The management of the troubled Leeward Islands Air Transport (Liat) has been told that the current turbulence being faced by the airline is due to its failure to relocate the base from Antigua & Barbuda to Barbados.
Shareholder governments decided in February 2015 that Barbados would house four of the airline’s new ATR aircraft, becoming the main fleet base, while two planes would remain in Antigua & Barbuda and the other two would be based in Trinidad.
St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves told regional media that, at the time, the decision was the better financial option for Liat.
“The base has not been rescinded, but the management has not carried out the decision,” Gonsalves said.
According to the SVG leader, while he wants to avoid an argument with the shareholder government of Antigua & Barbuda, “it makes commercial sense and better for the delivery of a better service to the passengers if the plan is carried out”.
Gonsalves also criticised the airline for a number of cancelled flights to St Vincent, and said that Liat needed to do better.
Meantime, in a statement, Liat CEO Julie Reifer-Jones said a meeting has been scheduled with Liat’s management team for this coming Wednesday in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
She pointed out that due to adverse weather conditions, Liat has cancelled a number of evening services into SVG’s ET Joshua airport and added that the airline has requested later than normal arrivals there in order to ensure the flight schedule is maintained.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)