Chairwoman of the Miss World Organisation Julia Morley has called on British billionaire and founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, Sir Richard Branson to commence commercial flights in the British Virgin Islands.
“Mr Richard Branson, please bring your Virgin airline. If you do nothing else, that is the best thing that you can do for the BVI,” Morley said at a fundraising gala at The Moorings on Tortola on Sunday.
Morley said the territory should ‘fight’ to get a direct route to major destinations such as Europe.
She said travelling to the BVI would be easier on persons living in or near Europe.
She also reasoned that BVI tourism would receive a considerable boost.
“I think it can be achieved and I think this is one of the things that can help a lot of people actually getting here,” said Morley, who confessed that she has fallen in love with the BVI.
“We didn’t know about the BVI and from now on, we have to do something about that,” she added.
Morley along with several beauties including the reigning Miss World Manushi Chhillar is currently in the territory to assist with hurricane recovery efforts. They arrived on Sunday.
Branson a BVI stakeholder
The Miss World Organization head reasoned that Branson should open Virgin airline flights in the BVI especially because he is a major stakeholder in the British territory.
Branson owns two of the outer islands in the BVI – Necker Island and Moskito Island.
“I truly believe that you’ve got one of the most famous people living on Necker Island. Where’s Virgin? Bring it in. Bring it on,” Morley said.
Morley made the statement on the heels of a flopped deal between local government and the privately-owned BVI Airways.
The government pumped seven million of taxpayer dollars into the airline for it to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami in the United States.
The airline has missed all its promised dates to fly and has now claimed that it needs more money. The BVI has not recouped the $7 million.
Meanwhile, the government is also pushing to extend the runway at the Terrence B Lettsome Airport from 4645 feet to about 7100 feet so larger aircraft can land in the territory.
The government plans to finance the $250 million project through a public-private partnership.
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