BVI News

New seaplane venture coming to BVI | Premier says gov’t not an investor

Stock photo

A new seaplane service is slated to operate in the territory and Premier Andrew Fahie has made it clear that the Government of the Virgin Islands will not be an investor in the venture.

Premier Fahie said the new venture will improve the service offerings of the territory.

He said: “There are some other areas that we are working on with private entrepreneurs to help spread the passengers to the sister islands. For example, negotiations with one company that is going to be using a seaplane.

Fahie, who was speaking at a recent press conference, added: “Government is not putting in any money, we are not buying any planes, we are not involved with it at all.”

While the country’s leader did not provide a timeframe when the venture is expected to commence operations, he said the company is awaiting legal documents and permission from the BVI Ports Authority and the BVI Airports Authority.

Adding value 

In the meantime, Premier Fahie said the introduction of the seaplane operation would be adding value to the BVI product.

“It is not any use to us to have four ships in the harbour and overcrowding the areas and the experience of the guests is not good. What we need to make sure is the frequency of them where we can handle it to a certain level so we will have just enough tourists that would be able to enjoy what we have just enough come again when they leave,” he reasoned.

Bad plane deal

In the meantime, the Premier’s statement that government will not invest in the seaplane venture comes against the backdrop of the flopped BVI Airways deal under the previous NDP government.

That Dr D Orlando Smith-led administration invested some $7.2 million into the airline to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami in the USA by 2017. However, the airline laid-off its staff and never operated a single flight as was agreed.  

The funds have not been recouped. Recently, however, the Fahie-led VIP government filed a lawsuit against a former attorney for the Government of the Virgin Islands, Lester Hyman, who is or was a director of the defunct airline, BVI Airways.

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21 Comments

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  1. Early bird says:

    I came here early this morning to catch the negative comments…

  2. Okay says:

    This is encouraging

    Like 10
  3. Eyes wide shut says:

    The premier needs to stop comparing everything to the 7.2 millions planes as if he is good once he dont go pass 7.2 million. Like that’s his bench park for mismanagement.

    Like 16
    Dislike 9
    • CW says:

      STRUPE COMMENT

      Don’t you want your government to inform the citizens they aren’t being robbed like the last plane fiasco? All the negativity for what? So you can type and still do nothing? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR BVI? TYPING AND CRYING ONLINE DOESNT COUNT

      Like 2
      Dislike 2
  4. vip heckler says:

    Another government another airline deal? More bumble bees will fly out first

    Like 4
    Dislike 16
  5. promising says:

    this looks promising and Government should NOT be an investor…let private enterprise operate and Government REGULATE that’s how economies are built, diversified and sustained (with God’s help of course).

    Like 13
  6. Ausar says:

    Lets make sure they ARRIVE and LEAVE on time!

  7. Strupe says:

    How many passengers can one seaplanelle distribute to the sister Islands during the few hours that a cruise ship in port? Surely not enough to preventure over crowding on Tortola if four ships in port.

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  8. rastarite says:

    Take off and landing in Road Harbour will be challenging. This needs to seriously managed

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  9. Uhm says:

    Correction: The NDP Government obviously made a mistake to trust this lawyer man with a potentially great investment to get direct flights from Miami to BVI, but the were trying to fix it. Wasn’t this new Government who filed any lawsuit. Research it. The application was filed way before VIP came into office. Hope VIP pursues it, without malice and get our money back though.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  10. 8th District Gyal says:

    I love this innovative idea. Alaska and Florida has similar attractions for years and continue to do well.

  11. CW says:

    This is a terrific idea and fantastic news! More ways to the islands is a great thing especially because the sister islands are wonderful- they deserve more guests and it will eventually help take some pressure off Tola with multiple cruise ship days. It will take time to do correctly but will be absolutely worth it, particularly because it’s not government money!!!

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  12. Retired says:

    The photo in this news article is of a float plane. Is this the type of seaplane that will be flying in the BVI? I hope so because the other type of seaplane is the old flying boats that Antilles Airways used back in the 60’s and 70’s which need a ramp to load and discharge passengers.

  13. Antilles Helicopters says:

    Meanwhile a register BVI company, offering world class helicopter flights services for many years (with zero help from government), is not permitted to operate post Irma, as there are still no hangars in the BVI…. & BVIAA will not allow private hangars 🙁
    ** Helicopter maintenance may only be conducted in a lockable hangar.

    • CW says:

      What do float planes in Tortola have to do with your locking hangar? Seaplanes and helicopters attract two very different clients at two very different price points. It isn’t like the cost of a seat on a plane is even close to a seat on your helicopter, and of course you can land in way more places than they can. If you need maintenance then go to USVI and use a hangar and then come back, that is literally what the other helicopter services throughout the islands do. Make an agreement with them and FIX THE PROBLEM instead of being upset a float plane might be available to customers you weren’t going to book anyway!

  14. . says:

    Last seaplane adventure didn’t work, I don’t think this one will either. ASSI doesn’t want aviation in the Territory!

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