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Will BVI Airways ever fly? Date remain unknown on 'clear for take off'

It is still unclear when BVI Airways will begin flights between Miami, USA to Beef Island, Virgin Islands. Photo: Team of Reporters
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith disclosed said regulator, Air Safety Support International (ASSI) has not given approval for BVI Airways to fly commercially. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith disclosed said regulator, Air Safety Support International (ASSI) has not given approval for BVI Airways to fly commercially. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The controversial bail out deal where a defunct airline that left owing the British Virgin Islands Airports Authority (BVIAA) close to US$100,000 is in the news again.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government pumped some $7M of tax payers monies into the defunct BVI Airways, with a promise for direct flights between Miami, Florida, USA and the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport at Beef Island.

The public has been given three start dates for when the first flight was to commence; at the end of October 2016, the other end of November 2016 and the final December 2016.

To date none of the dates have come to pass and the public, the media and the Opposition remain skeptical about the Government's investment on the taxpayers back.

No new date to fly from Premier

Today December 19, 2016 at the Third Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly (HoA) Premier and Minister of Finance the politician behind the deal, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith disclosed in a statement that regulator, Air Safety Support International (ASSI) has not given approval  for the airline to fly commercially.

"ASSI as a civil aviation regulator for the VI currently, will need to issue an air operator certificate to BVI Airways before they can fly commercially from the BVI," Premier Smith told the public this morning.

In addressing the three time-frame delays without giving the residents an explanation, Dr Smith said " has been our intention that this airline be fully operational by the beginning of the winter season of this year, but circumstances have caused the schedule to slip," Premier Smith said.

However, Premier Smith failed to advise the public if all the other approvals required from the United States Department of Transportation via the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have been granted.

Under the bailout deal for BVI Airways, if they never fly the VI Government, hence taxpayers, are not eligible to get a dime back from the $7 million public funds.

27 Responses to “Will BVI Airways ever fly? Date remain unknown on 'clear for take off'”

  • hand to mouth (19/12/2016, 14:05) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Which my little buz could get such a deal
    • what goes around come around (19/12/2016, 16:11) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
      Civil servants (who seems to lack any understanding that their job is to serve, and who are frequently not civil) have made life difficult for businesses wanting to operate in the BVI for decades. The result is that our public finances, which are dependent upon the ability for businesses to operate effectively here) are in dire straights. Most financial services businesses, or legal services businesses according to the Governor, employ as many of their staff overseas as possible - look at Harneys as the prime example of a business that employs as many people overseas as possible.
      Now the Gov't plans to operate a service from here to Miami are frustrated but their own (or rather the UK's aviation authority) and no doubt will be equally frustrated by the US authorities. Maybe the Govt will learn and stop its uncivil servants being so difficult here in the BVI - but I doubt it.
  • Done Deal (19/12/2016, 14:26) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    while Our Education System suffers from lack of Resources.
    • wize up (19/12/2016, 15:00) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ done deal: that is hurtful and shameful: we need those funds to educate our boys and girls so they can fill vacant post in this territory(creating job when our people are not educated to fill them is a waste of time)
  • wize up (19/12/2016, 14:32) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    The airline is not a bad idea what killing me(when some of us fall behind with payment to the government we are subject to prosecution) we can not owe government 10.00 however some among us owed the government of this territory one hundred thousand dollars then defaulted on the debt and left the territory)...the government turned around and give a bankrupt business establishment ten million dollars of your tax money(some of us would been sitting in the jail cell had we owed government 100,000.00)
    • Nice (19/12/2016, 15:35) Like (4) Dislike (10) Reply
      You so negative... do you work for vino? That's the same plane you will be using one day, with pride itself as serving the people. You should investigate why ASSI is taking so long, when the FAA has done their share. ASSI is and always a pain to the OTs. You should be commenting on why other OTs like Turks and Cayman no longer need ASSI directly since they have their own regulating power. What about seeing the company coming back to serve than talking about all that they didn't pay. Talk about how YOU will now benefit from direct access than run your dirty mouth. Why talk about taxs payers money, when you also contribute to it. That is nothing new. Stop riding the govt eggplant, and talk real issues. We all know how dirty England and their designator of regulators (ASSI) can play. Do you even know that we taxs payers have to pay for ASSI tickets and hotel every time they come here from London?! Go investigate that!
      • wize up (19/12/2016, 17:07) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
        @ nice: election is not scheduled for 2019 so your paid political announcement can't phase me: I made it abundantly clear the airline is a good idea(do you need glasses).i am looking at the bias in the transaction because those of us with business in this territory and seeking to get a government contact can NOT have any outstanding money for government however this airline company owed this territory money but able to secure funding from government(you talk that)...have yourself a safe and wonderful holiday season(the airline is long overdue because many year ago Air BVI went out of business so the territory need the air lift)
      • Yes (20/12/2016, 13:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        UMMM... ASSI does not just jump and give people permission to fly... There are rules and regulations to be followed before. Otherwise if anything happens same allu going say well they didn't check them enough. let the people do their work.. every other Overseas territory has to deal with the process and BVI is not exempt!
    • voiceofthevoiceless (19/12/2016, 19:07) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      @wizeup. First of all the idea to reward a delinquent debtor by giving him a loan for 70 x the amount of what he is already owed is plain out dumb. It is not a good or bad idea but a dumb idea unless I am missing something else, like a shareholder who has ties to the government.
    • please (19/12/2016, 22:17) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Oh give it a damn rest! BVI people owe Peebles Hospital alone over 30mil, dont talk about other departments in govt.
  • Yes (19/12/2016, 14:48) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Guess what? The 7 million was well cleared for take off out of the Treasury. The actual 7 million dollar question is who are the shareholders (read here cronies) and real beneficiaries of that 7 mill. What an elaborate hoax to spirit money out of the Treasury.
  • Political Observer (PO) (19/12/2016, 14:51) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    2016 has been a year of change and unusual events occurring across the globe. As an example, a cash-strapped BVI government spent some $7M to bail out a defunct airline, BVI Airways. BVI Airways owed the BVIAA over $100K. Yet mom and pop small vendors who provided either services or products to the government struggles to get paid.

