BVI Airways has issued a statement claiming that it is getting support from some of the largest stakeholders in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) hotel and charter yacht industries – The BVI Tourist Board, The Moorings and Sunsail, as well as Bitter End Yacht Club, and Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort.
That declaration comes at a time when the privately owned carrier continues to face criticism and objection as it seeks certain approval from the United States Department of Transportation.
If the approval is granted, the airline will be able to fly into Miami, United States.
However, a locally based airline – VI Airlink – has written to the United Sates authorities seeking to block the possible approval of BVI Airways’ application.
According to BVI Airways, President of The Moorings and Sunsail Simon Cross is ‘very enthusiastic’ about the airline starting to run the Miami to BVI route.
BVI Airways reported Cross as saying: “The BVI is the most important charter destination in the world for our company, but many of our United States clients choose to go to other Caribbean locations purely because the BVI can often be challenging to get to.”
“With a non-stop service from Miami, the attraction of the BVI will undoubtedly increase, leading to a rise in yacht charter customers and other visitors to the islands. This could provide a real boost to the BVI, and I can see more opportunity to expand our fleet and our presence in the islands once these flights begin,” added Cross.
Meanwhile, according to BVI Airways, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Bitter End Yacht Club John Glynn said the airline will make a positive impact.
“Our customers get excited when we tell them about BVI Airways and their upcoming non-stop flights from Miami to the BVI. Many of them currently have to make several connections just to get to the BVI, and we anticipate that BVI Airways’ lift will make a positive overall impact to the territory,” said Glynn.
BVI Airways also stated that Managing Director of Little Dix Bay Resort Edward Linsley has welcomed the plans to commence non-stop flights to Miami.
“This, of course, is welcomed news to correspond with the exciting relaunch of the Rosewood Little Dix Bay, which is scheduled to reopen in December 2017. Improved airlift is vital to our industry and for the future of the BVI. We are pleased that the government has devoted efforts to support this venture,” Linsley said.
The BVI government has pumped $7 million into BVI Airways to help prepare for direct service to Miami.
The airline, in its press statement today, quoted Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board Russell Harrigan as saying BVI Airways’ plans are transformative.
“This will be transformative for the BVI economy and for our tourism marketing globally, and it should allow us to compete more effectively with other Caribbean destinations. This much needed boon to tourism should be seen as a major advancement for the BVI as we seek to move our global trade to the next level.” added Harrigan.
The airline, in the meantime, said the “long awaited launch of BVI Airways is just months away”.
It noted that intra-Caribbean service may commence immediately.
“When BVI Airways commences direct flights to Miami International Airport, for the first time one-stop flights will be available to Beef Island [in the BVI] from 54 United States cities, Toronto [in] Canada, and most of the major cities in Europe,” BVI Airways further said.
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