BVI Airways recently announced it closed on the sale of the airline to a New York-based merchant bank, a move that significantly bolsters the carrier’s capital base in advance of proposed fleet and route expansion throughout the Eastern Caribbean.
Terms of the sale, including the identity of the new ownership group, were not disclosed.
Effective with the sale, longtime aviation industry executive, Jerry Willoughby, has been named president and CEO. He joins BVI Airways co-founder and chief pirating officer (COO), Luke Smith, on the airline’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,” said Smith in a written 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 brings more than 35 years of aviation industry experience to his new leadership position with BVI Airways. His career has bridged both the military and civil aviation sectors with extensive expertise in passenger and cargo operations. Willoughby began his career in the US Air Force, serving a total of 30 years on active and reserve duty.
BVI Airways will expand its fleet in the coming weeks, adding a second Jetstream 32 aircraft during the summer 2014 period. The carrier’s existing Jetstream 32 is currently in the United States undergoing a comprehensive retrofitting program in line with the sale. New turbine engines, an upgraded interior, and a fresh new livery will greet BVI Airways passengers once the aircraft returns to service on April 7.