The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Doctor Ralph Gonsalves, has asserted that LIAT’s current inefficiencies are linked to a failure to relocate its base.
A decision was taken since February 2015 for the regional carrier to shift its base from Antigua and Barbuda to Barbados, according to Barbados Today.
The publication quoted Gonsalves, who was on a visit to Barbados, as saying that he wanted to know why the move had not occurred.
“The decision to shift the base has not been rescinded but the management has not carried out the decision and I would like to find out why,” the Vincentian leader said.
Gonsalves’ comments comes on the heels of a September 4 letter issued to LIAT, by St Vincent’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security in Kingstown Godfrey Pompey, who charged that the airline was taking Kingstown for granted and abusing its accommodation.
Officials at regional carrier LIAT say they are operating under “major constraints” to service Caribbean countries in its network.
In a statement confirming a meeting between the carrier’s management team and Vincentian officials on Wednesday in Kingstown to discuss the island’s complaints about LIAT’s poor service, the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer Lloyd Carswell pointed out that LIAT was struggling to provide a significant number of flights daily with less aircraft.
“We currently operate, on average, 80 flights per day, ranging from the north of the Caribbean to the extreme south with just nine aircraft. Five years ago LIAT operated a schedule with 17 aircraft,” he contended.