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‘Good progress’ being made with direct US flights initiative

‘Good progress’ being made with direct US flights initiative

A government initiative that will see direct flights from the United States mainland to the BVI is making good progress, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has disclosed.
“We’re engaged in discussion with airlines right now and you should be expecting an update on that very soon from the Minister for Communications and Works and Deputy Premier,” Dr Wheatley told reporters at a press conference recently.

The identity of the prospective airline remains unclear at this time.

The government embarked on the direct flights initiative under the former Andrew Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration.

Fahie previously said the government had been writing to airlines, encouraging and inviting them to conduct direct flights between the Virgin Islands and the US mainland; utilising the current runway length at the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport, even as expansion works continue.

At the time, Fahie said feedback had been positive with all the airlines that had been contacted and even noted that one particular airline was optimistic about starting its service by the end of the third quarter of this year.

A previous attempt at direct flights to the US mainland — involving a group called BVI Airways and taken under the previously governing National Democratic Party (NDP) administration — never came to fruition.

This was despite a $7.2 million investment on the part of the then government led by former Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

That initiative remains under criminal investigation by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) after it was announced more than two years ago by Fahie himself.

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