LIAT plans to buy more planes

ANTIGUA OBSERVER:- BRIDGETOWN, Barbados–Regional air carrier Liat announced Thursday that it would increase its fleet of ATR aircraft to meet the growing demands of the destinations it serves.

Currently, Liat has nine aircraft with a tenth scheduled to arrive at the end of October to serve 18 destinations.

Acting Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer Jones admits that, “the limited number of aircraft that we have presents challenges to our ability to serve the region.”

She said the company plans to purchase two additional ATR aircraft, but could not give a date when they will be put in circulation.

In June, LIAT completed is re-fleeting exercise, changing its old Dash 8 fleet to new ATR aircraft.

When the company signed the agreement for the new fleet it expected to save more both in maintenance and fuel costs.

However, Reifer-Jones noted that there “has been improvement in the operations” following the change in the fleet but “there is a lot more that needs to be done to get the efficiency levels at the right point.”

“Although we have reduced the losses we are not yet profitable and our objective is to put LIAT on a profitable footing,” she added.

The acting LIAT CEO has also warned that more route cuts are coming based on the limited number of aircraft that the company now operates.

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