St. Vincent Struggling To Certify Strange 747

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Well I’m happy that I’m not the only one who isn’t sure what to make of this…

Several weeks ago I wrote about how a 20+ year old 747-400 touched down in St. Vincent. The plane used to fly for China Airlines, and the plan is now for it to be based in St. Vincent. The airport is apparently making space so that a hangar can be built for the plane.

The plane hasn’t flown since then, but apparently the airport has provided space for a hangar to be built for the plane.

Apparently some foreign investors are behind this, and their plan is to start flying the 747 nonstop between St. Vincent and Dubai, which is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard — it makes Baltia’s business model make sense, by comparison (yes, even that time they modified their business plan to start service BALtimore, Trenton, Islip, and Albany).

The plane has been on the ground for several weeks now, so what’s the latest? Well, apparently the owners of the plane are looking for the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) to register the plane in St. Vincent.

Unfortunately that’s causing a problem, because the ECCAA doesn’t really know how to do that. The ECCAA has oversight of six air operator’s certificates (AOCs), 14 airports, and 41 aircraft, but none of those are large commercial jets.

The flight operations inspector for the ECCAA has confirmed that the aircraft is “physically in Saint Vincent, presently being de-registered and they have applied to put it on the SVG register.”

However, since the authority has never registered a 747 before, they’re cautious about doing so. He says that the ECCAA is “discussing the whole plan with the FAA,” since they initially certified the plane type.

The reason they’re being so cautious here is interesting. 21 years ago the predecessor to the ECCAA allegedly certified a DC-10 for a company called Skyjet. The aircraft ended up being based in Belgium, even though it was registered in Antigua and Barbuda. The FAA took issue with this, and this caused the FAA to take away their Category 1 rating, which is a big deal.

I can’t wait to see how this whole St. Vincent 747 situation unfolds… will the plane eventually just be flown somewhere else, or will it just park there until it decomposes? Because there’s no way they’re serious… right?

(Tip of the hat to Brian G)

  1. I think this is a brilliant idea. You don’t know how many times I have seen people in St. Vincent struggling to find flights to Dubai…I mean like tens of thousands – in one day – and they were forced to make exotic connections. NOW at least the peoples od Dubai won’t have to struggle to find a direct carrier to Dubai

  2. Who gives a sh-t. I’d be more concerned with the Arctic ice cap melting and trillions of gallons of ice water (with ice cubes) flooding the oceans.

  3. I do not find this to be an interesting story at all!

    Quirky things happen in this reality and on this plane of existence here. Expecting everyone to adhere to “western standards” is ummm, anyway. If some Billionaire wants to operate daily 744 flights from the West Indies to Dubai, let them!.

    I suspect the plane is there for another reason…. that in due time people will be like “arrhhhh”

  4. It’s fantastic to see the Ambassador off the Sky’s still treated with such reverie & agast
    in a World that is becoming so regulated it’s truly a wonderful thing that the avarage Joe, can still fly international like & Ambassador

  5. Hey Ben,
    I can really relate to your piece about the mysterious 747. My first trip to St Vincent found me arriving at the very small island airport. During my stay i was told about the new international airport under construction on the eastern side of the island. I was able to visit the site, saw the passenger terminal almost complete along with the runway. Last year I arrived at the newly opened terminal and was pleased to see this island coming to life. Its a special place with amazing beauty and danger. Black sand beaches lay at the feet of this islands active volcano. The 2 hour trail to the top is invigorating and rewarding with an up close look into the culdrune. Lets keep in touch! Thanks

  6. I’m sure a few months into the new service, Norwegian will lease another 787 they can’t afford to compete with the route.
    Not as bad as BA’s LHR – CHS 787 route though. I mean – at least there’s something at the end of each flight. The 744 has St. Vincent and Dubai. Charleston has… a Boeing 787 factory. I answered my own question.

  7. That plane belongs to a Dubai Corporation and should be flagged with their appropriate tail numbers.

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