ST. JOHN’S Antigua, Tuesday September 9, 2014, CMC – The Antigua-based regional airline, LIAT, Tuesday announced the launch of its inaugural service to the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country, Haiti as part of a major initiative to restructure its commercial activities to improve the performance of the cash-strapped airline.
LIAT said effective December 5, this year, it will launch services to Port au Prince every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and that “the new route will meet customer demand and provide connections for customers to travel within the Caribbean to and from this growing market”.
It said the new routes is part of the initiative to change its schedule periods from the three seasonal schedules currently produced to a standard IATA schedule, which covers two seasons.
LIAT said the new winter schedule will come into effect on October 26 and run until 28 March 28, next year.
“By maintaining the schedule for a longer period, it allows our customers to plan further ahead, as the routes and times of services are known,” the airline said, adding that whilst focusing on the regional market, attention has also been given to customers wishing to connect with international services to the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.
LIAT said the new schedule has been designed to allow customers to connect with other carriers, such as British Airways, Virgin and Air France.
“Establishing this base allows LIAT to start building alliances with other carriers and to strengthen its presence in those markets. The winter schedule includes the launch of a new destination as well as enhanced services and increased frequencies on a number of routes,” said the airline, whose shareholder governments are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
LIAT also said that with the new service to Haiti, Dominica will receive eight additional flights per week, as well as a new direct service every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday between Antigua and Dominica.
It said flights from San Juan to Dominica will operate with a nonstop service one way and via Antigua on the return to Dominica. The San Juan flight arrives into Antigua at 1610 to allow connections with international services to Europe.
LIAT also said that effective October 30, it will operate three additional services per week to Ogle in Guyana, bringing the total number of services to 10 weekly.
Guadeloupe will connect with Antigua and Dominica and timings of the service have been re-phased to allow two-way connections with international services to and from France, for all three weekly flights.
Anguilla will operate to and from Antigua as a point-to-point service on an ATR 72 offering almost twice the capacity to the market.
The LI 755/756 service between Barbados and St Vincent will also operate as point to point and will utilise an ATR 72 rather than an ATR 42, allowing for greater customer uplift between the two cities.
“We are pleased to be able to restructure the schedule to bring the airline in line with all major carriers. By publishing a schedule twice a year, we are able to offer our customers greater consistency, enabling them to plan their flights further ahead,” said recently appointed chief executive officer, David Evans.