Above: the British Virgin Islands
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Regional air carrier BVI Airways has been sold to an undisclosed New York-based merchant bank, the company announced Thursday.
The company has also named longtime aviation executive Jerry Willoughby its president and CEO, joining BVI Airways co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Luke Smith on the carrier’s executive leadership team.
“We are extremely fortunate to source in one transaction the type of growth capital and executive-level aviation industry talent that can take BVI Airways to the forefront of Caribbean carriers in short order,” Smith said in a release. “With our capital base and management infrastructure fortified, we now have the tools and resources to expand and reward the traveling public in the Eastern Caribbean with an elevated level of air service, professionalism, and reliability.”
Willoughby was a longtime international Check Captain at Delta Airlines; he had most recently served as an aviation consultant.
The company also announced that it would soon be expanding its fleet, with plans to add a second Jetstream 32 aircraft over the summer. BVI Airways’ existing plane is undergoing a retrofitting programme.
That Jetstream 32 will return to service on April 7.
“New aircraft will also mean new destinations,” Willoughby said. “We’ve got exciting plans to better connect the Eastern Caribbean in the coming months. BVI Airways is about to take off.”
BVI Airways operates regional flights to destinations including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, the Dominican Republic and St Maarten out of its base at the British Virgin Islands’ Terrance B Lettsome International Airport.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.