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BVI Airways & Gov’t @ war! Is it a shake down?

- Flying date remains uncertain despite Miami Airport announcing a date of July 22, 2017
From left: Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) and President and CEO of BVI Airways, Jerry D. Willoughby. Premier Smith has told BVI Airways to begin flying as Government has honoured its terms of agreement. Photo: VINO/File
Reports reaching this news site are that BVI Airways has approached Government for more funds to begin direct flights from Miami to Beef Island but was denied. Photo: VINO/File
Reports reaching this news site are that BVI Airways has approached Government for more funds to begin direct flights from Miami to Beef Island but was denied. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- After the Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith's Administration was embarrassed that after announcing some four dates for BVI Airways to fly between Miami and Beef Island and none coming to pass, the situation is getting ugly.

Dr Smith bailed out the bankrupt BVI Airways with tax payers funds of some $7.2M and even violated the agreement after the money was to be paid out over three years but the full amount was advanced within six months.

It was last month that Miami International Airport announced that flights will commence on July 22, 2017 with BVI Airways between Beef Island and Miami, Florida. However, BVI Airways said 'not so fast' and accused the Miami Airport of jumping the gun.

We not ready to fly- BVI Airways  

In fact BVI Airways said its date of take off between Miami and Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport will be announced by them and that there are still outstanding matters between the Virgin Islands Government and the Airline.

It did not disclose what the outstanding matters are; however, a senior National Democratic Party source told our newsroom, "they came and needed more funds and the answer was no, so I can't tell if that is the issue."

It is unclear how much more funds they were allegedly requesting and why it was reportedly rejected. 

Fly now! You got the cash- Dr Smith

However, Premier Smith in a statement late last night, July 4, 2017, called on BVI Airways to start the Miami-Beef Island flights without any further delay as his regime “has fully discharged its responsibility to BVI Airways by providing $7 million as a subsidy in keeping with the terms of the agreement."

Our newsroom is investigation the details of the standoff, because it must be noted that how the agreement is structured, if BVI Airways never flies the tax payers will not get back a dime of its $7.2 M (USD) pumped into the privately own business.

BVI Airways pulled out of the Territory in 2014 claiming they were bankrupt, owing the BVI Airports Authority close to $100,000.

43 Responses to “BVI Airways & Gov’t @ war! Is it a shake down?”

  • Just saying (05/07/2017, 18:37) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    War is joke this will end nasty
  • well saw (05/07/2017, 18:38) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Somebody needs to go to jail for this.
    • foxy (05/07/2017, 23:15) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      If we intend for this to be bloodless, the governor must still be part of the equation.
  • Outlaw (05/07/2017, 18:45) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Have you ever heard that what is done in secrecy will always be exposed or what is done in darkness will always come to light well the secret and cloudy episode just start to unfold. Stay tune and see what happens. Alternative party's get you all house in order, this one is surely going to bring down this government
  • wize up (05/07/2017, 19:06) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply
    it's about time Doc put his foot up someone's @$&; get some balls and demand more for the tax payers 10 millions United States dollars: WTF these mofos grab our money for a second time remember that 100,000.00 them "takeoff" with a few years ago: you and I would have been Halled before the magistrate....I personally think the planes are a good BVI investment and the planes will fly....the process is questionable there in "lies" the issues....who actually got our tax money and can the people of this territory expects as we seek to move forward
    • Jacperlance (05/07/2017, 20:58) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply

      @ wize up, well in this case I believe he has put his foot up his own @&& and maybe sh*tting on himself all now. On another note the word is, "HAUL" and not, "HALLED".

