LIAT shifts hub to Barbados


Shareholder governments of LIAT have decided that Barbados will be redefined and established as the primary hub for the regional airline.

The decision was made public last week at a press conference after a close to three-hour meeting in Barbados of the shareholder governments, represented by Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart; Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerritt and Minister of Public Utilities, Civil Aviation and Transportation of Antigua, Robin Yearwood.

Speaking to the media, Chief Executive Officer of LIAT, David Evans said there are changing market dynamics which the company can take advantage of and increase its revenue position, and Barbados is well placed to assist in this regard.

“We see on the revenue side some interesting developments in the market with a growth of opportunity, particularly right here in Barbados with added frequencies from long haul international carriers coming in; we see a shift in the pattern of tourism moving away from a single island destination, to a multi-island destination; and we see strong economic growth in the South of the region and I refer to countries such as Guyana,” he said.

To that end, he said that LIAT recognises the need to adjust “the centre of gravity” of its operations in a more southerly direction, which means, he said, adding more aircrafts to the base in Barbados.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Shareholder Governments and Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves while reiterating that travel in the southern region is on the rise, also noted that significant increases have been recorded in countries like Antigua and Dominica as well.

“A destination like Dominica had an increase in revenue of 10 percent, an increase of passengers of six percent… Ogle Guyana is an important destination, but this is not diminishing the importance of Antigua as an interline point of connection,” he said.

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  1. Jr. Letsom
    February 21, 2015

    PLEASE, just change the name of the airline to Barbados Airways, and stop the aviation politics of LIAT.

  2. Malatete
    February 19, 2015

    There is no doubt that LIAT’s cost base is far too high and makes it uncompetitive.
    For flights from London to Barbados & St. Lucia between 18 Feb.- 20 March, there are today fares available from Virgin Atlantic of £480/rtn. (= U.S.$.741.47), taxes included. This route is served by a wide body Airbus 330, offering full cabin service.
    By comparison I see a LIAT fare of U.S.$.407.83, one way from Port of Spain to Dominica, involving 3 flight changes (at St. Vincent & Barbados), taking almost the same time as the 9 hrs. flight from London to Barbados). The best fare I can currently find for a LIAT return Dominica/St. Juan is U.S.$.531.61.
    Virgin Atlantic is a successful private enterprise whilst govt. owned LIAT is haemorrhaging money like confetti. Perhaps that explains the difference.

  3. Helas!!
    February 18, 2015

    Liat flight planners are mad the way they do things.

    I booked a flight cheap enough a couple months down, but then decided to fly sooner , I checked the listing and it showed there were seats but they were the more expensive seats. I called liat and said can I upgrade to this more expensive flight and pay the differrence?I was told, if you do you will lose your money plus there were penalties. I asked did you prefer to go with empty seats rather ? answer was yes that is the policy.

  4. KoKo Naughts
    February 18, 2015

    Nothing LIAT does favors Dominicans!! They could move the hub to Marie Gallant and it will still take us for ever to get home from the US, already we don’t have much vacation. Just imagine my little fren tell me she going down for de summer, getting her bikini wax and ting for her swimwear well excited already. I say in my mind, girl under LIAT all your pwell having time grow back before you reach Dominica, I just doh tell her nothing. SMH

    • February 18, 2015

      Lol what a thing to tell king

    • February 19, 2015

      To KoKo Naughts .

      Hello and good evening my people. We all know traveling to Dominica from NYC is like having a second job. Now I agree with the first part of your post but in the second part am wandering what kind of friend are you. Please be professional
      And respectful to your female friend.

      • BEB
        February 20, 2015

        She did not tell the friend what u believed, she was thinking of it in her mind

  5. JustSoYouKnow
    February 18, 2015

    This makes more sense than Antigua because Barbados, with respect to Liat’s destinations is practically in the center. Thought they would have done that sooner.

    • budman
      February 18, 2015

      clearly you have never seen a map of the Caribbean if you say that Barbados is in the centre of Liat’s destinations.

