Government defends decision to allow Antigua Airways to operate Flights to West Africa


The Antigua and Barbuda government is defending the decision to allow for a Antigua Airways to operate flights from West Africa directly to the Caribbean island saying the investors will be engaged in a wet lease “which means all that is required is to have the financial resources to lease not only the plane but all of the supporting personnel.”

Antigua Airways is to begin operations next month and a formal agreement was signed between the government and Nigerian publishing and printing firm, Marvelous Mike Press Limited, last month.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Gaston Browne told legislators he is confident that the new airline will get a handling company to assist them and that they have been getting technical expertise from LIAT based in St. John’s.

“It is a wet lease…it will start as charter service,” Browne said, adding that his administration “has not made any money available to Antigua Airways.

“What we did do is to list it as a CIP (Citizen by Investment Program) project and one in which we have allocated up to ten CIP files and if and when they are subscribed then we will get I believe about 20 percent of the shares”.

Under the CIP program, Antigua and Barbuda provides citizenship to foreign investors who make a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the island. The CIP or CBI also exists in other Caribbean countries.

“My understanding is that the service will start as a charter service, they are also trying to have a sustaining relationship with LIAT 2020 when we would have operationalized LIAT 2020 and we have been told so far that the arrangements to lease the plane and to start operating are on target,” Browne said.

A Cabinet statement last month had indicated “the firm is hoping to collaborate with LIAT, flying passengers north and south of Antigua who have come from West Africa on Antigua Airways.”

Browne told Parliament that the company running the airline is registered to operate in Antigua.

Last month, Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez said the third week in October is the tentative date for the first flight and there may be about three flights per week.

Antigua Airways plans to operate a Boeing 767-300ER in a 16-business and 251- economy seating configuration.

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  1. Why do they have to use the name “Antigua” in the airline name? When this airline goes bust and collapses leaving travelers and debtors stranded, it will look like Antigua involved again in another scandal/fraud/scam. Find another name, man. And by the way, Barbados has Ethiopian Airlines, a very well respected African airline, visiting them from Africa. We have Antigua Airlines owned by MARVELLOUS MIKE PRINTERY visiting us from Africa. Which one looks clownish? What the hell is MARVELLOUS MIKE PRINTERY? Sounds like Magic Mike, the stripper movie.

  2. I listened to the PRIME Ministers response in Parliament and it was chilling because when asked whether Antigua Airlines was registered in Nigeria he side-stepped the question and merely said that it was registered in Antigua.

    The BIG question is this : Why isn’t it registered in Nigeria?

    And what are the implications for this airline being registered in Antigua only.

    Is this airline being used for human trafficking, money laundering etc.
    Remember that Gaston attracts people who are now in jail: Peter Virdee, Saab Moran, Xiao Jianhua.
    Antigua people, this don’t seem transparent.

    • @horace. EXACTLY .

      Just last week weren’t ONDCP telling us all to AVOID MONEY MULE SCAMS as they are CRIMINAL ENTERPRISES?

      Pray tell, what’s the difference with Marvellous Magic Mike’s Antigua Paper Airplane????

      Surely ONDCP & Immigration need to do extensive due diligence on this ‘charade’ BEFORE any legal papers are signed, of any kind.

      Remember, CIP is an open door for plenty undesirables when offered in this manner .

  3. Another failed project before we even get started. Is there a business plan for Antigua Airways? It seems like the PM pulls the information out of his rear end when questioned. If this is how Gaston Browne conducts business with no business plans, sketchy details and no checks and balances it is no wonder there are 26 failed projects. I’m surprised there aren’t more failures. Let’s run this clown out of town.

  4. A charter is a charter…like the one that brought the students from jamaica during lockdown. Specific cohort Specific event Specific voyage

    An airline service connotes a flight schedule!
    Cutie Max Gaston, God will deal wit yinna.
    All who enable you three will burn in hell

  5. …this son of #Mami_Wata and Papa_Elegba CHRISTened #Jumbee_Picknee at life’s crossROAD of SWASTIKA & SQUARE says,

    —-I had a dream and in this dream, The Giant African Snails were booking flights from Antigua to Africa, they said,
    “tings sarl wid Labour, so, dem haffu run to rass fram Antigua, and goh back home, to Africa!”
    Well, at least Antigua Airways will have full flights for the foreseeable future!

  6. I don’t even live in Antigua, and from a far, this sounds and smell fishy as hell. Something really stinks about this, a keep telling you’ll.

  7. As per usual this sounds very sketchy. Like the 20,000 us per month rent from the investor this sounds like another washing machine

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