NO WAY! SVG PM criticises Caribbean Airlines

Gonsalves

Plans by Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to expand its operations in the Eastern Caribbean has evoked sharp criticisms from St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who said this latest move by the Trinidad-based airline would threaten the existence of LIAT.

Speaking to CMC news agency at the end of LIAT’s shareholder’s meeting, Gonsalves said CAL’s ability to use subsidized fuel will assist them to run LIAT out of business a scenario that would be in contravention of CARICOM’s trading agreement.

“If somebody wants to come into this region and take out LIAT from the air and replace it with a monopoly based outside of the shareholders of this sub-region, there is a problem. And bear this in mind, while we have to pay US$102 a barrel right now for aviation fuel, CAL they pay US$50 dollars because they are subsidised by the government of Trinidad and Tobago,” Gonsalves told the news agency.

“The Trinidadians call it a hedge; it is a not a hedge, it is a subsidy. Let’s call the animal by the name what it is. So you want to come into my space with subsidised fuel and take me out of the air? Well that is not permissible and at the end of that, you then decide what price you will charge and which services you will have?”

Gonsalves added: “The rules of CARICOM, the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and the multilateral treaty which was signed way back in 1996 by the heads of government at the time…deal with the issue of fair competition,” he said, adding that the agreements also address issues related to subsidies.

The Vincentian prime minister said he is not against competition for LIAT, but the competition has to operate fairly based on regional standards and agreements.

Gonsalves told CMC he finds it “very strange” that officials from the Trinidad and Tobago government and CAL “could be talking about LIAT as though they own it, that they will come into the Eastern Caribbean and it is only a matter of time that they take over LIAT; [Allen] Stanford thought so too”.

Gonsalves is also disturbed by the fact that CAL has begun test runs without him being informed of such activity as the minister of civil aviation for St Vincent and the Grenadines as well as the prime minister with responsibility for air transportation matters within CARICOM’s quasi Cabinet, he told CMC.

“I did not sign on to the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to be somebody’s colony, or somebody’s metropolitan centre. That’s not the bargain which we made. So I want to put down my marker very clear on this subject,” he said.

He added: “I don’t know where these men and women get these ideas from. They don’t own LIAT, they don’t own St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados; since when they can talk like this?”

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73 Comments

  1. yankee trini
    April 1, 2011

    all i have to say is PAY BACK is a bi*** .The T&T government did warn these other islands that they were making a BIG mistake by stabing T&T in the back when they signed that deal with Chavez,now Trinidad is showing its might in a very technical way and adopted a new behaviour when dealing with its Caribbean neighbours…ask your selves,can you blame them???Another thing is,all those who has a problem with CAL enjoying a gas subsidy or a hedge as we call it in Trini,the Airline and the OIL/GAS belongs to us (T&T) not the Caribbean so we will dam well do as we want with it…….if we feel like giving it (GAS) away cheap to OUR Airline that is OUR bisiness………….

  2. M1384
    February 7, 2011

    Dominica doesn’t have shares in Liat. It doesn’t benefit Dominicans for Liat to remain as the only airline in the Caribbean.

  3. Leader In Air Transport
    February 6, 2011

    LAT has the best business model for a Regional Carrier, Caribbean people good service thinking attitude can be described as:
    1) Give us a free ride
    2) We need a Rebate Ticket
    3) We hungry because LIAT owns a Restaurat(Dominicans favorite because we always hungry)
    4) Bypass all cargo and quickpqk services to send a box on LIAT to families
    5) We want to stay in a Five Star or all inclusive hotels in the region at LIAT expense
    6) Let us ask LIAT for USD 1 Million Dollars for our poblems when you buy a ticket for USD100
    7) Provoke and slap agents at the counters if things dont go your way

    If I wasn’t a frequent traveller on LIAT and other carriers, I would be soo foolish and ignorant to believe everything you guys say. It is then safe to say that Dominicans don’t travel that much. We need to realise that we need to protect our investment by helping LIAT to maximise to serve us better.
    ll other Airlines came and dropped us but, LIAT is here to stay, They have the best safety records in the region which is competitive in the international arena. All All airlines have to abide under their policies to protect them from muchexpence.
    A

    • Cerberus
      February 6, 2011

      ….sounds like your salary depends on LIAT!

