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BVI Airways Leasing Jet to Haitian Airline

Who owns the two aircraft which have been acquired by BVI Airways to fly between Beef Island and Miami?

Responding to questions posed in the House of Assembly by Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie on May 11, Premier and Finance Minister Dr. D. Orlando Smith says Colchester Aviation which is a principal of BVI Airways owns the 2 aircraft through another wholly owned subsidiary Raptor Aviation, which leases the two Avro RJ100 Jets.

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The Premier and Finance Minister also confirmed that BVI Airways are earning revenue in the interim by leasing its jets to an airline in Haiti, Sunrise Airways.

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Now regarding that addendum which came to light as a result of questioning by the Opposition leader during the sitting of the House, Dr Smith says the change to the initial agreement signed with BVI Airways in 2015 was made on June 7, 2016 and explained why it was necessary.

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When pressed on why the initial contract to release the 7 million dollars over three years to BVI Airways was amended to allow disbursement in less than one year, this was the Premier’s explanation.

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Other information which came to light during the Q and A session:

According to the Premier, the breakdown of how the 7 million dollar subsidy in BVI airlines was spent as well the total assets consisting of private equity are cannot be disclosed as they are commercially sensitive material which maybe prejudicial to the airline’s deliberations.

Dr. Smith also conceded that 10% of the airline’s shares must be offered to the public, but regarding the question of the residency status of the shareholders of BVI Airways the Premier disclosed that he neglected to include that query in the research for his responses.

A business case study was on the viability of the BVI Airways venture was done by Oregon-based Company Sixel which included as assessment of the cost of operations and fare levels among other factors at a cost of $22,000, an expense shared by BVI Airways and the government.

However, Premier Smith said a public disclosure of the document would be prejudicial.

BVI Airlines last month received certification from the US Department of Transportation, and now awaits the all clear from the Federal Aviation Authority and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

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