The British Virgin Islands might see another airline deal for direct flights to the United States if the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is elected as the next government.
Dr Natalio ‘Sowande’ Wheatley — the VIP’s candidate for the Seventh Electoral District — is hoping to champion such a deal.
But, unlike the NDP government whose bargain with the internationally-owned BVI Airways cost the territory $7 million, Dr Wheatley is looking to engage a local air carrier this time around.
“I will advocate strongly for a partnership with Seventh District voters and residents — the Brathwaites and their company, VI Airlink — for direct flights to Miami which will offer additional connections to get persons here more quickly,” said Dr Wheatley while addressing residents at a VIP rally in The Stickett, East End on Wednesday night.
Based on statements last year from VI Airlink pilot Neville Brathwaite, Jr, the local airline might be open to the idea of the partnership. According to Brathwaite, their airline was the first to offer themselves up to an NDP government for the Miami flights. However, the aviator claimed that government rejected their offer.
Pitch for recreational centre with movie theatre in D7
Besides Dr Wheatley’s proposal of an airline deal with a local partner, the VIP candidate has other plans that are more targeted to the Seventh District. One of those plans involves constructing what he described as a recreation centre in the constituency.
He said the centre would be primarily for young persons, especially teens, and would be “a place where they can go bowling, play pool, air hockey, watch a movie, and hang out with their friends”.
But, Dr Wheatley’s ideas for the district aren’t limited to fun and games as he also proposes to implement an assistance programme for the district’s senior citizens, job fairs for young locals, and a credit union where locals can go to source funding to establish businesses.
Dr Wheatley said he plans to fund these initiatives with what he believes to be a sound financing strategy.
“In the VIP, we will implement a financing strategy that involves sourcing funding from local and international sources. Locally, we can form investment clubs to pool our resources; making it easier to access funding from private lending institutions,” he said.
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