      • recon
        February 7, 2011

        Cebrus Sounds like you’re one of the Rebate travellers, caribbean people only bad mouth what belongs to them.

  4. anonymous
    February 6, 2011

    Mr. Gonsalves.. CAL is no Allen Sanford..CAL (formerly BEEWEE), has been serving the region for years they were once major players in LIAT…IF they want to buy LIAT, please sell!!!!!!

  5. AMBA MASSIVE
    February 6, 2011

    That man must be smoking something they don’t sell on the legal market. I am sure 99.9% of the islands would love to see someone come in and give us cheaper flights. Cable & Wireless and liat have done enough wickedness to the people of the caribbean that don’t have another choice. This man needs to look in the mirror…….DID I JUST SAY THAT

  6. Just Another Guy On The Street
    February 6, 2011

    Am a bit lost when I listen to Politicians like Raphl and others. Here he is condemning CAL for one reason, cheaper fuel by the Trinidad government, but if I recall did he not sign the ALBA agreement for the same reason cheaper fuel from Venezuela? And if we are such good comrades of Hugo why not negotiate for cheaper aviation fuel from Venezuela!
    Let CAL come, let them fly and frankly I see nothing Ralph can do about it but to compete!

  7. gigsaw
    February 6, 2011

    Am a vincentian and we also suffer from the poor service of liat,and guest what St vincent, Barbados and Antigua tax dollar is what have liat flying to the 22 destination that it services.Most of those destinations are not profitable to liat but liat still fly to those destination…and you know what CAL will not be so welcoming as liat by serviceing destinations that it will not profit from.So all of you who are bad mouthing my prime minister and liat will soon come to fine that out the hard way.Competition is good but it must be fair,thats the issue Mr Gonsalve is pointing out,but most of you are so take up with liat poor service that you all cant see the true picture.How many of you remember Caribbean star,well caribbean star was liat competition but you see what happen to it,because of predatory pricing it could not maintain it cost so the first thing they did was to cut some of their destination to cut cost.I welcome CAL with open arms but their need to be a level playing field.Am also sick and fed up with liat but tell me which other airline will do what liat does..Mark my word CAL will disapoint most of you….CAL is in for making a profit so if for instance Dominica is not profitable to CAL they will drop you like a bad habbit……and pray by then that liat is still in the sky.For those of you who are saying that St vincent have an international airport it not true we dont but we are constructing one,we have a jet port at canouan a lenght of 6000 feet.Caribbean people we need to continue supporting liat because when all other airline forsake us and cut us out their destination liat was always their even thow their service is poor.

    • Concerned Dominican
      February 7, 2011

      are you saying that because liat hanged around that we must keep them there and accept their poor services? as with any industry competition is good as it raises the standards of living in society.

      gigsaw you need to get your puzzles fixed….

    • CAC
      February 7, 2012

      The problem in the OECS isn’t CAL or LIAT. It is the foolish politicians we elect term after term how just take the baton from the previous govt and run around the track. These idiots do nothing for their economies and people. They just want to grow bananas, etc and believe that that’s all their economies are capable of. What a bunch of losers!! It’s time Caribbean people start demanding better of their elected official. Please elect people who can “Think”. Please elect innovators, creators, and people who want to see your economies move beyond the primitave plantations that the colonialist setup. You deserve better!!

  8. Fly on the Wall
    February 5, 2011

    If that happen i will be so happy..so long Liat has been aviationally abusing the EC countries…its about time..thats long over due…

    after running my mouth..i hope CAL put a routes to dominica

  9. Anonymous
    February 5, 2011

    The Irony of this man talking about “Monopoly” when LIAT is the biggest “Monopoly” in the Caribbean. Who gives a sh*& about the LIAT share holder? It’s every man for himself. More competitions only means higher quality service.

  10. lol
    February 5, 2011

    dominicans are a bunch of wicked pplk plain and simple…..things they get away with at liat they can never geet away with from other airlines..i hope allu will stop ask for favours at liat…go to caribnean airways and ask them for favours…dominicans want everything for free…cal formerly use to compete with liat on the southern routes before and they refused to come to dominica cuz dominicans do not travel…allu want competition and allu not travelling cuz allu brokes..the same thing was said when winair announced they were coming and look they have to close up shop at the end of march cuz with all the cheap fares dominicans still were not travelling to allow them to break even on the dominica route…leave the talking for ppl who actuallly travelling….some of allu is once every 10 years someone gives your guys a trip..

