vi airline and the other airline strategy here.
    • @ real talk (10/03/2017, 20:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Funny you should mention strategy.....as it happens I am looking for TRUTH. Please advise--where should I look?
  • weed (09/03/2017, 20:50) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
    you VIPs Don't get too excited over the disarray and opposition by some to this government, we not turning back
  • glover parks (09/03/2017, 20:54) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    The worse things get, the more the spin doctors will double down and blame the rest of us for their troubles.
  • rattie (09/03/2017, 21:03) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    It's a little hard to understand where the NDP sees a political advantage coming from this waste of money plan.
  • vip (09/03/2017, 21:11) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
    hush ayo rash there is still no demonstration on the steps of the administrative complex over the matter
  • tola (09/03/2017, 21:14) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Government is just shutting their eyes and pretending the oncoming traffic is not there for the UK take over
  • wize up (09/03/2017, 21:55) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dr need to stop making his party affiliates take him for ride: next dramatic entrance will be that Asian bank(that bank not off the ground as yet and one partner is suing the other)...i am not touching the Chinese airport project(thats drama)
    Greed will be the down fall of those folks we voted for(them need to be in the jail)
  • Yes (09/03/2017, 22:44) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yo Doc, We 7 mill still good? and who are the shareholders hiding behind the shadows? Which one of your cronies?
  • rubbish (09/03/2017, 23:46) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is political crap. Neither VI airline or inter island are going to be affected as 1) they don't fly to Miami and 2) the price of the flights will end up being so expensive that people will continue to island hop. Plus completion is a good thing if it drives down the ridiculous price it costs to fly out of Beef island. I remember 150-200 round trip to Puerto Rico with american eagle. The planes were full and lots of people used Beef island. Now days the ferries are making a killing.
  • ASSI (10/03/2017, 01:16) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Assi giving local hell's to fly local BVI government giving BVI tax haven to fly local and aboard
  • John (10/03/2017, 03:51) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    Those who want safe air travel will continue to go to st thomas and use well funded airlines. This socalled BVI airline will not be able to maintain their aircrafts to accepted standards since they are bankrupt from the start. It will never fly safely. It is just a money making racket for a few people.
  • ? (10/03/2017, 06:50) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Somebody could please break this down in dummy terms for me please?
  • wize up (10/03/2017, 07:33) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
    I personally think that intercaribbean airways full of fu@& coming to our country to cause confusion: VI airlink might have a right to defend itself from the business perspective: why don't VI Airlink secure bigger and better planes and fly the route(the development of BVI Airways might be very questionable however the territory need the airlift) some of us only get upset after the fact because VI Airlink had the privilege or business development opertunity to establish BVI to Miami flight services (no one fly that sector for many many many years BUT we now have this great Mexican Standoff)..the development of this BVI Airways is very questionable but we need this service: most of us that here talking did not do anything over the years(nothing) now wants to start world war 3..some of us only get annoyed once someone else start doing something that we could have done or should be doing
    • simple (10/03/2017, 10:05) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
      The guys think because they are local they should be protected but at some point if you do not understand simple business principles you will be left behind. There is only so much Government can do for people in certain instances. We shouldn't suffer because a few locals can't get their acts together. Further, Government has assisted these guys in a huge way time and time again, both VIP and NDP Governments so to give the impression that Government is helping outsiders and not locals is a blatant and bold faced lie.
    • Tallfat (10/03/2017, 10:28) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      Am not understanding your bloggation here. 1. Business is business and why is it that somehow IA is full of whatever if the laws appears to have been broken? 2. If the development of BVI airways is questionable and seem to present an unfair advantage what say you of your first sentence in relation to both airlines. 3. As per your last bit about being annoyed is just the same incoherence as "Vi airlink might have a right from a business perspective" and "the territory needs the airlift". So the dash IA is labeled and the confusion is debunked by your own words.
      • Flight number XV284 (10/03/2017, 12:41) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        The reason he said confusion, is because VI AirLink brought Inter Caribbean to the market in hopes of an argreement... but they got the Finger instead. If anything they should be fighting each other, operating the same route to ANU. VI AirLink, is fully subsidized by this current govt. on all empty seats to and from Antigua. They are in the ring with the wrong company, the bread is not in the US, it's in the Caribbean.
  • sad (10/03/2017, 07:38) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    This is really bad.
    It seems here that the NDP government is trying to get people to and from the bvi easily, and get around this st. Thomas and Puerto Rico problem. This appears to me to the benefit of the bvi people and tourists alike. Our own people are here placing us is problems again after the Gov't provided a subsidy of seven million to get this done.
    We are destroying ourselves. Really, really sad and sickening
  • Den (10/03/2017, 10:26) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    So why is VI airlink not flying to the US if they do not want another airline to do it. All of them full of it. I think cape air should have some bigger planes, and that will do the trick since they already fly to PR. I hate traveling through stt and I met some tourists the other day who told me that their vacation was cut short by two days, one to get here and one to return.
    • Just saying (10/03/2017, 12:34) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      VI Airlink already fly to the US and have the certificate... 7 million dollars would have helped them get big airplanes same way like BVI Airways don't you think?
      • wize up (10/03/2017, 16:25) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ just saying: that is a no brainer but harrigan would not have gotten any action from that deal(the government already subsidize those guys: call them and ask them) you don't hear from some of us when we fulling our belly BUT time things not in our favour the world must stop turning
  • Hmm (10/03/2017, 10:28) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Somebody did not grease the right palm..
  • vex (10/03/2017, 20:34) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everything is moving in the right direction, and direct flight is round the corner. It's not the world I live in.
  • "Tiny Isolated Island" (11/03/2017, 23:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vino bring this back there's much to discuss about the future of this country.

    My fellow BVIslanders I urge you to educate yourselves and see what nonsense our government is doing. Take a look at the documents submitted by BVI Airways and review the reasoning of our local carrier VI Airlink. Read it here and form your own views: http://www.regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2017-0032

    It's a lot to digest but it will worth it.
  • Wendy (12/03/2017, 09:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Tiny isolated island" is a real come hither invite. Who wouldn't want to visit a " tiny isolated island" tropical climate, stable government,state of the art medical facility, super markets stocked with local and foreign goods,department stores,US$$$,beaches,
    English speaking ,direct flight to the US etc...All the bells and whistles required.


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