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Phoenix Airways CEO arrested in Barbados as police carry out investigations

Phoenix Airways was launched in St. Kitts and carried out its first flight from the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport last year. According to reports, Barbados police had been monitoring his operations after learning of its closed operations out of St. Kitts.

Barbados police indicate that they had received numerous calls stemming from a Phoenix Airways promoted October cruise, with a base price of US$854 per person.

Gumbs and his airline came in for heavy criticism in St. Kitts last year for its poor service and lack of proper communications between the airline and passengers. Shortly after starting its service, the airline cancelled flights blaming insufficient passenger loads.

Later in the year, the airline suspended its operations in St. Kitts leaving many passengers without speedy redress. But, it is understood that persons throughout the airline’s network have also experienced problems with its service.

Gumbs, who has roots and connections with Anguilla and Barbados, operated the airline based on timeshare packages that included ownership by shares in the airline. Persons could pre-purchase several flights per year per person and accrue savings. The package account holder would get shares in the company and returns at the end of the year, and each member in that group gets to fly a specified number of times each year.

Its route structure included Aruba, St. Kitts, Barbados and Santo Domingo using a Boeing 737 aircraft with 140 seats.  Smaller aircraft were used for close proximity routes involving Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, BVI and St. Maarten.

Founded in April 2013, the main operations started during the Caribbean Premier League T-20 games played last year. Since that time many local passengers reported to news media of being stranded at airports on its route structure.

The operations were later moved to Barbados.

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