    • Concerned Dominica
      February 7, 2011

      i feel very sorry for you……and i hope you are not a Dominica because your arrogance is astounding…..
      And where did you get that info on winair? they will still be landing in DA watch and see.

  11. dominica in trinidad
    February 5, 2011

    and for more info cal have the planes on order the are like the ones that AA use from san juan from ATR in france so theres no turning back it coming dominica and to ralph cheaper ticket from liat. lets roll

  12. dominica in trinidad
    February 5, 2011

    tell ralph to hold his taill liat has been charging people so much to travle to caribbean island that i rather travel to the us or canada because it is cheaper it about time that liat get some solid competion and let the stroung servive it all over the world once it fair play then let it go on i mean to travle from trinidad to da is $ 400.00 us dollare or 2800.00 tt dollars and to go to canada is 350 us or 2500.00 tt let be real the distance to canada is 10 times that to da so not because ralph is not paying the cost he should let the people of the caribbean sufer thanks caribbean airline and best of luck

    • lol
      February 6, 2011

      lets be honest here ppl casl dosnt have any 400.00 us fare to canada..highly imposible cuz a staff on his or her rebated ticket on liat pays over 200.00 us and they only pay a service charge..for those of u who dont know airline staff would pay about 65us per sector so to fly to canada and back from trinidad would have a base fare of 130.00us when u added tax which is discounted cuz ure on a discounted ticket it works out to about 220.00us….on a full fare ticket just the trinidad and canada taxes would be between 400 to 700 dollars so i dont know where u got ur 400.00usa fare from unless a cal staff had given u one of their rebated tickets.

      • dominica in trinidad
        February 7, 2011

        please dot be a fool go to aa. com i fly to canada last week and the price of my ticket was 347 us dollars from Trinidad so please donot say what you dont know

  13. phaucit
    February 5, 2011

    Liat is all caribean, stick to your roots.

  14. natural dominican
    February 5, 2011

    all i can say is it’s about time…liat have been killing us for too long

  15. Patat
    February 5, 2011

    Mr. Pm something has to give!!!

    How on god’s earth do you expect the government of Trinidad not to act in the best interest of its citizens?

    One such way is to provide and intervention or subsidy on the cost of aviation fuel that is produced on their island. It is a way of coming to terms with their social and civil responsibility to its people and are prepared to go further to allow the rest of the region to benefit as well!!!

    Trinidad has put you and other shareholders of Liat like you on the spot – where is your social responsibility? How on earth are you going to satisfy your desire for profits if you are not prepared to factor all the stakeholders that your service impacts? You as Prime Minister of St. Vincent and as the OECS or Caricom lead minister on Aviation and a shareholder of Liat need to balance all these factors when making decisions on air travel for the citizens of the Region.

    If you want to protect jobs of Liat workers in St. Vincent and the other Islands you have to find a mechanism that allows your cost for an airline ticket to be reduced.

    What is available for you to tinker with? What about landing charges to begin with? What about departure taxes, taxes on aviation fuel, duty free on spare parts?

  16. muscle grip
    February 5, 2011

    That is exactly what we need . Competetion so people could get cheaper tickets. We would even be able to get a direct flight from the US which would cause AA prices to decrease . A ticket to TNT from NY is $ 400 and to Dominica from NY is $900 . Dominica is so much closer. So Tell the St Vincent PM done with his SB . WELCOME CARIBBEAN AIRLINE.

  17. The truth
    February 5, 2011

    I din believe for one minute that liat is incapable of getting better price fuel. Every single airline company practices hedging. Even banks hedge. If Liat has been there for this long and has not hedged then they simply cannot innovate and ensure low costs. Seems the world has moved on from Liat days. I mean in every business there is hedging now. And I believe that it is hedging and not his claims of low fuel. In these days who is going to give low fuel? In fact who even has low fuel to give? Every airline company hedges including air Jamaica, virgin, ba, aa and the rest. Liat should consider hedging and getting competitive to give people value for money n that’s all. And for the idiot who didn’t understand the article and believe the words of a politician, good luck with that.

