ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, Monday said it remains committed to serving the region as it moves to return flights to pre-hurricane levels in affected territories.
In a statement, the airline gave no indication of its financial position, but said despite the major challenges from the recent hurricane season, it continues to provide a vital service in connecting the region.
The airline, which is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said that for 2018, the emphasis will also be on improving its on-time performance.
“We recognised that there was a major need to work towards improving our on-time performance so our passengers could get to their destinations on time,” said chief executive officer, Julie Reifer- Jones.
The airline said it recorded on-time performance of 68 per cent last year, which it described as a “major improvement over the 2016 figure of 49 per cent”.
Reifer- Jones said that performance in January 2018 was 81 per cent, adding “this means that today at LIAT, most flights are on time. LIAT continues to work towards the industry standard of 85 per cent and this is one of our highest priorities.”
The chief executive officer acknowledged that the airline industry is very challenging and from time to time, operational issues especially aircraft technical issues will occur and may result in delays and cancellations.
She said that the complex nature of LIAT’s network presents challenges as aircraft perform several flights daily and any delays can have a knock-on effect in the network.
But she pointed to the island’s safety record and said there was also need for improvement in LIAT’s customer service and communication with passengers when there are delays.
She said that a Customer Service Programme is ongoing across the network and ‘the company will this year be continuously training in all areas of the operations so that passengers can receive a great LIAT experience from our staff.” – CMC