Caribbean operators rally against BVI Airways' US services

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Caribbean operators rally against BVI Airways' US services

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Mar 09, 2017

http://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/ ... s-services

Caribbean operators rally against BVI Airways' US services
9 March, 2017

VI Airlink (V6, Beef Island) and fellow Caribbean operator interCaribbean Airways (JY, Providenciales) have filed a joint objection to BVI Airways (XV, Beef Island) and its recent application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for Exemption Authority and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP).

Last month, BVI Airways applied to the DOT for authority to conduct scheduled foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail between the prescribed UK Caribbean gateway points via intermediate points, to points in the United States and beyond. It also sought authority to carry out charter foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail between the British Virgin Islands and any point(s) in the United States.

It plans to offer a 4x weekly service between Beef Island and each of Miami Int'l and San Juan Luis Muñoz Marin increasing to daily as market requirements dictate. Operations are on board ARJ-100 quadjets.

VI Airlink and interCaribbean Airways claim, however, that as parties whose operations may be affected by BVI Airways' application, they were never served a copy of its application in violation of DOT requirements.

Further to that, they question government's impartiality given an alleged investment made to stimulate demand for flights between the BVI and the United States. The two parties reference a Caribbean Journal press report wherein BVI Premier Orlando Smith is quoted as saying his government has "invested" USD7 million into the development of flights between Miami Int'l and Beef Island. BVI Airways, they claim, had previously claimed the funds mentioned to be a loan.

This issue of direct financial support, they argue, will create a conflict of interest between locally-owned airlines and the BVI government given the latter's purported role in BVI Airways' operations.

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