    My people read and understand hedging, especially if you have plans of having your own business. It will help you incredibly. I believe in no doubt that it’s simple hedging and not just cheap fuel. The whole world is in chaos over fuel

  18. Anonymous
    February 5, 2011

    Now you see y he wanted Caricom airways down? To protect his svg air.

  19. shame
    February 5, 2011

    SVG has five airport plus an international airport Gonsalves, GIVE the other caribbean country a break

  20. lol
    February 5, 2011

    I HOPE WHEN ALLU GET WHAT ALLU PARAY FOR U ALL WONT BE CRYING…REMEMBER CAL IS GOVERNMENT OWNED..REMEMBER DURING HURRICANE THOMAS THE COMMENT THE T&T MADE IN REFERRENCE TO OFFER ASSISTANCE TO ITS SISTER ISLANDS ST.LUCIA ,ST VINCENT?? LETS HOPE U PPL HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER WHEN CAL IF THEY SUCEED IN GETTING RID OF LIAT OUT OF THE SKIES IF GOD FORBID WE FIND OURSSELVES IN A SIMILAR SITUATION LIKE THESE TWO ISLANDS…

    I HEAR PPL CRYING ABOUT MONOPOLY AND LIAT BUT I WONDER WHAT U WILL CALL IT WHEN CALL WILL BE RUNNING THE CARIBBEAN SKIES WITH NO COMPETITION? THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED IN RUNING AIR JAMAICA OUT WHERE THEY WERE FORCED TO SELL OVER TO CAL NOW THEY HAVE THEIR SIGHTS ON LIAT…..WELL WELL WELL LETS SEE IF PPL CLAIM LIAT HAS HOLD THE CARIBBEAN TRAVELLING PUBLIC AT RANSOM THEN WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GONNA HAPPEN IF CAL SUCEEDS? WE WILL NOW BE HELD AT RANSOM BY TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO….

    • dominica in trinidad
      February 5, 2011

      air jamacia was it troble without cal they would be sold any way. and remember that trinidad just had a government change and the new goverment is inexpirience so this statement made by the priminister was an exaple of that but i think trinidad is doing this in good faith we the people who have migrated to trinidad has ask for this so dont blame cal they are just tring to help now that the government do not haveall the power cal is a public trading company you can have some shares there if you want thanks

  21. passing
    February 4, 2011

    An a frequent flyer on liat and not once they will say look a free ticket i so feed up with that airline time for sum competition, and time to go…imagine u cumin from south likr tnt n u flying over dominica where is dominica u hve to go n go up north to antigua to cum bck down south wat a waste of ppls time. cum carribben airlin i waiting for u so paiently but make sure your prices cheap cheaper dan liat on.

  22. DominicaFirst
    February 4, 2011

    leaves me to wonder why Gonzalves is opposed to all competition, first it was that st lucian airline this CAL?
    But it really doesn’t matter to Dominicans, we don’t have any shares n either airline… hey which ever can give us a cheaper ticket, because we love to travel.

  23. Anonymous
    February 4, 2011

    Air travel throughout the region is an issue of tremendous contention. However the region requires a stable and reliable airline to facilitate the movement of professionals and tourist as people transact business. Many airlines have come and gone over the years …….we know who they are ……and in recent times others have been forced to pull out because of inefficiencies and rising cost of operation.

    LIVE ISLAND ANY TIME (LIAT) has serviced the region not effectively or efficiently but certainly consistently in the face of many challenges. However the citizens of the region have every right to demand value for their hard earned money. Turing my attention to Mr. Gonsalves I would like to point out that you would first have to prove that the fuel is actually subsidized and was not obtained through hedging. IF THAT CANNOT BE DONE, THEN YOU’RE JUST BLOWING SMOKE and no clause within the treaty can be effected if there is no proof that the aviation fuel received by CAL is indeed subsidized.

    Drawing from the analogy used by another commentator on the subject; with reference to preferential treatment of ACP banana access to EU markets and the banana war fought by US companies for its removal…………. I would like to tell Mr. Gonsalves that if he intends to fight like we fought for bananas he has already lost the battle ……because we did a horrible job and ripped disastrous consequences although we were warned.

    Compounding the situation is that fact that the US and other developed countries have since been able to manipulate the same WTO agreement they used to alienate ACP bananas to provide subsidies to their farmers. But CARICOM lacks the testicular fortitude, expertise and probably financial resources to prove it.

