The Puerto Rico Daily Sun (31 August 2010) reports that “it was Earl, not the FAA, which kept [Vieques Air Link] sidelined” on Monday. As I wrote in a previous post [Will Cape Air Nudge Out Vieques Air Link and Air Flamenco?], last week, National Hostosian Council leader Héctor Pesquera, claimed that Vieques Air Link and Flamenco Airways had been shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration due to improper use. According to Wednesday’s PR Daily Sun article, “FAA officials did intervene with Flamenco, cancelling the air carrier’s operational certification but not with VAL.” Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:
VAL is one of the largest regional carriers on the island, flying around 230 passengers a day to Vieques, Culebra and St. Croix. Its main operations are based at Ceiba Airport, but the line has two other hubs, one in Isla Grande and the other at Luis Muñoz Rivera airport.
“There’s no truth to the rumor that the airline has closed operations as Mr. Pesquera said. We continue with our regularly schedule fights without any complications,” airline spokeswoman Jania Torres said during a telephone interview.
Carlos Rodríguez, VAL general manager, expressed concerns about the effect the dissemination of false information could have on his airline. “I’m concerned because it can hurt our business. We have never interrupted service in more than 40 years of operations. As with all airlines, FAA regulators visit us regularly, but never have they threatened us with any action,” Rodríguez explained.
As of its current operations in light of the immediate passing of hurricane Earl, Torres explained that all of the air operations were cancelled Monday morning. Flights are scheduled to resume today [Wednesday]. “We had been ferrying people the last two days helping the government. Once the storm passes, we will resume flying again,” Torres said.
[Many thanks to Robert Rabin for bringing this item to our attention.]
For full article, see http://www.prdailysun.com/news/Vieques-Air-flying-high-despite-shut-down-rumors