LIAT passengers to pay more to fly
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Thursday August 11, 2011 – Flying on regional carrier LIAT is about to get more expensive as the airline reintroduces a fuel surcharge on all tickets from next Monday.
The extra cost will be based on mileage. Passengers will be charged US$12.50 for a one way trip of up to 150 miles; US$17.50 for a one way trip of between 151 to 300 miles; and US$20 for a one way trip above 300 miles.
The Antigua-based airline has blamed high fuel prices for the decision.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly. People and businesses throughout the Caribbean and indeed the world have felt the impact of rising fuel prices and LIAT is no exception,” said Corporate Communications Manager Desmond Brown in announcing the decision.
“The fuel cost forms a significant part of LIAT’s operational costs. We held off as long as economically possible but the company can no longer continue to absorb these increased costs.”
Brown explained that over the past several months, jet fuel prices have been spiralling upward, increasing to US$131 per barrel from US$97 per barrel in late 2010, a jump of 26 percent.
He pointed out that in recent times, all airlines worldwide have either implemented fuel surcharges or have increased their base fares.
“It should be noted that LIAT’s base fares have not increased since 2007,” Brown said, adding that “between 2007 and present, LIAT had faced increases in many critical operating costs including aircraft engines, personnel costs, spare parts, ground handling contracts, airport fees and charges.”
The Corporate Communications Manager said that LIAT remains cognizant of the needs of its customers and has developed programmes such as “Just Go Fares” where passengers can obtain specials which are available online at www.liat.com.
In addition, Brown said that LIAT routinely has special promotions which are advertised throughout its network.