LIAT looks to expand to USA

Antigua-based regional airline LIAT wants to operate a jet service to Miami and New York.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made this announcement following a recent meeting in Barbados, which was attended by host Prime Minister Freuduel Stuart and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.

Dr. Gonsalves, who is chairman of LIAT’s three shareholder governments, said it is not beyond Liat to go further regionally and to Miami and even New York with a particular type of aircraft and to do it in a manner, which is facilitating of travel and including tourism.

According to a report by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) in Bridgetown, Dr. Gonsalves said “in some newer routes in the Caribbean and Latin America, not currently served by any Caribbean airline, perhaps a jet service, in addition to existing turbo-prop service with Dash-8 aircraft, would be useful.”

The three prime ministers met at the Barbados Hilton where they received two detailed presentations from a fleet planning committee, following, which there was agreement in principle that LIAT should begin plans to roll out a new fleet as soon as possible.

Although LIAT made a substantial loss last year, no reference was made about funding for the new planes.

The 18-aircrat fleet now being operated by LIAT is old and was costing the company some $26 million annually in maintenance.

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