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BVI Airways Hit By Financial Woes; Lays Off Staff

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BVI Airways Hit By Financial Woes; Lays Off Staff

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Jul 20, 2017


BVI Airways Hit By Financial Woes; Lays Off Staff
July 18, 2017

BVI Airways' direct flights between Miami and the BVI, has hit a major financial snag, forcing the airline to lay off its entire flight crew, even before the first flight takes off.

The BVI government has invested $7.2M of tax payers' money into the start up of the airline.

"BVI Airways regretfully announces that it is immediately laying off its entire flight crew (pilots and flight attendants) as a result of ongoing delays. Hopefully, this will be a very short-term situation as we continue to work through remaining issues with the Government and will be able to commence flights shortly," the airline stated in an open letter to the people of the BVI today, Tuesday, July 18.

The airline went on to blame the BVI government for the delay and the repercussions being encountered, stating that they have the planes, the organization and have secured all the difficult regulatory approvals.

However, improvements to the TB Lettsome International Airport required under the contract with government, to meet basic commercially acceptable standards for processing passenger volume of this size, have not been completed.

According to the airline, the pre-operating carry costs alone have cost the airline millions of dollars over the past year and have depleted most of its cash reserves.

"The irony is now that we are ready to start flying, we need to raise more money in order to do so."

It stated that the airline officials have been in discussions with the BVI Government for months and are doing its best to raise the additional funds required and will start flying once the necessary improvements to the TB Lettsome International Airport are completed and the additional funds are secured.

"Everything has been set up and in-place to "flip the switch". It has been a daunting task to get to this point and most will never appreciate what has gone into this process. We have an incredible team that has worked tirelessly for the past 2 years to make this dream a reality."

"We would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work and also thank the Premier for his vision and support in trying to bring this vital service to the territories."

The airline noted that, most people don't realize that they needed a full organization, with full complement of trained pilots, flight attendants, backup crews and planes in order to complete the application process.

"We have almost 40 people on the payroll. This is one of the reasons the barriers of entry are so great with an airline and many times require subsidies of some type," BVI Airways stated.

Public Tired of Excuses

The airline stated they are aware of the public's frustration.

"We know the public is tired of hearing excuses and just want to see us fly. We share their frustration of the delays—please be assured that no one wants to see the planes up in the air with paying passengers more than us."

It added that, the path has been challenging to say the least.

"But we are confident the end result will be worth the effort and the people and the economy of the BVI will reap great benefit from this service," BVI Airways noted.

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