    THE SAME CAN BE SAID FOR THIS SITUATION. Stated succinctly, if you do not provide evidence that a subsidy is in place then YOU ARE JUST BARKING ……..NOT BITING. I PREFER A DOG THAT DOES BOTH …… so you bark………… you’ve made some noise and we are now acutely aware of the situation ………now it’s time to bite and IF YOU CAN’T BITE YOUR MASTER SHOULD PUT YOU DOWN. YOUR RHAPSODIZING SPEECHES ALONE CANNOT WIN ANY BATTLE!!!!!!!!!

    As a person who travels very often I will make no excuses for LIAT. THEIR SERVICE SUCKS!!!!!!! GOD IT SUCKS !!!!!. but when all else fails only LIVE ISLAND ANY TIME takes you to Dominica and in addition the airline has a very acceptable safety record. (Hi chien me di dien blanx).

    That being said competition is good……. SO I SAY COME CAL COME but I would advise us all to wear IRON BOXER SHORTS AND IRON PANTIES because we might get CAL IN OUR ASS AGAIN from the new airline !!!!!!!!!!

  24. Terrence
    February 4, 2011

    DA is one of LIAT ‘s monopoly and the disgustong service offers to us is a disgrace, poor customer service from the home base Antigua, lost luggage three or four request for compensation. constat late departures CAL welcome and come soon

  25. Godson
    February 4, 2011

    liat needs to go away for good,its just a waist of time and stealing people money.

  26. negre mawon
    February 4, 2011

    LIAT has tolisten to the cry of the people.The airfare is too high just to travel a few miles and the service is deplorable.We need more competition. Liat is a semi-monopoly that’s why the’re
    behaving the way they do.Open up the caribbean skies and let the market decide

  27. dominica i come from
    February 4, 2011

    The word is Competetion Mr Prime Minister!

  28. desie
    February 4, 2011

    IF THE OVER CHARGING THE POOR MAN
    RUN THERE BEHIND OUT BUSINESS WHO CARES

  29. the truth
    February 4, 2011

    but what is this guy on about? i know people out there might not understand hedging but if liat is dumb not to hedge their fuel then who gives a toss? ok people, this is how hedging works:

    if you bet with me $100 that UWP will win elections next time round and i have to pay you a hundred if they win. i take $50 out of the hundred you give me and bet with someone else that they will win. just in case. so if they do win i really only lose $50 when i pay you.

    every airline company in the world buy their fuel in advance at a fixed price no matter if the fuel increases in price in the future or not. they buy it at a price which they think they can afford at the time. if that price decrease on them they would have made a loss because they would have paid too much for it. so it works both ways. not just for the airline to benefit.

    and furthermore how long has liat absolutely ripped off its customers? maybe that will teach them to have better service, speak to people with respect and do some competitive pricing. and the caribbean was a free region last time i checked. so if these people see good business out here and the people of the caribbean want that service then who cares about liat or any politician.

    • Fairplay
      February 4, 2011

      What school did you go to ??? Please read the article again and try to understand it ; you FOOL!!!
      Many of you wear you ignorance as a Badge Of Honour.

      • The truth
        February 5, 2011

        Are u a moron? The man stated that they hedge their fuel prices. That is what hedging is u idiot. If he stated they simply gottheir fuel for cheaper the. That’s different. Liat can hedge too and I bet if they practiced hedging then their prices would have been better. Ass h***. And Amm I’m an accountant, what are you? This is why I understand exactly what he just said

  30. Lougawoo Mem
    February 4, 2011

    Why do these politicians always think they know what is best for their people? Mr. Gonsalves can afford to pay LIAT’s costly fares because he is who he is. The poor Caribbean people are in a total different situation. So my say to CAL, come right in and ease the pain that we feel at LIAT’s counters. Gonsalves can save his hot air for the members of his club, and let the free market and competion dictate how we spend our hard earned $$$$$$$$$$$$$. Soon he will want to dictate who sells food to his little Republic.

    • Ibn Gabrioli
      February 4, 2011

      Lougawoo,

      You are smarter than to allow your emotions to guide your take on this one. You should probably listen to the news for the latest WTO ruling on continuing preferential treatment for Caribbean and Pacific islands banana farmers.

      Preferential treatment is effectively a subsidy, says the WTO. It favors these farmers, giving them unfair advantage in the free market. That is unfair trading practice.

