Call Made For Commission Of Inquiry Into BVI Airways Saga

BVI Platinum News
March 05, 2018 8:00 am AST
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Opposition Leader, Hon. Andrew Fahie has called for a Commission of Inquiry into the failed BVI Airways initiative, as government continues with its alleged lackluster approach to recouping the $7.2M from the airline.

“I think that the only way that I would advise the Attorney General (AG) to proceed would be through a Commission of Inquiry, because you cannot have this amount of money out for so long and no solid questions being answered for it, and tax payers’ money gone,” he said on Thursday, March 1.

Hon. Fahie, who was seeking answers from Premier Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith during the sitting of the House of Assembly added, “It should not be a case now where the Premier is deciding how they are proceeding; it should be a Commission of Inquiry.”

The Opposition Leader asked Premier Smith to provide in full detail, what measure(s) have been taken by the government to recover the over seven million dollars paid out to BVI Airways, for the airline agreement between them and the Government of the Virgin Islands.

“…Service was to be delivered by August 2017. I am now in discussion with the Attorney General on the way to proceed since the service has not actually been delivered as yet,” Premier Smith responded.

This did not sit well with Hon. Fahie, who then mentioned that at a previous sitting of the House, Premier Smith had promised to inform where the planes are. However, Premier Smith said that he still does not have an answer to that question and said they are still researching the matter.

The Opposition Leader said that the answer to the question is simple, noting that a search would show that the planes were in fact sold.

“It cannot be difficult; the airlines have a registration number and there is one…I went on and googled through the Freedom of Information Act that VP LO6-OS…and the plane was sold to Net Tune Airwaves. So, did you receive any money from this sale?”

Premier Smith insisted that he is still not in a position to answer the question.

Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
“…Location of the planes is still being researched,” Premier Smith stated.

In October, government had given BVI Airways a formal notification of breach, regarding the controversial agreement to provide direct flights between the BVI and Miami.

Government injected $7.2M into the airline’s startup operations. Many persons have called for the government to take back the money from the cash-strapped airline and put towards recovery efforts.
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