LIAT CEO says the carrier is not opposed to competition

Brian Challenger

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – Acting Chief Executive Officer of regional airline LIAT Brian Challenger has made it clear that the island-hopping carrier is not opposed to competition.

“We welcome competition. We are quite confident in our ability to continue to provide a service which we think the region requires and we think the competition actually complements what we are doing,” Challenger told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“There are occasions when  you need to  have another  airline  that  you can call  on  to support  you in  your  operations and this has been one of  the challenges  which we have faced  over  the past  three  years. So we welcome the new entrants into the market,” he added.

His comments come in the wake of the recent entry of two new regional airlines in the St. Lucia market.

CARICOM Airways based in Suriname, and the St. Marteen based WINAIR have began operating into St. Lucia with connections to the northern Caribbean.

But Challenger said history has shown that LIAT has been able to survive the challenges that have been placed before it in the past and the commitment of the Caribbean people to LIAT had not changed.

“We are confident that with the type  of  network that we  provide,  the  sort connections  that we  provide we are  in a fairly strong  position to cope and work with  the  competition,” Challenger said.

Asked about possible deeper cooperation between LIAT and Caribbean Airlines of Trinidad, he said that the two sides were in the early stages of discussions.

Challenger said was hoping to get to Port-of-Spain soon to meet with the Minister of Tourism there to explain LIAT’s perspectives, gain his perspectives and see how the two airlines could advance the process.

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  1. taiL
    August 24, 2010

    Brian how can u say such a thing with a straight face? I bet when the mics and the cameras go off u just buss out laughing. You guys don’t give a hoot about the people that use your crappy service, and you know it.!! So doh come here talking about u welcome competition, all u well fraid!

  2. ATC
    August 24, 2010

    @Ryon: did you even think about the high airfares that the impose on the people without any objection by the government.

    sometimes one would have to ask, does the government even care about the people?

  3. Jahyout
    August 24, 2010

    Liat is just bull …and now there is competition i will start traveling again…

  4. ATC
    August 24, 2010

    The CEO of LIAT must tell the truth to the Caribbean people……..the sole and only reason for LIAT’s existence is the it Operates under a Protectionism cover.
    The governments protect Liat and that creates an uneven ground for competition.

    If all the airlines ( including Liat ) were given the same opportunities, the CEO of Liat would be singing a different song……….maybe a song that would be a pleasure to the ears of the Caribbean People……….low airfares………minimum delays……..respectable service on board and on the ground……..convenient connections………….better equipment…………etc….etc……….etc

    Change is continuous, but for LIAT it seems to be something that has avoided them for the past years………….( probably since their inception )

    I think for the loyalty that the People of the region has shown to LIAT over these years, the company should return the favour and upgrade their fleet and give the people the opportunity to travel in a dignified and comfortable way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    that said, i welcome the competition…………..;anything but LIAT

  5. 4u2c
    August 23, 2010

    Liat needs competition but it makes its the bulk of it money from Dominicans and Vincentians. Soon the Vincentians will have there intenational airport so LiAt is gauranteed to make massive loses because Dominicans only travel OUT and when they become legal where-ever they take a trip home to visit their parents grave. Tourist has no time for LIAT. They just stop in B/dos or Antigua no time to spend days waiting on LIAT, vacation is short and they just need to spend the vacation money quick. LIAT makes Dominica look like it handicap and needs serious injection of life saving attention and medication.

  6. K.S.Miller
    August 23, 2010

    Consumers/passengers benefit when there is competition. It was a sad day when LIAT became the sole carrier between the islands. Their prices went up while the quality of service took a nose-dive. LIAT is downright CRAPPY and disrespectful. People are flying LIAT because they have no choice. I avoid LIAT like the plague.

    The only reason why LIAT is still around is because Caribbean governments have been paying subventions and still bailing them out when they are in tight spots!

  7. frequent flyer
    August 23, 2010

    “We are confident that with the type of network that we provide, the sort connections that we provide we are in a fairly strong position to cope and work with the competition,” …. I noticed Mr. Challenger conveniently left out the word “SERVICE”. Dude, we doh like allu!!!!

  8. Ryon
    August 23, 2010

    Thats the kind of service needed, a merge between both Airlines in the caribbean, it would strengthen LIAT and CAL. We don’t need another carrier LIAT has proven to me over the last five months that their service was improved and I commend them for that. My flights were ontime and my bags made it safe and sound.

    • September 20, 2011

      Ryon, this is what we need a merger in the caribbean. Tell me if These Jokers who bash LIAT everyday woud be able to deal with IGNORANT DOMINICANS EVERYDAY? HURRICANE IN THE REGION, THEY BLAME LIAT, THEY CANNOT SEVICE THERE MAN liat is to blame. come on get a grip. There are many wrse airlines out there than liat and all you eat their crap, so shut the H”&é up.

  9. DA man
    August 23, 2010

    LIAT fares are exhorbitant!

  10. August 23, 2010

    that’s just the kind of things that we need

  11. yout
    August 23, 2010

    ” the commitment of the Caribbean people to LIAT had not changed” Mr challenger get a grip of yourself and crappy Liat service.WE HAVE NO CHOICE…..THAT IS WHY WE FLY LIAT……

  12. DA girl
    August 23, 2010

    A deeper cooperation between Caribbean Airlines (formerly BWIA) and LIAT would be great. For those of us who travel from the US, this would be another alternative instead of the often used American Airlines/American Eagle. I’m just sick of traveling throughPuerto Rico. BTW, I just travelled from NY to Trinidad using Caribbean Airlines, the service is excellent.

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