      Gonzalves is arguing the same. That if CAL is receiving a fuel subsidy from the government of TnT, it gives CAL an unfair advantage. CAL pays half the price for aviation fuel, due to this subsidy, as opposed to LIAT, who has to pay market price for the same fuel.

      Which airline do think will fair better? CAL of course, at the expense of LIAT.

      If this was to remain the status quo, it means that CAL will be able to outspend LIAT in terms of new investments, personnel training, promotion, ticket pricing, you name it. In short time, LIAT will disappear, not just from the competition, but from the face of the earth.

      Appreciating all the problems that is LIAT, treaties must be respected, first of all. But on principal, both Caribbean airlines must be able to compete for customers’ patronage fairly and without either having unfair advantage. They should use their business acumen to offer the type of service that will woo customers, expand their customer base, keep them coming back and thereby increase their profit. And may the best man win.

      • Jno Charles
        February 4, 2011

        You said it very well…Thanks

      • Just Another Guy On The Street
        February 6, 2011

        Your last paragraph is most interesting, the question is have LIAT done all these things? Why is it that LIAT is under threat every time talk of new or additional flights from another operator is mention? How long have they been in operations? Do you believe that they created the sort of Goodwill you speak off, they would fear? Now to the WTO and the cheaper fuel etc…., we need to go back a bit, didn’t Ralph and other Caribbean PMs got into ALBA and Petro Caribe because of the offer of cheaper fuel from Venezuela over Trinidad? So I tend to agree with you a bit, just a little change, May the best airline win!!!

  31. Piper
    February 4, 2011

    What if CAL used the subsidized fuel cost to operate throughout the Caribbean? Even if they did not subsizide their fuel cost, it would be any worse that the price LIAT charges now.

    Let us not make our decisions based on nostalgia. If we can integrate the airlines to get better connections, the travellign public will be better off for it.

    I really cannot see a downside to this because LIAT is no shining star.

    I have had my run-ins with LIAT where they would not answer the phone, not return phone calls or reply to emails for lost baggage. I never received my baggage and was not compensated by them. I have no sympathy for any company that treats its customers with such disdain.

    • the truth
      February 4, 2011

      right on the money. liat is a disgusting airline who have even deprived dominica valuable tourists. all they hear is liat and they refuse to come.

  32. Stranger
    February 4, 2011

    I understand what Mr. Gonsalves is saying very perfectly. No one will disagree that LIAT needs competition but in all due honesty it has to be done fairly, if we allow Caribbean Airlines to operate and offer ‘much cheaper’ rates they will automatically claim a greater market share than LIAT.After this happens and LIAT goes out of business what next?? We must remember that they employ people from all over the Caribbean and allowing an Airline to operate that would eventually push them out of business is not the right way to do it.

    • the truth
      February 4, 2011

      maybe liat should have treated customers better just in case a day like this had come to pass. how about that? forget the high prices for a minute and just look at service. i dont mind paying but i want to get wht i paid for. a ticket from barbados to dominica with liat is the same price from england to spain. not even a quarter the distance and then you get absolutely no service. your bag is nowhere to be seen, they could care less and one woman even told me to f off once and i wasnt eve being rude! i was simply enquiring about my property

    • Mikes
      February 4, 2011

      So we are in the same position with Liat. They operate without competion and has been for a while so they charge us these high fares which we MUST pay. CAL, come and come soon, I want to be able to visit my neighbours to the north like Jamaica on a Caribbean airline, isn’t that a good thing?

    • Let them talk,,,Let them laugh
      February 4, 2011

      Do you think it is fair that a person wishing to travel to Dominica from St. Lucia, a fifteen to twenty minutes straight flight. Should be forced to pay $900.00 to travel to Antigua from morning spend half their day in Antigua and get to Dominica sometimes in the evening? as if you are traveling to Europe or something.

      We need to look at the whole picture. LIAT is looking at their pockets we should look at ours…

  33. JJ
    February 4, 2011

    St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados are not the only members of theEastern Caribbean, so why is Mr, Gonsalves going up in arms without hearing first what the others member countries have to say on that matter. Am expecting the Prime Ministers of Antigua and Barbados to come out in support of Mr. Gonsalves seeing that they are the only ones benifiting
    from Liat.

