LIAT cuts first two routes

The struggling regional airline LIAT has announced the first two routes that it will cut “as part of its efforts to achieve greater profitability and improve efficiency”.

In a release issued today, the airline said it would stop servicing the United States Virgin Islands beginning March 1, when it ends flights to St Croix. Service to St Thomas will end on June 14, it said.

In addition, LIAT said it would suspend its flight between Guadeloupe and Dominica, and would introduce instead a return service between Antigua and the French-speaking island.

“The decisions made have been driven predominately by the need to enhance the operational stability of the airline and the quality of product for our customers,” Chief Commercial Officer Lloyd Carswell was quoted as saying.

Following a meeting here of the shareholder governments last October, St Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves had announced that the airline would stop serving countries that hurt its bottom line.

Having recorded a net profit of EC$5 million (Bds$3.7 million) up to August 2016, a dramatic EC$14 million (Bds$10.5 million) reversal was expected in the final four months, leaving LIAT with an EC$9.2 million (Bds$6.8 million) loss for the year.

Gonsalves, the chairman of the shareholder governments, had said at the time that the airline would be cutting some “non-performing and non-profitable” routes and that a “a critical review of the schedule has to be fine-tuned. Clearly LIAT needs to do fewer routes, but do what we are doing much better”.

The airline today suggested that the review had been completed and it was ready to weed out the bad routes.

“The suspension comes after the completion of a route review exercise designed to help the carrier establish a reliable schedule that will fly on commercially viable routes going forward to offer the region a more consistent service,” it said in the release.

13 Responses to LIAT cuts first two routes

  1. F13LEX February 8, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Same old same old. Are they blinkered, looking at the bottom line (Profit) instead of inefficiencies in their business. What about the ordinary people who rely on the services due to be cut?

    Reply
  2. JuniorB February 8, 2017 at 9:00 am

    If the government’s of the region would stop giving Liat money with one hand and taking it back with the other through taxes then Liat would stand a chance at being profitable cause more people would fly as it stands now people would rather pay an extra $200 to go Miami than go to a Caribbean country, It’s about volume people, re cheaper the flights the more people will travel.

    Reply
  3. Bajan February 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Its time LIAT share holders consider north American routes. What do we have to loose?

    Reply
  4. Caribbean Man February 8, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    You have to look at all cost. You cant compare a large aircraft with smaller Liat aircraft. Liat has done a great service for all the Caribbean Islands. They have flown routes with little people on some flights and lost money. Therefore if the Caribbean routes were profitable, American Eagle would be still flying those routes and other competitors. RedJet came and avoided those costly routes. Yes Liat has some internal issues and some management issues but still we under appreciate the service it gives to the Caribbean. More countries should have contributed to Liat over all development. It is so easy to critique and say $200 more to go Miami. Unless you know all the facts, cost etc we are all just flying our voices. Appreciate what we have even if it is not the best.

    Reply
  5. jennypenny February 8, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Well said JuniorB

    Reply
  6. BimJim February 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    What puzzles me is how the ECCAA allows LIAT to continue functioning without a permanent CEO – since April last year. In decades past the ECCAA put real pressure on the governmehts to regularise the company structure – every airline is REQUIRED to have certain key people in place, with specific airline knowledge and experience for their position. The Acting CEO is an accountant, witn ZERO airline management experience, and her lack of aviation knowledge may be the real reason why LIAT is STILL struggling and floundering. But don’t listen to me I’m just an aviation professional. As we all know, in the Caribbean it is politicians who know better than anyone else in every area of expertise, and one of them (a MINORITY shareholder) is calling all of the shots at LIAT right now – and from a distance.

    Reply
  7. Tony Waterman February 8, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    “Following a meeting here of the shareholder governments last October, St Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves had announced that the airline would stop serving countries that hurt its bottom line.” If that is the Case, why is St.Lucia NOT being Cut, when they are being served, but their Prime Minister was NOT Shy when he said that not a Penny of their Money will be invested in LIAT, and AS FAR AS I AM AWARE, he has invited CAL to operate in and out of St.Lucia.

    @Bajan!!!! Are you kidding me, can u see them going into JFK in these Flying Crates????

    Reply
  8. Sue Donym February 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    What’s happening from September to December to have their incomes so completely outrun by expenses? Students are travelling to and from school; vendors are stocking and trading; there is the high/winter season that should see some island-hopping by extra-regionals. Caribbean artistes and workers appear to be working regionally. Is it that LIAT is not capitalising on those opportunities? Is it the fares, the quality of the aircraft or onboard service, a question of reliability, inconvenience of schedules? Or is there some activity that occurs at that time of year that’s extremely costly or extravagant? Are they unable to penetrate more rewarding routes? Have they tried to find out or are they somewhat like our Transport Board – business as usual, comfortable in the knowledge that the financial support will come?

    Reply
  9. Karlos Sargeant February 9, 2017 at 9:35 am

    This isn’t Looking Good for Liat at all however Seaborne Airlines & JetBlue Along with other US Carriers Will Routes to the US Virgin Islands Daily even dough Liat exiting the US Virgin Islands in June Passengers will get there with no Difficulties what so ever Liat try there best but I Believe someone will come up with an new Idea for Liat to expand is Flights Along with International Carriers in the upcoming years.

    Reply
  10. Donild Trimp February 9, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Karlos Sargeant, I understand the point you are trying to convey and I smile at the modern day style of presentation.

    Reply
  11. J. Payne February 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    If these places were still colonies I wonder if the foreign powers would have built bridges between these islands????? The United States built the 100+ mile long “Overseas Highway” to connect their mainland Florida area with the outlying areas of Key West.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Highway

    Some talk has been thrown about regarding viability of going a further 90 miles to Cuba. or Dominican Republica/Haiti and later Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

    The British have moved on the concept of connecting major populated areas of the Turks and Caicos Isles together by some bridges. The cost of living in the islands would be vastly cheaper with an Eastern Caribbean highway and I wonder if the British, French, Dutch, and US would actually go so far as to take the challenge.

    Reply
  12. F.A.Rudder February 14, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Bim Jim ! A C.E.O doesn’t have to be specialized in in the specified discipline once he has a Masters in Business Administration his subordinate Management would brief or send a summarised ledger for the general operation of the business

    Reply
  13. F.A.Rudder February 14, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    J Payne thanks for the input and innovative thinking but Eastern Caribbean people have got to do their own innovations and find ways of doing so. The days are gone when we look for some one from a distant land to show us how to do things !

    Reply

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