      • Sookooyan Domniq
        February 19, 2015

        Stop criticizing without checking and stop gleefully displaying your ignorance. Barbados to Guyana is roughly 560 miles and Barbados to Puerto Rico is roughly 450 miles. That puts it pretty much in the center. Actually St. Vincent would be more or less in the center being 480 miles from each of the extremities of LIAT’s route. Friggin’ Dominicans again, always yapping, talking crap and playing intelligent.

      • February 19, 2015

        The best solution for the long term is to have an international Airport in Dominica

  6. Erasmus B . Black
    February 18, 2015

    This is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  7. CC
    February 18, 2015

    I hope LIAT can reestablish the night flight to Da that they discontinued.

    • Dominic
      February 18, 2015

      liat was not making no money in that night flight to dominica I came from Barbados on a night flight and it was five of us that was on that flight and it went back emty that is y they stop the night flight to dominica they not making money

  8. February 18, 2015

    Nonsense F. Telemaque. Which international airline have direct flights from one island to the next? All flights originate from the mainland to a particular island. That’s where Lait comes in. Stop fooling the people and get your facts right before running your mouth.

    • Educator
      February 18, 2015

      Not true. BA had (has??) flights from London to St. Lucia and onward to Trinidad and then back to London.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      February 18, 2015

      Well Mr./Miss Justice, I did not identify any International Airline which island hop in the Caribbean, nevertheless, there are direct international flights to St. Kitts, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad, Tobago, although Tobago is a dependency of Trinidad: St. Lucia, Antigua, Guyana, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and later this year I am sure there will be schedule flights to St. Vincent. Just in case you are puzzled, let me remained you When Dominica’s Paul Southwell born in Castle Bruce was Primer of St. Kitts, he engineered the development of an International Airport, they say no International flights would ever land in St.Kits, nevertheless, the late Erick Williams of Trinidad ensured International flights going to Trinidad, and originating in Trinidad touch down in St. Kitts on weekly schedules. You remember the days when you all used to talk about Caribbean Sun-Jet? Tell me why one who can get direct flight to the islands…

      • Francisco Telemaque
        February 18, 2015

        Tell me why one who can get direct flight to the islands mentioned will put themselves out to go to Barbados to catch a flight to Dominica, on LIAT, unless they have some urgency in your Dominica. Our people will indulge in all sort of crap simply to justify our lack of progress, and backwardness. There is an International Airport in San Francisco, and another in Oakland less than an hour driving.

        Jets have taken off at San Francisco International, and land at Oakland international Airport, the duration of the flight was five (5) minutes! That made news headlines in the United States, flying on a jet between islands in the Caribbean takes more than five minuets. Some will argue well, too much fuel to land with. I will contradict that by saying they only need enough to island hop, and the stop in the Caribbean they refuel for the Atlantic crossing, we make things difficult when we do not know!

  9. February 18, 2015

    I’m not sure how this will help North American travellers reach Dominica easily. What we really need is a runway (or an airport) that can handle nonstop flights from South Florida, and an airline willing to offer seats on those flights at a reasonable fare.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      February 18, 2015

      Steve, call it as it is, call a spade, a spade! I know that you are on Skerrit side, yea boy, you are a big labor man eh! But at least you have the intelligence to recognized that we need an International Airport; even if the Runway is lengthen and we have more arrival, and departures you need to have enough space to accommodate larger number of passengers, So you would be much more helpful to Dominica, by telling Skerrit an International Airport is long over due in the country. Nothing less will do.

      On the other hand Skerrit …….., he would be rather die simply to prove to himself that what Gonzales ordered him to do at Melville Hall is appropriate, Dominica will never get an International Airport as long as Skerrit holds power in the country, and the Labor Party controls government resources.

      • lovely dominica
        February 18, 2015

        When Mamo was going to build the international airport what did Eddison James and UWP do again? I forget!

      • February 19, 2015

        I call it like I see it, Francisco. I’m on the side of the truth, at least as I see it. Unfortunately, in a highly partisan environment, that means everyone thinks you’re on the other side, because nowadays we seem to expect 100% agreement as a test of loyalty. But believe it or not, you don’t have to be a Labourite to believe that Skerrit isn’t the Antichrist, and you don’t have to have the tou pa tou song on replay to believe that UWP people say things worth hearing.