      • wize up (05/07/2017, 21:28) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
        @ jackperlance: you sound like one of my English teachers(work with me on the spelling because I freash out of school; yep almost 40 years) mr perlance just ready the ting in the spirit in which it was intended...thanks
      • kicks back paid to fast (06/07/2017, 00:02) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        Teeth and tongue fall out now.
  • ayo drop the ball (05/07/2017, 19:37) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    fake news or late news
    • school chayren (05/07/2017, 23:19) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      the BVI airways investors will clearly have their cake and eat it too.
    • Jack B Nimble (06/07/2017, 06:52) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      There goes our music festival and festival money...This is the work of both Doctors...I expect this from The Long Look Doctor. But Doc Smith who all his life has been taking care of poor people. Helping poor people. Very disappointing.... Then again the whole of NDP fraid of the Long look Doc. Can't blame them with all the murders going on there...Much reason to be scared
  • All that book sense (05/07/2017, 20:01) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    and all sorts of overpaid consultants, but nothing as common as common sense. We in bales ah trouble around here. When will they ever learn?
  • Air miles (05/07/2017, 21:04) Like (1) Dislike (12) Reply
    Just give them more funds, so we can get going to Miami. My maths:
    86x$550(estimate ticket price)=$47300 x2(Sat&sun flights)= $94600. x4(weeks in the month)=$3,78400. x12(1 year)=$45,40800.
    45,00000- landing and other fees to operate the airline will still make us happy at the end of the day.
    How much to rent a yacht from moorings $ for 7nights. How much money coming in from Fees?
    Hotels will see more overnight guests.
    More passengers will fly into Miami, using Virgin and British Airways than flights to Antigua.
    • Maths (06/07/2017, 12:08) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Your use of number separators is confusing. Let's clarify: 86 x $ 550 yields gross revenue per flight or $ 47,300. If there are two flights (Sat and Sun) per week, then weekly gross revenue is $ 94,600. But these flights also return to MIA each of those days, so with sale land factor, gross revenue is $ 197,200. There are 52 weeks in the year which would yield a total gross revenue of $10.254 million but demand would be lower at certain times of year (e.g. Aug-Oct), so if one assumes conservatively 65% average lad factor, gross annual revenue would be about $ 6.665 million per year. Sounds good but all that would be offset by aircraft operation costs (fuel, maintenance, landing fees, repairs), aircraft leasing costs, and business operations costs such as staff salaries, taxes, advertising, reservations etc). BTW your suggested fare of $ 550 while attractive seems unrealistic for a roundtrip. To that please remember there will be taxes, and departure tax, which are likely to exceed $ 350, which is about what it would cost to go to St. Thomas by ferry and stay overnight to fly to MIA. I've flow to MIA for as little as $ 280 round trip and up to about $ 650. The question will remain whether the extra cost of flying directly to or from MIA will be worth it to enough customers. Airlines operate on thin fickle margins, so not a lot of room for error or time to get it right.
      • @maths (07/07/2017, 03:57) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Seems like you and I are the only ones on here with some background in running an airline or having an occupation in the industry.
        You are very close my friend with the exception of the load factor.
        I would see it around 50-55% as the low season would be very low indeed.
        I have had many flights coming in to the BVI where there was only one passenger on board!
        Other than that your math is spot on!
        Well done Sir or Madam.
      • tash (07/07/2017, 04:30) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        From stt you can fly directly to ny, boston, atlanta, charlotte, or newark. The need to stop in miami is reduced to 1/5, so they will not get the estimated flights mentioned above.
  • Political Observer (PO) (05/07/2017, 21:07) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is this a bad omen? BVI Airways is pointing fingers at government and government is pointing fingers at BVI Airways, the defunct airline that it give $7.3M of taxpayers’ money to start direct flights between Miami and TBL. And the finger pointing is occurring in public. Wow!