    Way to go Caribbean Airlines its about time Liat gets compition, in doing so Liat might start treating Dominicans with a little respect…….again I say way to go…………………

    • West
      February 4, 2011

      Those 3 countries contribute large sums of money to LIAT, Dominica does not!

    • gigsaw
      February 7, 2011

      JJ St vincent, Barbados and Antigua are the ones that owns liat and we are the ones who suffer all the losses from liat.Liat really need to step up its game ,but their are countries that liat services at a loss and we the tax payers from St vincent, Barbados and Antigua sacrifice to keep liat in the ski so the rest of you can benifit.A lot need to be done to liat to make it efficient,customer friendly and profitable.Question….if liat rates go down would you all travel more?should liat downsize,should it cut the unprofitable destinations,should it become more profit oriented.With compitetion from CAL Liat will buckup and when it dose alot of you will be siging a different tune.

  34. Frequent flyer
    February 4, 2011

    One would note that WINAIR just stopped some routes in the Leeward islands. In present market conditions, the survival of those airline companies is clearly at stake.
    No one would want see LIAT being forced to do as WINAIR regardless of their painful recurring inneficiency.

    The Caribbeans need LIAT but it is true that their performance only increased when Caribbean Star gave them good competition. Again, this company was also a semi fake one when we realize the kind of businessman “Sir” Standford was.

    Some competition would not hurt but it is vital that this competition is established on solid and fair basis!

    • Just Another Guy On The Street
      February 6, 2011

      Am interested in your comment, but please indulge me some more. Who own WINAIR? Are they solid enough financially to compete? Did they do the right research before they got into the market? I noted again in your comment, “this company was also a semi fake” and you are speaking of Stanford, are you saying/suggesting CAL is a semi fake?
      And finally please say what you consider to be “solid and fair basis” for establishing competition! Thank you.

  35. Cassandra
    February 4, 2011

    Ralph, are you seriously telling us that LIAT is not a monopoly? Trinidad is an oil producing country so why should they not take advantage of this to the benefit of the travelling public? LIAT is government owned and I have still to see a company operating efficiently that is controlled by governments, be it left wing, right wing or liberal. Aeroflot or Cubana mean anything to you Ralph? You have the God given right to dictate to us in Dominica what airline we shall use and what prices we shall pay for a lousy service? Competition is healthy, so let’s welcome it.

  36. Ron
    February 4, 2011

    Liat needs some competition. A 40 minute flight to St. Lucia is over EC $800. This is ridiculous!

  37. ugly betty
    February 4, 2011

    Ralph shut up! vincentians fed up with your burping mouth.

  38. Anonymous
    February 4, 2011

    Dominicans have been solid behind liats for decades and had to deal with iiats exorbitant prices for decades any relief would be welcoming. LiAT is like a n ocean that is bottomless, the more you put in the more you have to put in . That same ralph gonsalves say he for the poor and that is how you treating the poor ralph????? that is why i see vincentians are tired with your red…. the Caribbean do need at least 3 other major airlines to take up the slack and to make traveling competitive and interesting again

  39. ONE CARIBBEAN
    February 4, 2011

    Welcome to CARIBBEAN AIRLINES………………better service, better connections……….and i know you will treat people like they need to be treated!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great move, and while you are at it please look at the French caribbean destinations tooooo……..

  40. Possie Massive
    February 4, 2011

    I think it’s about time that Caribbean Airlines expanded its operation in the Eastern Caribbean. I use this airline all the time to travel from NY to T&T and find their service to be excellent. They are also quite prompt unlike LIAT.

  41. guada man
    February 4, 2011

    It is time liat gets some serious competition,liat is too arrogant,and thinks they canot be moved, as if the carribbean is theres,they treat us in dominica lie trash,if you want take if u don,t want leave, imagine to fly to dominica from guadeloupe, you have to go to antigua,spend a few hours,then fly to dominica,i would not have a problem f you werepaying the price from guadeloupe to dominica via antiga but you have to pay the fare fromguadeloupe to antigua and then the fare from antigua to dominica which makes it ec,1000$plus tats crazy,so ny alternative i agre and who doe glad run ten miles.

  42. Wonderful.....
    February 4, 2011

    Competition is always good and LIAT needs just that. They hold most of us to ransom with their ridiculous air fares, more so when you want to go from DA to T & T. Imagine having to fly North to Antigus and then fly over DA to go South……HELLO……RIDICULOUS!!!!!