    • February 18, 2015

      Where can you get a flight none stop from Florida to Dominica I fily to New Jersey to a funeral from Tortola to San juan from San juan to fort luadedale and to New Jersey on AA so why didn’t they fly straight to New Jersey that was in January

    • anonymous2
      February 18, 2015

      They stopped those flights from Florida to the Caribbean a few years ago. They want everyone routed through Puerto Rico, the IRS state.

  10. Malatete
    February 18, 2015

    What the article does not say is that one of the burdens LIAT is stuck with is its fleet of old Dash-8’s, most of which are leased and for which there are no ready alternative customers.
    This costs the company some U.S.$.11 million per year for aircraft that are practically grounded. Very odd than that LIAT’s principal lessor, Aerocentury Corp. of, California announced a re-lease deal with LIAT on 27 Jan. for two of these planes, for a further period of three years,( CN404 – reg. V2-LGG and CN 325 – reg. V2-LG!). Whoever signed this deal is guilty of gross incompetence or perhaps has a an interested in LIAT keeping forking out leasing fees in excess of U.S.$.1 million per aircraft/yr. One would have thought that the last thing LIAT needs under the circumstances is an extension of leases on unproductive planes!

  11. Papa Dom
    February 18, 2015

    Hahaha, skerritt boy you see how important an international airport is? That is not to say that Liat would have shifted to Dominica because SVD is building a new airport but at least if we had a bigger better airport at least we would stand a chance of being considered. So how did you feel being in a meeting where Dominica is not even mentioned? After all Dominica is the most central island and a move like that would have brought tremendous opportunities. And before you start talking about the int’l flights which Bdos enjoy, think about this. Having the hub in Dominica could have prompted the airlines to fly to s new destination and the same agument about multi destination would suit us perfectly.

    • Educator
      February 18, 2015

      Did you not read the article? Antigua has a lot more flights than what we would ever hope for, even if we had an international airport.

      They are moving to a place where there is more airlift. Dominica would not have been considered in a case like this.

      If you want to make a point, make it an intelligent one.

      • Papa Dom
        February 18, 2015

        won’t even waste time responding to you, think what you want most intelligent.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      February 19, 2015

      Papa Dom, you made your point. Dominica is so central, that during World War II our island was considered strategic to the United States, and the allies which took Hitler and the Nazi out of circulation in 1944. Even today we know Dominica is a better choice for a hub for International Flights. Example, we know one can take off from even Melville Airport, head direct North East straight into Heathrow in London.

      Remember Ralph Gonzalez, Skerrit advisor when to Antigua to plot with the Birds, to not allow Dominica to build an International Airport, because if we do; Antigua would loose the privilege of being the HUB, and Dominica would become the HUB. Who want to say I lie go ahead, but we have recording with Gonzalez voice plotting with the Birds against our country. That is why he told Skerrit we do not need an International Airport, then he flew home and there she goes, before the end of the year. it will become history in St. Vincent, while Charles-Douglas International has yet…

    • Sookooyan Domniq
      February 19, 2015

      Dominica is not the most central in LIAT’s route. St. Vincent is.

  12. Francisco Telemaque
    February 18, 2015

    Been there done that before!

    What difference moving LIAT from Antigua to Barbados is going to make, they have done that twice in the past in the more than fifty years LIAT is in operation, operating at lost, LIAT is a nonprofit entity for its entire existence. Any government who invested in LAIT is not wise!

    The idea that tourist will specifically fly to Barbados, in order to go island hopping is rubbish, total nonsense! There are International Airports on all of the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, and in Guyana, in South America, if someone can get unto an international flight directly to the Caribbean, why would they want to fly to Barbados, and get on LIAT,when perhaps International flights can leave Guyana, and touch down on every island with a final stop in Antigua or St. Kitts, and take off to any place in Europe or North America. LIAT is a fail airline, and no matter how much money is wasted in its operation, it will never become a profitable entity. Some may say Jets…

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