Press Release

Premier's Office
BVI Tourist Board
Topics: 
Tourism, Youth
Release Date:
Wednesday, 1 September 2021 - 9:21pm

The Virgin Islands today welcomed 19-year-old pilot Zara Rutherford to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport as she continues her mission to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world.

Ms. Rutherford will be overnighting in the Virgin Islands. She departed Belgium on August 18 this year and has since flown throughout the United Kingdom, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the United States and is now headed to the Caribbean.

Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Sharie B. de Castro welcomed the young pilot and presented her with a gift from the BVI Tourist Board.

Honourable de Castro said, “On behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands, I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming a brave, independent and awe-inspiring young woman to our shores.”

“I believe that Zara is as an example to young people across the Virgin Islands,” Honourable de Castro said, adding, “Her journey is proof that no dream is too grand or unreachable. If you can imagine it, it’s possible. Young girls can pattern this bold move as an example of not being limited to stereotypical gender roles but rather take charge and pursue their own passions.  Zara’s goal in flying around the world is to make history but most importantly to close the gender gap in aviation.”

The Junior Minister further added that in making the Virgin Islands a stop on her journey, Zara has once again proven that the Virgin Islands is a destination of choice for travelers. 

“The people and Government of the Virgin Islands are excited and pleased that today Zara gets to experience BVILOVE,” she said.

Ms. Rutherford said she was briefly in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos before landing in the Virgin Islands. She said she chose to stop in the Virgin Islands during her journey because of the beauty of the islands.

“I think it is such a beautiful destination. I really wanted to stop somewhere in the Caribbean islands, and the BVI just stood out,” she explained.

Ms. Rutherford says that her next stop is Colombia. For more information on her journey, persons can visit her website flyzolo.com.

 

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Notes to the Editor:

Photos included

Photo 1 of 4: 19-year-old pilot Zara Rutherford at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport

Photo 2 of 4: (L-R) Director of Tourist Board Clive McCoy, Honourable Sharie B. DeCastro, pilot Zara Rutherford and Lynette Harrigan of BVI Tourist Board

Photo 3 of 4: 19-year-old pilot Zara Rutherford and Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Sharie B. DeCastro

Photo 3 of 4: Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Sharie B. de Castro presents Zara Rutherford with a gift from the BVI Tourist Board.

Author

Nia Douglas

Information Officer I
Department of Information and Public Relations
Tel: 468 2742
Email: ndouglas@gov.vg