For over a year now LIAT’s management has been involved in discussions with its employees’ union representatives concerning the need for closure of its City Ticketing Offices (CTOs).
The closure of the CTOs reflects the prevailing trend by airlines throughout the world, including the Caribbean, towards the closure of airline ticketing offices and a shift in distribution and sales to telephone, travel agents and internet-based channels.
The shift to these channels represents a part of the efforts by airlines to reduce their recurrent and operating costs in order to maintain competitiveness in a very competitive airline business.
The closure of the CTOs at this time is a reflection of the need for immediate cost cutting in the face of a continuing difficult regional and international economic situation which has seen significant falloffs in airline revenues at a time of escalating costs.
Every effort is being made by the Company to work with its union partners to facilitate the smoothest possible transition for employees at the LIAT CTOs during this period. This includes implementation of a Company-wide Voluntary Separation and Early Retirement Programme targeted at employees at all levels of the Company, as part of the overall employee rebalancing process.
As has been the case with a number of other companies, both regionally and at the national level, recent actions by LIAT’s management have been dictated by the need for decisive and timely implementation of measures to contain costs in the face of a continuing decline in economic activity within the region. As has been the case to date, the Company remains committed, as far as possible, to dialogue and cooperation with its employee representatives during this difficult period.