The government of the British Virgin Islands said it would begin legal action in the United States to retrieve USD7.2 million that the previous administration had loaned to now-dormant BVI Airways (BVI, Beef Island), Virgin Islands News Online has reported.

The privately owned carrier commenced operations in May 2010 but suspended inter-island flights in late 2014 and made most of its staff redundant in July 2017, stalling operations.

Andrew Fahie, the British overseas territory's premier and chairman of the conservative Virgin Islands Party, told reporters on October 2 that the government had secured lawyers with a view to opening a case in a court in the United States. He has described the loan to the failing carrier as a "scam" involving the previous government of the centre-left National Democratic Party.

The online publication Offshore Alert had already reported on September 30 that the BVI government intended to sue the airline's former US-based legal representative, Lester Hyman, for "suspected self-dealing" regarding a failed venture to operate flights between the islands and Miami Int'l.

In 2017, BVI Airways had planned to run 4x weekly flights from Beef Island to each of Miami and San Juan Luis Muñoz Marin using ARJ-100 equipment and secured the loan to assist in the launch.

"The matter is in court in the United States of America, and out of our legal advice we are told to refrain from commenting. But I would just like to say that there is no secret that the BVI has an interest in retrieving the taxpayers' 7.2 million dollars," Fahie said on October 2.