Regional carrier LIAT , is likely to lose millions of dollars following the passage of Hurricane Irma, according to regional media reports.
The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer-Jones made the disclosure on Wednesday during a conference call, it has been reported.
Jones stated that due to the airline’s inability to operate commercial flights to some islands, such as St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands, it is estimated that US$4.4 million dollars could be lost between now and the end of this year.
“Regional travel is very dependent on what’s happening in the economies of the region and of course an horrific event of this sort will impact certain territories and also the region as a whole. And that will impact regional travel and LIAT.”
She added that two years ago it was Dominica and now the network is being impacted by St Maarten and Tortola (BVI).
The LIAT CEO said that based on previous experience it takes some time before recovery takes place.
“For us, St Maarten and Tortola are key destinations in our network. We have done some preliminary assessments and we think that the negative impact on LIAT will be in the region of EC$6 million through to the end of the year,” Reifer-Jones stated.
She said that based on this assessment, the airline’s commercial team was “looking at our flight schedules to determine whether there are some other opportunities for us to reposition aircraft to be able to generate some additional revenue in other areas.”
The LIAT CEO said that overall the airline was forced to cancel 33 flights since Hurricane Irma’s deadly passage.