In a statement from Julie Reifer-Jones, LIAT’s CEO, the company confirmed that a meeting has been scheduled in St. Vincent & the Grenadines with the LIAT management team for Wednesday, September 14, 2016.
The CEO stated: “It is correct LIAT has cancelled a number of evening services due to adverse weather conditions and we have, on occasion, requested later than normal arrivals into ET Joshua 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.”
She added: “Our operating schedule is hampered due to the airport’s official closing time of 9: 00 p.m. However, LIAT has decided to make some network and scheduling changes to avoid the late arrivals into St. Vincent. I can also confirm that the Chief Commercial Officer, the Director of Flight Operations and I are meeting in St. Vincent with the Government on Wednesday. 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.”
LIATs CCO, Lloyd Carswell, added: “We 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 aircrafts. Five years ago, LIAT operated a schedule with 17 aircrafts.”
The CEO added that LIAT plays a critical role in its service to the region but is constrained by limited financial resources and lack of financial support from many of the territories which it serves. She called for full discussions amongst the Heads of Government in the region on this matter.