COMMENTARY: Antigua And Barbuda Airways – What A Mess!


by    Audley Phillip

Antigua And Barbuda Airways – What A Mess!

The much touted Antigua Airways has come and gone, have started and stopped and still no one knows exactly what the agreement was  between its Marvelous Mike investor and the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

When on November 1st the first inaugural flight landed at V.C Bird International airport, it was heralded as the start of many such flights  between Antigua and Barbuda and  the African continent.   After 12 hours of flying nonstop, the flight landed at V.C Bird with just about 100 passengers.

Among the passengers  were The CEO of Euro Atlantic Airways, Eugenio Fernandez, Founding President of the Nigeria Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce, Emmanuel Samson, and Managing Director of Antigua Airways, Opeyemi Olorunfemi. Marvelous Mike was not on the flight but his two children made the trip.

The Nigerian dignitaries were greeted by top government officials to include Tourism Minister Max Fernandez, Foreign Affairs Minister Chet Greene, Ambassador Johan Hesse, and CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin James.

Other dignitaries included the President of the Nigerian Association in Antigua and Barbuda, Adolf Iwuji, and President of the Ghanaian Association in Antigua and Barbuda Lebrecht Hesse, among others.

The aircraft was greeted with a water cannon salute and brief remarks were shared by both Minister Fernandez and Minister Greene.

Both men pointed out that it was a monumental occasion for Antigua and Barbuda as years of promises to develop a greater trade link with the motherland have taken a major step with this new airline.

Fast forward 3 months later and Antigua Airways is no more and just like that no one is saying anything.    We wake up one morning and we hear that the Attorney General would recommend to Cabinet the cessation of any further flights.  Then the following vague note from Cabinet  – “The Cabinet took a decision to halt temporarily flights emanating from West Africa.  The rules governing member countries of ECCAA are very strict and Antigua Airways had not complied fully with them.”

We have to start to put pressure on the Government  in order to ensure that accountability takes place in this twin island state.  The results of the last elections showed that we can no longer harbour a one sided government that dictates everything without having to account to the people.

The people of Antigua and Barbuda deserve to know the exact terms of the agreement that was entered into  between Marvelous Mike and the Government.  How many passports, if any,  were issued,  plus any additional incentives given

This entire ordeal makes us look like a laughing stock.  The new Parliament must demand a thorough investigation into this as a matter of urgency.

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  1. The pressure is on. The International forces are acting swiftly to put an end to the human trafficking.
    It is not so much about the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA). The flights were coming all along without the ECCAA approval. The main reason why the halt is taking place is because the International agents ( USA and Europe) are making the government know exactly how they feel about this vexing issue.

    The regime is crumbling. Its evil ways are haunting it. The goose is coming home for the slaughter.

    The tap dag is barking and biting himself all over.
    Time for the serious members of the ABLP is stand up like real people and spank the tap dag. But oh…unfortunately there are no real people in the ABLP. They are all hypocrites and cowards.

    It will take the international community to bring an end to the mess in Antigua because the people are too corrupt to bring about the change.

    We need answers for the questions relating to the “Antigua Airways.
    The government MUST tell the truth about this saga. The prime minister and minister of aviation must be demanded to come to the public and take questions from serious media personnel. We need international media to do a press conference with the government. Sad to say the local media is a cartoon media so that cannot work.

    The people are corrupt just like its government. All will come crashing down. No evil will prosper forever.
    Judgement tie is at hand. Antiguans …wake up !

    Your corruption will be your destruction.

  2. I smelt a big dutty rat 🐀 from the outset. Not only because of the sudden immediacy of the the collaboration with Nigeria, but also how this was pronounced and produced just before the General Election.

    The ABLP red flags 🚩 🚩 🚩 were definitely on show, but Antiguans on the whole decided to ignore them.

    Again, we deserve everything that’s coming to us down the line. Simple really!


  3. Writer there is a flaw in your writeup caused by an error in the cabinet minutes. The reference to ECCAA was not related to AA, but another airline which landed here without notice brining persons from Africa. Minister of Info explained this during the cabinet press conference

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