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Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Camillo Gonsalves, left, and Uday Nayak of Kayan Holdings at Saturday’s signing at Argyle International Airport last Saturday. (Photo: Lance Neverson/Facebook)
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Camillo Gonsalves, left, and Uday Nayak of Kayan Holdings at Saturday’s signing at Argyle International Airport last Saturday. (Photo: Lance Neverson/Facebook)
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Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Camillo Gonsalves says the construction of the commercially important people (CIP) lounge at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) will be beneficial to this country’s tourism product.

Gonsalves was addressing, on Saturday the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between AIA and Kayan Holdings for fixed-base operations (FBO) and a CIP.

He said AIA is the largest infrastructural investment in SVG, and in many ways one of the most important pieces of infrastructure that this government or any government ever constructed in this country.

He added that it is integral to government’s developmental aspirations not only in the field of tourism but in the entire ancillary spill offs.

“Having built the airport and as it exists now, the Prime Minister indicated a priority of this government is to make AIA work and make it work successfully. One of the things we have to do is attract investment and attract people who have experience in the aviation business to help us leverage the advantages and the potential of the AIA.”

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Gonsalves said Uday Nayak of Kayan Holdings has demonstrated in St. Kitts and Nevis that he is a good investor who knows how to make this type of operations work.

Giving an explanation as to what an FBO is, Gonsalves said it is an area where an investor, in this case Nayak, offers aviation services of different types.

“…very important to the success of the airport,” Gonsalves said.

The lounge, he said, is also very important particularly to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the type of tourism product that the country offers.

Gonsalves said SVG has two islands — Mustique and Canouan — inhabited by CIPs, adding that very often people of a certain net worth expect a certain level of service when they land at airports.

He noted that because this type of service was not traditionally offered in SVG, these people found it necessary to stop somewhere else on route to Mustique and Canouan.

“This lounge will provide that experience, will make people feel special from the minute they enter the borders of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and will make their vacation begin from the minute they land.”

The said he knows that as an organization, Kayan Holdings expects the CIP lounge to do excellent business in SVG, given the volumes of wealthy people who already travel to the country and also because Nayak and his team will drive traffic to SVG for their FBO services for private and leased aircraft and for the wealthy people.

He thanked Nayak for his investment and said he expects great things from the FBO and the lounge.

“It will enhance what the airport does and will enhance our aviation and tourism services,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that when he first met Nayak, his two immediate initiatives at that time concerned the FBO and training for people involved in the tourism sector at all levels.

He stated that every passenger passing through AIA is important as they help to pay for staff and operations at the airport.

“I don’t want anybody to feel that we only think, that is what they call it commercially important persons but I just want to reaffirm that everybody who comes through here is commercially important.”

The prime minister said the fact that a private sector entity is prepared to come and invest indicates that there is confidence in AIA and when completed it would add prestige and increase the availability of services to Argyle.

Some US$7 million is expected to be invested in the lounge.


25 replies on “AIA’s ‘Commercially Important People lounge’ expected to boost tourism”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    The claim by Camillo Gonsalves that the construction of the Commercially Important People (CIP) lounge at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) will be beneficial to this country’s tourism product doesn’t make sense:

    1. Many of the millionaire visitors to Canouan and Mustique travel there by yacht, as do their counterparts elsewhere in the Caribbean.

    2. Many such visitors fly directly to Canouan from America using commercial or privatre jets.

    3. Of the rest, most continue to transit by plane from Barbados whose full service and elegant international airport has two executive lounges. A new lounge here without ample duty-free and other shopping would not be much of an attraction for such people.

    4. Flying to Canouan and Mustique via Barbados would always be more convenient because of 12 international flights to Barbados from all over the world every day compared to our meagre twice-a-week annual average from only three North American destinations.

    5. The small cohort of millionaire flyers landing at Argyle often do so by private charter aircraft they have hired for their exclusive use. They land and take off when they want and have no need or interest in spending any additional time at the airport.


    And don’t forget that a “memorandum of understanding” is not a legally binding agreement to do something: it is simply a more formal version of a handshake or a head nod indicating a mutual interest between two parties to possibly peruse some venture some time in the future.

    1. Not knocking your comments which I generally approve but must point out that Jet aircraft are not permitted to land in Mustique, only prop aircraft.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        I never said that jets could land on the tiny Mustique runway. Indeed, although a longer runway could be built, that is not what the millionaire villa owners represented by the Mustique Company want because they crave privacy above all else which is why I’m surprised that they even allow Fantasea Tours to land there.

  2. As I have said before and the article mentioned a service such as this is important and great in that it links travelers of certain stature or criteria between the mainland and the Grenadines together for economic and business gains. Without this service previously being unavailable in the country, these travelers would travel through other outside facilities before reaching their final destination in Grenadines.

