Barbados reaffirms LIAT support amid REDjet holdup
The government says its support for LIAT is as strong as ever.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday June 20, 2011 – Even as the Barbados government seeks to assist national carrier REDjet in getting into more regional markets, it has reaffirmed its support for LIAT, of which it is the largest shareholder.
Minister of International Transport George Hutson said his Government’s support for LIAT is as strong as ever.
“We are 110 per cent in support of the Caribbean Airline LIAT and the work that it has been doing over the years. I think it is important to recognise that LIAT services not only the larger islands in the Caribbean but it is the principal means of airlift for a lot of small islands…the islands in the Grenadines and so on,” he said.
“I don’t think that there has been any falling off in the support of the Government of Barbados for LIAT. If persons have another impression I would want to suggest that that is a false impression.”
Hutson noted that the Antigua-based airline was in the process of renewing its fleet and that would help improve its efficiency and expand to new markets.
The recommitment to LIAT comes amidst efforts by the International Transport Minister to resolve the issues holding up the entrance of one of airline’s upcoming competitors, REDjet, into the Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago markets.
He was last week involved in talks with his counterparts in those two countries on the matter.
Kingston and Port of Spain have said their aviation authorities both have safety concerns about the Barbados-based airline and when those are resolved the approval process would move forward.
Meantime, Hutson has suggested that REDjet explore new and non-traditional markets.
The airline currently only operates between Barbados and Guyana, pending approval from Jamaica and Trinidad.
REDjet's executives said a few weeks ago that they were also in talks with 13 other countries to start other services. However, they did not reveal those destinations.
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