Pan-Caribbean start-up hopefuls AVA Airways have signed a USD65million strategic partnership agreement with US-based private equity firm Capital Partners, Inc.

Under the terms of the deal, USD20 million will be made available immediately to the start-up to complete certification and launch operations from the Dominican Republic.

According to the Curacao Chronicle, AvA Airways (Dominican Republic) will look to secure its AOC and launch during the first half of 2017. Initial operations will involve a fleet of four A319-100s used to cover the Caribbean at large.

This represents AVA Airways Inc.'s fourth known attempt at launching operations.

The first entailed a Jamaican operation, Ava Transportation (Kingston Norman Manley), which has since been shelved. Then a bid to establish AvA Airways (Curacao) was blocked last year by the Curacaon authorities who refused to grant the airline a Certificate of Economic Authority for unknown reasons. Another subsidiary, AvA Airways (St. Maarten), has also been incorporated although its operational status is currently unknown.