    • Domerican
      February 4, 2011

      I agree. Had that “flyathon” traveling from DA to T&T last summer and found it rather ridiculous.

  43. Possie
    February 4, 2011

    Gonsalves knows that SVG has over 17 LIAT flights every day while destinations like Dominica has a miserly 4 and Ian Douglas and Blackmore says nothing.
    Come on CAL, get the ATR’s and add Dominica as the first port.

    • lol
      February 5, 2011

      please dont make a jacka$$ of urself st.vincent only has 11 flights a day….barbados and antigua are the only 2 islands with more than 17 flights at 18 flts each.dominica has 6 and cat even full up those planes,why shud more flights be added.

      • Just Another Guy On The Street
        February 6, 2011

        Can you give a price comparison to the countries you mention? Example DA to ANU, DA to BAR, SV to DA, SV to BAR, SV to ANU, something like that, then we the lesser mortals can see why the flights are not filled and if there is need for additional flights! Thank You in advance!

  44. Muslim_Always
    February 4, 2011

    The people of the Caribbean must push for Caribbean Airlines. LIAT has sucked the blood of the people for too long and if LIAT can get some serious competition to force it to reduce it’s prices then so be it!

  45. Bug for Bug
    February 4, 2011

    Trinidad wants everything in its favour. While it is good to have another airline operating the route, the competition has to be fair. Why for example Trinidad could not subsidize the price of fuel to its other Caribbean neighbors or enter into a similar arrangement like Petro Caribe to assist its sister countries. Or privide LIAT with fuel at the same price. What we have been hearing from Trinidad now is that the country is not an ATM machine. The implications for the other “smaller islands” is tremendous. Consider the number of persons who would be unemployed in the “small islands” if LIAT goes. I support you Bro. Gonsalves.

    • Trevor Tossy Johnson
      February 4, 2011

      Ignorance ignorance ignorance.

      First, Caribbean Airlines is state-owned. Second, Dominica and the rest of the Region are not getting any real assistance from PetroCaribe. The prices are the same on the international market except that payments to PetroCaribe are delayed. Third, Liat is not Trinidad state-owned so the cannot receive subsidized prices for fuel.

      Yes, Trinidad is not an ATM machine. Why easy for a few islands to rush to accept the PetroCaribe deal with Chavez behind Trinidad’s back and still expect Trini to continue to be an ATM machine?

      What implications are there for the other islands? Since the government took over Caribbean Airlines we have seen a better service in the Region. Guyana is now begging Caribbean airlines to bring additional flights to the country. Liat is a total waste of time. They are always late and you have to spend the whole day at airports before reaching Dominica.

      Vincy people do not suffer like Dominicans and the rest of the Northern Caribbean. They are strategically located and have an international airport. There a re loads of flights besides Liat landing into Vincy everyday.

      Gonsalves is a frigging selfish bully and it is time he shuts it.

      Come on Kamla and Jack Warner, bring Caribbean Airlines to Dominica.

      • Really??
        February 5, 2011

        Does St. Vincent have an international airport? As far as I can see, there’s nothing international about E.T. Joshua International Airport. I bet the runway in DA is longer. When Liat leaving that airport, the speed is like a bullet going from a gun… there isn’t enough runway for a nice, gradual take off.

        • Just Another Guy On The Street
          February 6, 2011

          Ok so you are an Engineer, fine St. Vincent does not have an International airport, but was it not the same Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, who came here in Dominica a few years back to some meeting at the Arawak and told us we did not need an international airport and upon his return to St. Vincent had a ground breaking ceremony for an international airport? If am not mistaken should be completed this year 2011 (I stand to be corrected), so yes the guy is selfish!!!

    • Just Another Guy On The Street
      February 6, 2011

      Even before CAL 100 jobs are on the line at LIAT!!! As for cheaper fuel from Trinidad to LIAT, fine but since we are into ALBA why not Ralph and company get it from Petro Caribe??

  46. Auti
    February 4, 2011

    Good move caribbean Airline. Get they ATR72 in the air with compettive rates. Gonzalves do not want you in his territory fine… the caribbean has 22 destinations Dominica wants u St Lucia wants u Grenada wants u St Martin and St Kitts wants u. As far as I am concerned July to far..

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