ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday October 18, 2013, CMC – The regional airline, LIAT, Wednesday marked the 57th anniversary of its establishment promising the regional travelling public that it would improve the level of service by year end.
“At the new LIAT, we are working to build an airline which places the customer, our loyal passengers, at the center of our focus,” said acting chief executive officer, Julie Reifer-Jones.
“Today marks another significant milestone for LIAT – 57 years of continuous service to the peoples and countries of the region. We can also proudly say that these have been 57 years of safely serving the Caribbean,” she said noting that for many destinations LIAT remains the major carrier.
“LIAT continues to contribute to the economic and social development of our region, providing important linkages for inter-regional travel as well as for connections to international, particularly trans-Atlantic, travel.”
But the airline which flies to 21 destinations daily has promised to “serve our region better and in more efficient ways” following widespread criticisms of its operations in recent months that even led to calls for the resignation of the board of directors.
The airline, which is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is now engaged in a multi-million dollar re-fleeting exercise and Reifer-Jones urged the travelling public to be patent and support the airline.
“This change of fleet is a major investment for the company with a cost of US $107 million,” she said, adding that “our passengers are already experiencing the comfort of our new ATR 72s.
“By the end of this year, we will have six new aircraft and this should improve our operational performance considerably,” she said, noting that “by the end of next year we expect to have a completely new fleet.
In addition, we are actively working to improve on-time-performance and our customer service,” she said of the airline that began operations with a single Piper Apache, 57 years ago.