A “new LIAT” could be in the making, even as passengers across the region continue to complain about the inadequacies of InterCaribbean Airways.
On Sunday August 20, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said on the ‘Issue at Hand’ programme on We FM that he is awaiting a document from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in relation a new LIAT.
LIAT 1974 Ltd, which serviced the Caribbean for almost 50 years was shut down in July 2020, then restructured in November 2020, providing a very limited service to the region. Only one or two of its ATR42-600s are operational at present.
This has resulted in travellers within the region having to use other airlines such as InterCaribbean Airlines, which has racked up a poor record in relation to reliability and customer service.
On Saturday night, SEARCHLIGHT highlighted the plight of a newly wed Canadian couple whose flight out of St Vincent with InterCaribbean had been cancelled. The couple is blaming the airline for causing them to miss their connecting flight back to Canada.
The couple, along with three other family members, were left stranded at the Argyle International
Airport (AIA) when they tried to return to Canada on Saturday August 19. The plane on which they were to travel to Barbados reportedly had engine problems, resulting in them missing their connecting flight.
Up to press time on Monday, August 21, the couple was still stranded in St Vincent.
Many other travellers have also told similar stories about InterCaribbean Airways.
On Sunday, Dr Gonsalves said the airline’s service “is absolutely terrible.”
“It’s a terrible service,” he added.
In relation to the new LIAT, Gonsalves said he had spoken recently to officials of the Caribbean Development Bank and made some practical suggestions.
The Prime Minister said he is also having talks with Caribbean Airlines to bring some measure of relief to travellers to and from St Vincent and the Grenadines.