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.