    While some of us remain stagnant in our thinking other productive business ppl will be coming up with business ideas and plans to take advantage of the many opportunities available now especially in the vulnerable beginning stages of this infrastructure. Some may even cry foul that the government is letting foreigners take over but given the first opportunity had nothing but criticism and condemnation to over for development. Invest now while the market is low, it can only get better not worse….. At least in the foreseeable future.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      “Invest now while the market is low and go bankrupt later when the same market is still low.”

      1. C. ben-David says:

        Too bad the government doesn’t know how risky the tourism industry is, especially when we are amateurs joining what is now a mature, crowded and highly professional Caribbean industry.

  3. Professor King says:

    I can’t understand people who are so overly critical. Other established International airports went through a development phase when they put infastructure and services in place… Some of these services became productive afterwards, and are the very reasons why these airports are so successful today. AIA is fairly new. Now is the development phase, so it is important for everyone to put hands and deck and make it work.

    Yes we have the Grenadines… But if there is any issue to fail the government for is the flat development of mainland St. Vincent as a tourist destination. We have many waterways, and tropical rainforest areas, but nothing is done to capitalize on them. Consider Dominica… Consider the great strides made to market and develop Dominica as a nature paradise. We can do more to make mainland St. Vincent as a viable tourism product. We the people as well need to change our attitude, and demonstrate love and respect to our natural environment. Our airport will work if we address other critical areas of the economy, especially mainland tourism.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Obviously, you have never spent time in Dominica to compare is many eco-tourism features — navigable rivers, easily reached majestic and swimmable waterfalls, countless hot springs, a huge freshwater lake, and countless well manicured trails traversing and interconnecting the entire island.

      Still, while Dominica sees triple our tourist visitors this is well below the number its neighbours with white sand beach receive.

      Nobody is “overly critical” of the mainland, as you say. We are just realistic about our low mass tourism potential based on our few mainland attractions.

      How can you “put hands on deck and make it work” if there is nothing on the deck to work on?

    2. Professor King when attacking criticism, you should know better than anyone more hangs on the ability to demonstrate intellectual maturity and critical depth – and through them to provide insight.

      C.ben-David has made comments based on an honest report of research that reflects sound practice and well articulated critical thinking. You as a professor should know that and appreciate that unless the truth of these matters are presented to the people, they will believe everything they are told.

      Correct information will never get disseminated if we take your unprofessional stance in trying to quantify the usefulness of our new airport. Our airport will never work even if we address other critical areas of the economy, especially mainland tourism, because their is no major tourism on the mainland, and never will be..

      You mention waterways and compare us to Dominica. There are no navigable waterways in Saint Vincent and the island can never be compared with Dominica. We simply do not have all that they have, some perhaps, but the formula simply is not the same. Dominica like Saint Vincent has mountainous rain forest, gorges, and waterfalls, but more of them. What they have and Saint Vincent lack are hot springs, 365 rivers, and more than plenty of rare birds, animals, and plant life, much of which is being destroyed in Saint Vincent by mal government practices. Burning car and lorry tyres, dredging sand from beaches, dunes and bunds, pumping sewage into the sea, allowing batteries, old engine oil and other chemicals to be deposited in the landfill. And that’s just what the government is doing, many of the people simply follow the leadership and do the same or worse. I have seen motor mechanics tip dirty engine oil in the roadside drains, one I have seen doing that for the last 25 years.

      Rape and gun crime is out of control, we were promised better but have in fact we have got worse, everything is out of control.

      1. Wow! very well said Jolly Green! It makes me happy that you see some of the real problems in SVG. These topics need to be mentioned even more. All the destruction of our environment will not attract tourists.

  4. This article is a joke, right? Remember the Marijuana expert who turned out to be a cook or a chef when his background was investigated.

    I hope proper due diligence has been done on this company and the directors.

    This is a new British company first registered in 2018
    Information from UK Companies House
    The company has two class of shares issued
    A shares 86000 allotted nominal value ₤860 GPB
    B shares 14000 allotted nominal value ₤140 GBP
    Shares allotted 30/05/2018
    Total number of shares 100000 total value ₤1000
    Although the shares are allocated none of them have yet been paid for
    The shares in the Company are now penny shares by the subdivision of one pound shares into 100 penny shares.

    Mr KATHURIA, Anju Satyapal
    Correspondence Address: 5th Floor, One New Change, London

    Full Name: Dr Uday Narain Nayak
    Date of Birth: Feb 1957
    Nationality: British
    Director ID: 911645729

    Dr Uday Narain Nayak holds 4 appointments at 4 active companies, has resigned from 9 companies and held 3 appointments at 3 dissolved companies. He began his first appointment at the age of 49. His longest current appointment spans 6 years, 4 months and 29 days at PROTON AVIATION CAPITAL LTD [a dormant company]

    The combined cash at bank value for all businesses where UDAY holds a current appointment equals £404, a combined total current assets value of £404 with a total current liabilities of £553 and a total current net worth of £-149. Roles associated with Dr Uday Narain Nayak within the recorded businesses include: Director,

    Check out all the companies here

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Thank you for your due diligence, a feature lacking in SVG not because it could not be done but because we are so hard up for investment — any investment from anyone, anywhere, anytime, no strings attached, no background checks , no nothing…. except an empty-ass memorandum of agreement.

