BVI Airways Remains A Mystery

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bimjim
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BVI Airways Remains A Mystery

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Sep 28, 2018

http://www.islandsun.com/bvi-airways-remains-mystery/

BVI Airways Remains A Mystery
September 27, 2018

For the second time Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith has restrained from answering questions relating to BVI Airways in the House of Assembly.

During the 13 September sitting Opposition Member and Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser followed up on efforts he made in a previous 19 July sitting to garner additional information on government’s dealing with BVI Airways.

In recent months, following intense public backlash from details emerging from Government’s investing of $7.2M in BVI Airways, which never took to the skies Hon. Smith has opted to say little or nothing on the subject.

During last week’s sitting Hon. Fraser asked the Premier to tell the House of Assembly whether the Government is liable for any debt or expenses incurred by BVI Airways. However, the Premier announced that he was unable to answer the question.

“Madame Speaker at the last sitting of the House of Assembly and in response to a question on the subject of BVI Airways. I responded and now reiterate that I have been asked many questions in this Honorable House about this matter. Steps are being taken to recoup the money that has been invested by Government. I do not wish to make any further statements that may compromise the steps being taken and will provide a full report at the appropriate time.”

The lack of required response prompted the Opposition member to follow up with a supplementary question. Hon. Fraser declared: “Madame Speaker while it is true that the Premier did make that statement and I acknowledge it fully – I do wish to remind the Premier that this is a new session of the House of Assembly and that such statements do not hold through. He now makes it again. I will continue to ask my question regarding the matter Madame Speaker.”

Hon. Fraser further asked the Premier if there has been any further developments in the relationship between BVI Airways and the Government?

In response Hon. Smith said, “Madame Speaker I refer the Hon. Member to my answer to question two.”

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Re: BVI Airways Remains A Mystery

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Sep 30, 2018

Tomas Chlumecky "Aviation Doctor" Comment:

There is NO mystery to what happened with BVI Airways, the BVI Government handed out $US 7.2 million for the airline to start a regular scheduled service between Tortola, as I have written many times.

They proceeded to get all the approvals and secured, in fact bought 2 x BAe ARJ-100's, very good aircraft from Swiss which was making room for the new A220-100's (ex-CSeries 100).

Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (IATA: EIS) on Tortola has a short runways of just 1,415 meters (4,642 feet), the 4 engine ARJ-100 with 85-90 seats can do the Tortola - Miami flight non-stop, no other aircraft today can and keep the unit cost per ASK within reason, especially given a lower utilization due to the small market size in the BVI, yes the A220-100 can but the cost would be too high to make the business model work.

The aircraft went very cheaply, in fact under $1.0M for both (could have leased as well for around $35,000 per aircraft), and then they did a few charters for Sunrise Airways of Haiti (1 wet leased B737-800, 1 wet leased A320 and 3 owned BAe J32 Jetstreams).

But then when BVI Airways was to start the Tortola Miami route, they had the "balls" to come back to the BVI Government to ask for more money! when they were told no, they shut it down, not a single scheduled flight from Tortola was made, no scheduled flights and nothing to show for the $7.2 million.

When I started to look at replacing BVI Airways with a new company using ARJ100 in August, 2017 the model showed that Tortola - Miami was not viable on a stand alone basis as BVI Airways claimed and 2 other islands were added.

Then the business case looked very attractive, one of the best business models I have seen, due to the convenience and high yield potential from the wealthy clientele to offset the higher unit costs of the 4 engine ARJ-100, a rare "cash cow" in this business.

I had some of the staff that got screwed by BVI Airways when they were all let go working with me to salvage the airline, but without any help from the Premier (also Minister of Finance) or the local Government, my team and I were up against silence and a cover-up!
Premier Orlando Smith needs to come clean about what he knows.

In fact $3.0 million needed to start BVI Airways II could have been re-paid within 18 months of the operation, several interested investors were talked to and all looked good, but then came Hurricane Maria a Category 5 storm that between September 16 and October 2 destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people from Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Sint Maarten, BVI, USVI, Puerto Rico and up to 10,000 dead, mostly in Puerto Rico.

No help from the Premier, no information on local debts or anything on BVI Airways, not even their Business Plan, he just handed them $7.2 million and "hoped" they would come through as promised.

The whole thing 'stinks' and one needs to dig deeper, who were all the people behind BVI Airways? on what basis was the money given if no business plan, no agreement and no equity in company or aircraft?

The Premier is not stupid, so what was the end game? that is up to the people of the BVI to find out, as they lost about $260 per capita on this BS "mysterious" airline scheme that BVI so badly needs, just picked the wrong team to make it happen? or is there more to this?

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