ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Wednesday May 13, 2015 – Regional airline LIAT is hitting back at critics of the advisory it issued earlier this week on seasonal high winds affecting flights and baggage, insisting that safety of passengers is its number one priority and the measure was aimed at ensuring safe and reliable operations.
Two days ago, the airline issued a statement indicating that prevailing seasonal high winds continued to affect some flights, particularly in Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and advising customers travelling to and from those countries of the possibility of cancelled flights and delayed baggage.
It said the conditions were likely to continue through until mid-June.
The notice was the subject of comments by a host on radio station Voice of Barbados yesterday and LIAT immediately sought to defend its decision.
Head of Corporate Communications Desmond Brown explained that landing and taking off at certain airports in the region, either at night or during adverse weather conditions, is governed by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA).
“Currently at Dominica’s airport we have been experiencing tailwinds in excess of 15 knots, which is the aircraft limit for night landings/landings in adverse weather and LIAT’s aircraft are not permitted to land there beyond these limits. A similar situation exists in St. Vincent,” he said.
Brown reiterated that at this time of the year the wind conditions in St. Vincent restricted the take-off weight of the aircraft and when that occurred, the company was obliged to restrict the number of bags taken on the aircraft.
He said the airline was therefore appealing to customers for their continued patience and understanding in the face of the situation that is outside its control.