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Airlines Begin To Fill Void Left By LIAT

St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): With LIAT flights grounded for at least another month due to the Coronavirus and plans to liquidate LIAT, the other airlines interested in operating regionally could take to the skies in that capacity as early as this week.

That announcement is coming from CARICOM Chairman, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

While speaking on NBC Radio in SVG Wednesday (July 15), the prime minister noted that One Caribbean on Sunday last began operating its expanded flight operation in the region.

One Caribbean, based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is one of six entities that are looking to fill the gap left by the coming liquidation of the regional entity LIAT 1974.

SVG Air is another of the carriers looking to fill the void.

He also indicated that he spoke with the Chairman of Caribbean Airlines and that in about a week they would be able to do flights to Barbados, St Vincent, and St Lucia.

To that end, Dr. Gonsalves is urging the airlines to sign on to the regional air agreement to facilitate the smooth operation of the process.

“I’ve been encouraging everyone concerned to sign the CARICOM MASA, Multilateral Air Services Agreement, well not just sign but ratify, which would facilitate ease of travel and setting up of business in the respective territories for airlines from CARICOM.”

During a recently held virtual meeting, CARICOM announced that six airlines were interested in filling the void left by the proposed liquidation of LIAT.

One concern coming out of the new move is whether the carriers will service the northern section of the region including St. Kitts and Nevis, and when.

Meanwhile, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime minister spoke to the strained relationship between himself and his counterpart in Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne.

“Whatever misunderstanding that he had I am sure at the end of the conversation they would have been clarified for him if any clarification was needed. We are trying to see if we can get this meeting, I spoke to Prime Minister Mottley, the meeting with the major shareholders, for Gaston to present his plan. Whether you support his plan or not supporting his plan he deserves to be heard in relation to his plan,” Gonsalves said.

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