On 18th July, the people of the British Virgin Islands received shocking news via an open letter from BVI Airways announcing that the anticipated Tortola/Miami flights on the airline Government injected $7M in might not happen soon because the company is broke. The letter also announced that the pilots have been sent home.
BVI Airways has 40 people on payroll and in expressing how dire the situation is the company’s management announced: “BVI Airways regretfully announces that it is immediately laying off its entire flight crew (pilots and flight attendants) as a result of ongoing delays.”
However, BVI Airways maintained that the blame for the present no-flight situation should not fall squarely on their shoulder because the company said that it has done its part. “We have the planes, the organization and have secured all the difficult regulatory approvals. However, improvements to the airport required under our contract to meet basic commercially acceptable standards for processing passenger volume of this size have not been completed.”
“Passengers cannot be expected to wait in line for two hours to get though the security and immigration; this would be disastrous. The current system is antiquated and barely works for low density flights,” BVI Airways further explained.
In further pointing the finger at the government the company said that the expectations relating to the terminal and others were communicated previously to government: “There was a clear understanding from the onset that this needed to be corrected and better training of personnel provided prior to our launch of service.”
As grim as the staff dismissal and flight uncertainty announcement is, BVI Airways is still holding a glimmer of hope that government would respond favorably. In fact, the company stated: “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,” BVI Airways said.
- Published in Community