Tourism and Civil Aviation Sectors in the region are making significant moves to ensure there is alternative transport in the face of the possible demise of regional airline LIAT, which has served the region for more than 40 years.
LIAT, which has for years experienced financial and other challenges, was hard hit by Covid-19, which forced countries in the region to shut their borders.
During a recent interview, Prime Minister, Dr Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell said the regional Tourism and Civil Aviation sectors are “deep in discussion with Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to take up some of the slack. They have indicated they have additional aircraft now, so expect to see some serious movement with Caribbean Airlines.”
Grenada’s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation says from Friday, 24 July, Caribbean Airlines will fly between Grenada and Barbados, with connections to St Lucia and Dominica. Some flights will also go via St Vincent into Barbados.
Dr Mitchell also said the Turks and Caicos based interCaribbean Airways is showing tremendous interest in the region.
Following successful discussions, the airline was issued an operating permit by the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation. interCaribbean Airways has indicated that systems are being put in place to commence flights on 1 August 2020.
SVG Air meanwhile, plans to introduce service using a twin otter, between Grenada/St Vincent/Barbados, to provide connections to the larger islands. Both of these regional and domestic services will commence on 22 July 2020. “So, there is a combination of opportunities that will be available to ensure that we do not just replace what LIAT was bringing if it does not return, but to have expanded opportunities,” Dr Mitchell said.
In addition to increased air transport opportunities, Dr Mitchell said Grenada will soon join other regional countries that have reduced taxes on airline tickets to encourage greater intra-regional travel. The Prime Minister has consistently called for the reduction of taxes and other measures that would make it easier for people to travel.
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