  5. I recently wrote this elsewhere “when-financial-dunces-in-the-caribbean-become-ministers-of-finance,” this is simply further evidence of financial duncemanship.

  6. Perhaps Ralph Gonsalves would like to explain the meeting, or the evening he spent with Dr Nayak in Havana July last?

    No mention of this anywhere in this article or any other article on the matter.

    Dr. Uday Nayak
    Follow Follow @UNayak001
    A humorous evening with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves #sancristobalpaladar @ Havana, Cuba

    9:07 PM – 13 Jul 2018 from Cuba

  7. Does this man know Dave Ames?

    Ask Dr Uday Nayak about the Company Veling

    2017 Key Financials VELING AVIATION (UK) LIMITED
    Cash £3,600
    Net Worth £-100,100 A negative Net Worth of over £-100000
    Total Current Assets £156,600
    Total Current Liabilities £303,400 The liabilities exceeds assets £146,800.00

    According to these figures the company was insolvent.

    Companies House says Dr Uday Narain Nayak a Director since 14 Sep 2006 Resigned 24 Jan 2018
    A new director took his place MR DAVID RALPH SAVY [NationalitySeychellois] 29 Jan 2018.

  8. Uday Nayak was awarded a honorary doctorate by the English ‘University of Bolton’ very recently in 2017. As an award and not a degree earned he should not be using the term doctor prefixed before his name. He is quite simply Mr Uday Nayak.

    The University of Bolton in England issues dozens of these honorary doctor degrees every year. From 1988 to 2005 they only awarded only one such honorary degree each year. In 2006 they issued ten. 2007, one. 2008, nine. 2009, ten. 2010, thirty-eight. 2011, twelve. 2012, twelve. 2013, ten. 2014, thirty-six. 2015, sixteen. 2016, ten. 2017, thirty-two.

    An honorary degree, in Latin a degree honoris causa [“for the sake of the honor”] or ad honorem [“to the honor”, is an academic degree for which a university or other degree-awarding institution] has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, a dissertation, and the passing of comprehensive examinations. The degree is most typically a doctorate, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous post-secondary education. An example of identifying a recipient of this award is as follows: Doctorate in Business Administration [Hon. Causa].

    The degree is often conferred as a way of honouring a distinguished visitor’s contributions to a specific field or to society in general.

    It is recommended that such degrees be listed in one’s CV as an award, and not in the education section. With regard to the use of this honorific, the policies of institutions of higher education generally ask that recipients “refrain from adopting the misleading title” Doctor and that a recipient of an honorary doctorate should restrict the use of the title “Dr” before their name to any engagement with the institution of higher education in question and not within the broader community.

    Some universities and colleges have been accused of granting honorary degrees in exchange for large donations. Honorary degree recipients, particularly those who have no prior academic qualifications, have sometimes been criticised if they insist on being called “Doctor” as a result of their award, as the honorific may mislead the general public about their qualifications. It can be similarly misleading when respected individuals are referred to as “Professor”, especially in a university or government context.

  9. One of Mr friends ‘super_shah_gr8’ wrote as a comment in the instagram “Dr saheb aap ka bhi jawab nahi” which is Hindi and translated says “Dr Saheb does not even know you”

    I am sure he is right because with no due diligence Dr Ralph ‘Saheb’Gonsalves certainly does not know Uday Nayak.

    Perhaps, ‘Super Sha’ is also eluding to something and they are all having a good laugh at Gonsalves and ultimately SVG.

    1. All your research is astounding Jolly Green! unbelievable, just unbelievable! We should stay very far away from this investor!

  10. Uday Nayak and all his contacts have now made their accounts private, but they did that too late, I already have taken screen shots of there accounts and comments.

    1. So why do we always and only attract investors with questionable backgrounds? I know your reply without even having to ask: because we have a government whose elected members have highly questionable backgrounds and current behaviour.

      But these kind of people are found all over the Caribbean.

      My answer is — as it has always been — because the areas this and previous governments have chosen to develop, such as tourism and off-shore banking on the mainland, have a questionable (read: legitimate and honest) chance of success and therefore attract mainly sketchy (read: illegitimate and dishonest) investors.

      Still, beggars can’t be choosers so we have to accept whomever gives us a passing glance because this will at least satisfy our guillible electorate.

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