Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has emphasised the need for a reliable regional airline, telling the Trinidad and Tobago Business Guardian in a recent interview that the Caribbean needs another LIAT.
“LIAT is part of the regional landscape. Now, that does not say LIAT does not have problems or anything like that, but the airline is needed. In fact, for everyone who criticised the regional carrier, what would they pay to have the airline operating once again?” Hilaire told the publication.
Hilaire, whose responsibilities also include investment, told the Trinidad and Tobago newspaper that the Saint Lucia government would support any effort to create regional connectivity.
According to the Saint Lucia Deputy Prime Minister, Caribbean governments must treat regional travel as a strategic imperative.
On Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA), Noorani Azeez, expressed concern over the situation regarding regional air travel.
The Independent Senator acknowledged that regional travel had experienced challenges for some time.
And he lamented that the offerings available were not competitive regionally right now.
“There is not sufficient competition among these carriers, and so for far too long regional commuters have just been sadly at the mercy of the inefficiencies of aircraft carriers,” Azeez stated.