    Who should BVI residents believe? Residents need the facts on the hold up. Is a shake down for additional capital/cash/moola in the offing? Has the agreement gone off the rails? Did BVI Airways go public to embarrass government, given that it got us over the proverbial barrel? Did taxpayers get robbed in plain daylight with their eyes wide open? Will taxpayers ever get value for money? Could a local have gotten such a sweet deal? One is born everyday----sucker. Are taxpayers getting screwed without lubri.....t? Was the giveaway a unanimous decision by the NDP caucus? When will the Premier face the nation? Ting te tark!
  • Sawda (05/07/2017, 21:39) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI Tax payers got what the duck got.....
  • Global (05/07/2017, 21:55) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    dam shame... better y'all had go with Brathwaite.... smh
  • Adios Air (05/07/2017, 22:06) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Kiss that money goodbye....
  • tola (05/07/2017, 22:46) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    When will some body go to jail for these madness am sitting back and watch wah goin on in this place BVI air way and this government full a sh%t jus waiting our money Mr governor plz when ayo will start lock up people's in this place
  • qc (05/07/2017, 23:09) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP supporters must be living on eggshells.
  • welmahboi (05/07/2017, 23:09) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    tis man think he making directives to j.cline; tis is a whole nother ball game he playing now. Cline is spiritual, so he stepped aside, bou dey are not, so if tis ting isn't woked-out somehow, there goes another multimillion dollars lawsuit coming on. Wa else did you promise dem premier?
  • shame, me shame (06/07/2017, 01:23) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Boy premier you and your team let me down big times; please don't look for my vote coming next election.
  • Reporters (06/07/2017, 01:31) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Looks like the war between BVI Airways vs. NDP Government will be fully digitized. Stay Tune!
  • YOLO! (06/07/2017, 01:50) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    This startup airline turning out to be more and more like a GOFUNDME operation. I tell you...only in WEE BEE WEE EYE.
  • smh (06/07/2017, 01:57) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who to Blame???
  • Bob (06/07/2017, 02:08) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Everyday the bucket a-go a well, one day the bottom a-go drop-out."
  • 5 words (06/07/2017, 02:25) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is a shake down.
  • John (06/07/2017, 03:58) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why is it that their rich friend, who owns an airline, never has any input on this topic? One would think this is his specialty.
  • honest (06/07/2017, 04:58) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is what happens when the premier feels he can do what he likes with taxpayers money without informing us. The time for the Freedom of Imformation Act is long overdue. That is why we are in the mess. If this plane is not going to fly so we can get our money , every penny should be given back now. That agreement should have never been made. Just think is a local owes government money will they loan us more? The first thing they will try to do is get us to Balsam Ghut. The premier fought VI Airlink for those people. Tell us if locals have shares in the deal.
  • Eddie (06/07/2017, 05:25) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI Airways did not take the money and run, they were handed the money by our elected officials...they then they ran. This airline will never make it. The government should have paid an existing airline (Delta, American, United, etc.) an annual subsidy to fly two days a week to Beef Island. They would have done it.
  • JJ Evans (06/07/2017, 06:51) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Edomiteee! Dynamiteeee!
  • No surprizes here (06/07/2017, 07:06) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    I hate to say it but I told you so!
    I knew from the word GO that something was not right here.
    I was willing to bet dollars to donuts that this was all a scam and it looks like I was right on the money.
    If you follow the trail of aircraft registrations, lease and sub lease agreements and the routes the aircraft are flying now I have a good idea of what was going on but if I say what I think I will probably get served with a lawsuit!
    We, the taxpayer may as well wave goodbye to that money as this airline will NEVER fly as promised.
  • See (06/07/2017, 08:35) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    You got what you votes for . Great conteact for thieves !
  • Jesse Jackson (06/07/2017, 08:40) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Did someone say shake down? I'm good for that!
  • Stick with local (06/07/2017, 08:45) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    You guys should of try work with VI-Airlink. Guess they had the wrong color skin.
  • ........... (06/07/2017, 09:50) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply

    Like someone said, never trust the w..... man.....They come with a smile and leave with your money and land... It's starting to seem like maybe we should have invested in VI Airlink for real.

  • BVI Airways (06/07/2017, 09:59) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    So tell me this, there are airplanes with the logo BVI Airways flying throughout the Caribbean except the BVI??? Imagine how dunce we look to the other Caribbean countries. Smh in shame.
  • wow (06/07/2017, 20:52) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Looks like this government did not do it due deligence. People don't hanger over night. Baltia has not flown in 27 yrs. they were all employees/shareholders of Baltia. Oh well... I still giving them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe
  • foy (07/07/2017, 02:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cows willl fly first
  • Oh Oh (08/07/2017, 23:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Time for Dr. Smith to go. He remains an embarrassment and a danger.

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