July 2, 2013

Demo participants wowed by comfort of LIAT’s ATR 72-600

There were only two empty seats on board when LIAT’s new ATR 72-600 took to the skies for a 20-minute demonstration flight from the E.T. Joshua airport, over the southern Grenadine island of Canouan and back to St Vincent.{{more}}

The 70-seater ATR 72-600 arrived in St Vincent just after 10:30 a.m. and following a short ceremony on the tarmac, it was time for the demo flight which took off at 11:49 a.m.

As this SEARCHLIGHT reporter entered the aircraft, the scent of genuine leather greeted the nostrils, even before the stewardess had the chance to say “Hello, welcome”.

The aircraft has blue leather seats, blue and yellow carpet with yellow stripes bordering the aisle.

On board Wednesday’s flight were Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Deputy Prime Minister Girlyn Miguel, Minister of Tourism Cecil McKie, Minister of Housing Montgomery Daniel, Minister of Community Development Frederick Stevenson, contestants in the Miss Carival pageant, Chairman of the LIAT Board of Directors, Dr Jean Holder, LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer, Ian Brunton, other management staff of LIAT and members from various media houses here.

Unlike the loud vibrations and deafening noises which emanate from the engines of the Dash 8 aircraft, the ATR 72-600 was much quieter as the pilots prepared for take-off.

The lift-off was smooth and hardly noticeable as the ATR 72-600 departed the E.T. Joshua runway for the skies.

Apart from the little turbulence along the way, the demonstration flight was a success.

During the flight, those onboard were heard making complimentary remarks such as “Wow, these seats are comfortable” and “Oh my, it’s like being on board a US airline.”

The captain flew the aircraft at a low altitude, occasionally tilting from left to right, as it flew over the Grenadines, passing the islands of Bequia, Mustique and Canouan before returning to the E.T. Joshua airport. (AA)