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LIAT to meet with Gonsalves next week

Top representatives from regional airline LIAT are to meet with the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday to discuss concerns over the airline’s service to that country.

The talks come on the heels of strong criticism from Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, following the recent cancellation of a number of flights to Kingstown.

Dr Gonsalves was the latest leader of a shareholder government to hit out at their airline’s service; earlier this year Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit also took LIAT to task for its level of service.

“I can also confirm that the Chief Commercial Officer, the Director of Flight Operations and myself are meeting, in St Vincent, with the Government on Wednesday 14th of September.  As St Vincent and the Grenadines is a major shareholder of LIAT, we will meet and seek to resolve these concerns outside of the glare of the media,” CEO Julie Reifer-Jones said in a statement issued this afternoon.



Government’s support for LIAT came under heavy scrutiny.

LIAT has been heavily criticised for poor service to the region.

Reifer-Jones confirmed that the airline had cancelled a number of evening services to St Vincent due to adverse weather conditions, and has, on occasion, requested later than normal arrivals into ET Joshua airport, “in order to ensure the flight schedule is maintained”.

“Cancellations due to adverse weather are done in the interest of safety and with regard for the lives of passengers and crew,” the statement said.

Reifer-Jones added that LIAT’s operating schedule is hampered due to the airport’s official closing time of 9:00 p.m., However, the airline has decided to make some network and scheduling changes to avoid the late arrivals into St Vincent.

Chief Commercial Officer Lloyd Carswell added that they are working with major constraints in order to maintain frequencies and service to the various Caribbean islands in the LIAT route network.

“We are trying to serve as many islands, with as much frequency and at the right times as possible and this presents many challenges. We currently operate, on average, 80 flights per day, ranging from the North of the Caribbean to the extreme South with just 9 aircraft.  Five years ago LIAT operated a schedule with 17 aircraft,” Carswell said.

Reifer-Jones added that the airline is constrained by limited financial resources and lack of financial support from many of the territories which it serves.  She also called for full discussion among regional Heads of Government on the matter.

Source: PR

7 Responses to LIAT to meet with Gonsalves next week

  1. Alex Alleyne September 10, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Its a waste of money, shut it down. Get an air line company from outside the Caribbean to do business here.

  2. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson September 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    If they flying with Liat hope it is not delayed or cancelled.

  3. Diane Elaine Dias
    Diane Elaine Dias September 10, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I think all of the Caribbean leaders need to meet with LIAT at this time to voice their concerns. Not just St.Vincent.

  4. Alex Alleyne September 10, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Problems in the Caribbean. Politicians, Religious leaders, WICB and LIAT. No solutions in sight no time soon.

  5. Tony Webster September 10, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    When was the last time LIAT’s audited annual financial statements, were either (a) laid in Parliament, or (b) it’s fiscal condition (profits, losses, debts) publicly disclosed -even in summary form? Is the Government of Barbados, and our taxpayers, obligated under any contingent liabilities, such as guarantees, or letters of comfort, on behalf of LIAT? If so, are these pari-passu, or joint and several, with other shareholders? Are all its loans, lease-commitments etc, paid up-to-date?

    The simple fact that such information is -apparently-withheld from public view, encourages the suspicion that it must be flying on very flimsy fiscal wings, a LOT of prayers… and I.O.U.’s.

    Perhaps if Mr Leigh Trotman were to take a li’l peek? Heck no, it’s an Antigua registered and domiciled company…and I guess, outside his mandate. Now if LIAT were to relocate here…heck…nope..that wouldn’t work either, because Mr. Trotman does his job very, very, well. Hmmm….

  6. chris hill September 11, 2016 at 7:03 am

    stop blocking other carriers from competing and that will force LIAT to bring up their standard. including the ferry services that have been promised for so long.

  7. Francis September 11, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Simple solution
    Tell the politicians to back off and stop interfering.
    You can’t demand 4 flights a day when your market can only support 2 profitably.
    Stick to politics!!


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