COVID-19: LIAT suspends passenger services

Passengers boarding a LIAT aircraft

The Leeward Island Air Transport reported Friday that it is suspending all passenger services for the next fourteen days due to the impact of COVID-19.

The airline will only operate charters and cargo flights during this period.

Chief Executive Officer of LIAT, Julie Reifer Jones says the imposition of travel bans and border closures had ground regional travel to a halt.

She says the company tried to maintain a limited schedule; however, the present conditions make this impossible.

As a result, the company has implemented a temporary suspension of passenger services from April 4th for a period of 14 days in the first instance.

Reifer Jones says the suspension will be reviewed after the first fourteen days.

The airline has also issued a travel advisory for all affected passengers.

They said passengers booked during the period of suspension will automatically have their bookings cancelled and will receive a full credit.

Additionally, passengers will be able to rebook as soon as the airline resumes services.

Reifer-Jones also acknowledged that this was an extremely challenging time for the airline, its employees and other stakeholders.

She says the airline had implemented several other measures including temporary layoffs and reduced working hours.

In addition, the airline’s Board of Directors is in direct communication with regional governments to secure a support package that would see the company maintain a limited schedule when the situation allows.

LIAT said it will continue to review the rapidly changing situation and remains committed to ensuring the region is connected.

LIAT operates in 15 destinations.

Dominica is a shareholder of LIAT with the majority being, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

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  1. Dan Tanner
    April 7, 2020

    Too late, but better than continuing passenger service, I suppose. Many people, especially Dominicans, routinely travelled to the worst virus hot spot, New York City.

  2. D/can to d bone
    April 6, 2020

    But I thought borders were already closed. So even when borders closed you mean Liat was still bringing in passengers? Lighten me me this makes no sense

  3. Just Red
    April 5, 2020

    Suspending service to Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean is the right thing to do because nobody traveling. But you know sometimes I wonder if our election was say next week if LIAT would suspend services to Dominica? I guess they would use the chatter services. In fact I wonder if he would prevent the Seventh Day Adventists from having church yesterday and if he would tell the Sunday worshippers from worshipping today. In fact I wonder if he would even call for state of emergency especially if he saw victory coming his way?

  4. Malatete
    April 5, 2020

    The company was already in a financially precarious state before the corona virus forced them to suspend operations. I hope they can come out of this intact.

    • April 6, 2020

      I know it sounds uncharitable, but I hope they can’t and get sold off. We’ll never have a healthy competitive market for regional transport with a parastatal like LIAT in the way.

  5. lmckoy
    April 5, 2020

    According to the article, “— passengers booked during the period of suspension will automatically have their bookings cancelled and will receive a full credit.” Notice they haven’t said WHEN the credit will be received. My travel agent has been waiting on a refund from Liat for almost TWO YEARS now. According to the agent, the last refund they had from Liat took over a year.

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