BVI News

OPEN LETTER: BVI Airways says it’s disappointed

bvi-airways

Dear Editor,

BVI Airways successfully received its revised Air Operations Certificate from our regulator, Air Safety Support International, and we have submitted our application to the United States Department of Transportation for approval to operate non-stop service between the BVI and the United States.

While waiting for the US approvals, we expect to provide charter and limited regularly scheduled inter-Caribbean service.

Recently, BVI Airways was attacked and slandered on the floor of the House of Assembly, and VI Airlink, a BVI based carrier, has sought to delay, retard, and block our launch of service to Miami by objecting to our application.

We are highly disappointed that the collective investments of time and capital to make non-stop service to Miami, Florida a reality has been recklessly placed at risk for political gains and avarice.

The false claims made on the floor of the House of Assembly accusing BVI Airways of unpaid obligations, insider trading, and unscrupulous business practices are patently false, lack any legal basis, and are an affront to our hard-working employees and the many Virgin Islanders in both the public and private sectors who have toiled long and hard to bring this venture to reality.

Moreover, VI Airlink’s baseless and anti-competitive objections to our service to Miami will delay the launch and increase the pre-operating financial losses significantly.

We were hopeful that VI Airlink would have been a favoured partner in extending our reach to other difficult-to-reach Caribbean destinations.

However, as it stands now, our legal teams in the BVI and the United States are presently reviewing the viability of claims to obtain recompense from the offending parties.

BVI Airways remains committed to launching non-stop flights from the BVI to Miami once the vitriol, objections and road blocks are overcome.

Our aircraft proudly bears the flag of the Virgin Islands and we fully intend to maintain the superior level of service and practices that the Territory is known worldwide through its financial services and tourism industries.

We also look forward to being integrally involved in the BVI community and continuing to engage BVI residents – particularly young residents – providing exposure to the hospitality and aviation industry through apprenticeships, employment opportunities, and interaction with our corporate staff, cabin crews, and engineers.

Our goal is to support the development of an aviation industry in the Territory and an enterprise that authentically reflects the people, industry, and culture of the Virgin Islands.

Unfortunately, the uncertainties caused by the announcement in December 2016 of the selection of a preferred bidder to extend the Beef Island runway, as well as ongoing efforts by certain parties in the BVI and other Caribbean operators to discredit, malign, disrupt, and ultimately block the launch of our service to the mainland of the United States will at a minimum delay the service and significantly increase costs and ticket prices.

Despite this, we remain steadfast in our commitment to improving air access to one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, our home base, the British Virgin Islands.

We are most appreciative of the fine hospitality shown to us by the many people of the BVI and hope that BVI Airways will become an integral part of the community in the future.

Yours truly, Jerry Willoughby
Chief Executive Officer of BVI Airways

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