    BVI Airways brought a plane to Terrance B. International Airport (TBLIA) apparently for show. It has missed several planned dates to get airborne. Getting and staying airborne seemed to be a problem for the airline. Has it spent more time grounded than in the air.

    Moreover, no doubt residents, visitors, business men/women......etc would like the convenience of hopping aboard a flight in Miami and disembark at TBLIA. But the jury is still out on whether BVIAirways can attained the passenger load factor to stay airborne, assuming it takes flight. Was the taxpayers given a 6 for 9 or it was dealt a royal flush? Residents bawling and government giving away $7M. Has BVI Airways gotten approval from the FAA to fly? Is the capability and capacity available to service BVI Airways at TBLIA? Is it going to be refueled at TBLIA?
  • Voice of Reason (19/12/2016, 14:52) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    By the time this airline is up and running the only ones will be able to fly on it, is the NDP and their crew. Maybe that is the idea all alone, since possibly some of them and their crew maybe silent investors in the deal with taxpayers purse to help tie it down; especially knowing that they like doing things for themselves first-class and doing things for us third-class.

    The rest of us might be to broke to afford their cost.

    It have also been said - that if you make up a team with only the best and brightest, they will be a Big void of reason and common-sense; and without this, the team will surely fall like a house of cards. NDP is exhibiting all these symptoms.
    • Yes (20/12/2016, 20:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Damn straight with that. This way them man dem (read cronies and thieves here) will be flying up and down for free then approving successive bailouts. Thats if this white elephant ever gets off the ground
  • Winston (19/12/2016, 15:20) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is even stranger is that there has been no mention of how much is it going to cost to fly to Miami.
  • R H (19/12/2016, 16:11) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    some body eating big
    • @R H. Eggy government. (19/12/2016, 18:11) Like (32) Dislike (0) Reply
      R H. I have to agree. This isn't 1 2 3 4 5 6 or 7 on out priority list. How de hell did this happen. OMG. ? This an Eggy move. Crazy.
      • LOL! (20/12/2016, 09:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        The Eggy government turning into a moment now. Lawd a merci country gone see.
  • Breaking News.. BVI Airways... (19/12/2016, 16:25) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Don't worry.. every time they are asked questions about this deal something will turn up to make people shut up for another month.. and article will soon pop about BVI Airways!
    • look trouble (19/12/2016, 17:37) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      well the spin machine is hard at work to fool the people this deal needs to be investigated and someone needs to go to jail
  • Jack B Nimble. (19/12/2016, 21:03) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    This Money would have been better spent to revive our music Festival or to build another government building and reduce our massive rent bill. As an NDP. I'm embarrassed by this no brain. Useless investment..
  • Russell (19/12/2016, 21:16) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    It will fly next year
  • lol ndp (20/12/2016, 09:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    another DOA like the bumble bees in the north sound area where the sea planes supposed to be flying from
  • By stander (20/12/2016, 09:44) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    U all had to see when the new plane came,mr cline ex port manage was well there in his business suit to meet the plane he and his colleagues and airport staff,when I saw him I said to my self ain't that the same cline sueing the government,all I can say only in the bvi.
  • VG (20/12/2016, 12:26) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Tis christmas go easy on them vino
  • de silent one (20/12/2016, 20:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why don't we as resident/nationals give the Government the benefit of the doubt in seeing this deal/investment get off to the right start. It would be such an important flight to eliminate the hassle of the STT/PR debacle. Yes! Its a lot of money that could have been used for some other important undertaking, but this is almost as important too.
  • Not surprised (20/12/2016, 23:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another blunder

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