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Writer See New Airlines in St. Croix


Dear Source,
I would like to remind the readership of my past efforts to bring two small airlines to St. Croix. These two airlines are World Airways, a charter airline offering passenger and cargo airplanes, and a scheduled passenger/cargo carrier Universal Airlines of Guyana.
For many years, World Airways could shelter its income from taxation by previous business losses. Now that World has exhausted its federal tax shelter there are benefits from reincorporating here. This is an excellent example of a company that could benefit from the new re-domiciling legislation.
Establishing administrative functions here, like fuel trading in St. Croix, would enable them to qualify for Economic Development Authority help. They already have a heavily Hispanic executive staff and a leveraged management buy out with local involvement could result in a minority-controlled airline.
Universal Airlines of Guyana has offered to establish regular weekly service from either New York City and/or Miami if St. Croix can make a commitment to filling 80 to 100 seats per plane. They have said that it would enable them to refuel planes currently flying over the Virgin Islands to Georgetown.
A St. Croix stop would also benefit their airline and Guyana by enabling them to fly Guyana's gold to the V. I. jewelry industry and their crops to the Company Street produce market. Guyanese coming into St. Croix for a week could fill the seats roundtrip on the southern leg. It would be easier than the World Airways deal because it does not require equity investment.
In neither case however has there been even the slightest bit of support from either the local government or the business community.
Richard Bond
St. Croix

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