BVI Airways has announced that a shortage of cash has forced it to lay off its flight crew, including both pilots and flight attendants. The airline indicated that the protracted regulatory process had burned through its available funding, including USD7 million provided by the government of the British Virgin Islands. BVI Airways operated a sports charter to Curacao in mid-April, and then flew some services on behalf of Haiti’s Sunrise Airways until early June, but evidently the income from these operations was insufficient. Although the airline recently received all the necessary authorizations to begin flying from Tortola to the USA, it has yet to announce a start date for the services (an announcement by the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, which operates Miami airport, that BVI Airways would begin services there on 22 July was quickly denied). In addition to a shortage of funds, the airline claims that shortfalls at Tortola’s airport impede its ability to begin services. According to the airline, the “antiquated” systems at the airport would result in passengers having to “wait in line for 2 hours to get through security and immigration.” The airline said that it hoped to quickly resolve the situation, but that a government proposal to lengthen the runway at Tortola is impeding its ability to raise additional funds as it increases the prospects of competing airlines entering the market. News reports from the BVI indicate that the airline sought additional funding from the government earlier this month, but that the request was turned down. BVI Airways has two Avro RJ100s. VP-LWW (msn E3274) is currently at Fort Lauderdale, while VP-LOS (msn E3282) is at Summerside.
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