BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Shareholder governments of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, Tuesday night ended talks with regional unions representing employees with an agreement to ensure that salaries are to be paid on time and averting possible industrial action
The meeting discussed a move by the Antigua-based carrier to implement a late payment schedule to its employees that is likely to continue for the next five months.
But St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is chairman of the shareholder governments, told reporters that a settlement had been reached after the unions had threatened industrial action if the airline had proceeded with the deferrals.
“I think that instructions have gone to the bank for the payments, so depends on which bank you are in, some persons would get paid tomorrow [Wednesday] or the next day,” he told reporters, noting however that there was no guarantee that the airline would not be late with salaries again soon.
“The management is not saying that they would be in a position on each occasion over the next three months to pay precisely on time; there may be a couple of days’ deferral,” Gonsalves said.
Earlier this month, the airline’s acting chief executive officer, Julie Reifer-Jones, issued a statement saying that “LIAT’s management sincerely apologises for any disruption to the travel plans of our valued passengers at this time.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Officials of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, are meeting with a delegation of unions representing the airline’s staff here today in an attempt to quell the latest round of industrial unrest.
LIAT, which is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has already warned passengers to brace for delays and flight cancellations.
“These current irregular operations may continue to occur over the next few days as we work towards resolving the issues. We advise our passengers to contact LIAT’s Reservations Team prior to leaving for the airport”.
But the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIAPA) has distanced its members from being part of any industrial action at the cash-strapped airline.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The union representing LIAT pilots Monday called for the removal of the company’s management.
The call comes in the wake of a dispute between the management and trade unions representing employees at the airline over the late payment of salaries.
On Sunday the management of LIAT said they are experiencing several flight delays and cancellations due to industrial unrest.
acting Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer-Jones apologized to travellers for any disruption to their travel plans.
Unions representing LIAT employees had earlier threatened to take action if LIAT goes ahead with plans to pay salaries late.
The unions have also argued that in 2014 they participated in a salary deferral exercise, which was projected for five months, but lasted 14 months, without any tangible results.
FULL STATEMENT FROM LIALPA
The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) unfortunately has no other choice but to call on the Shareholder Governments to remove the current LIAT management. We reluctantly make this call because we will not stand by and watch the airline’s financial health continue to deteriorate at massive levels, to the point where LIAT can’t even pay salaries on time.
First of all, we want to clear the air and state categorically that a just recent LIAT Press Release referencing “Flight Disruptions Due To Industrial Unrest” has nothing to do with LIALPA and we are not involved at all. As a matter of fact, we continue to pledge to the Caribbean People that we are currently going above and beyond the call of duty to get the Airline running at Optimal Levels, even to the extent of not having meal breaks and working 11 hour shifts. We have already worked almost an extra week without pay. However, this is not sustainable.
Our concerns relayed to Management over many years about the loss of market share, the insufficient crews and poor scheduling practices, continue to fall on deaf ears. Here are a FEW examples of incompetent management and poor decision making:
The aircraft fleet has decreased from 18 to 10. Lack of adequate crew.
The Head of Flight Operations’ incompetence was exposed as he stood idly and did nothing to address the mass departure of 19 experienced Pilots, after the Airline just spent over 100 thousand dollars to train each pilot. Now the attention is on hiring new inexperienced pilots.
Loss of 10 million dollars in hangar fire due to records not being properly backed up off site
Loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for removing a flight route from Grenada schedule
Loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in routes being taken over by competitors
LIMA, Peru – Passengers on board a Boeing 737 had a lucky escape this week after their plane missed the runway – and burst into flames.
The Peruvian Airlines aircraft, on approach, swerved to the right.
The wing crashed into the ground, causing fuel to start leaking out of the aircraft.
A fire then began to form along the fuel line, eventually reaching the damaged aircraft – which had now skidded to a halt on the grass.
Emergency services rushed to the scene to extinguish the blaze and treat passengers.
PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN - The AvA Airways Inc. management team has taking notice of an infringement of trademark by Martinique company Ava-Air SAS being represented by Mr. Renard David, with company number 523 966 927 and located at AEROPORT AIME CESAIRE ESP. AEROSERVICE Lamentin Martinique 97232 FRANCE.
AvA Airways Inc, is an aviation company duly registered and incorporated in the United State of America. AvA Airways Inc. represents Ava Air, Ava Airways (“Curacao”), Ava Airways (“St. Maarten”) and just the name Ava, in connection with its Airline Transportation Services. The use of Ava Air and any form of Ava or AvA Airways is in violation of International Trademark Rights, as ratified by the 176 signatory countries of the Paris Convention Stated the Chairman of AvA Airways Inc., Mr. Olivier Arrindell. This convention offers protection of intellectual property rights, common law service mark rights, and trade name rights.
Mr. Arrindell stated that “The United States federal registration (“IC 039. US 100 105. G & S: Airline Transportation Services”) where the trademark of AVA Air is registered provides us with property rights under the bilateral intellectual trade agreement between the Republic of France and the United States of America, as referenced by the Trademark registration. We are entitled to restrict the use of our trademark, or a confusingly similar trademark in association with confusingly similar products or services. Our trademark services/names are an important and distinctive representation of our company’s product as well as the goodwill of our company.”
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) iFly Sweepstakes, part of the cooperative marketing campaign between the STB and KLM Dutch Royal Airlines, has garnered a record breaking 120,000 plus participants, the highest number of any of the previous iFly sweepstakes from any destination.
The intention of the campaign was to promote St. Maarten in several key media channels of KLM. The campaign consisted of a full spread in iFly KLM Magazine, an online publication of KLM, and it included a “Little Secrets” video of St. Maarten.
The cooperative marketing campaign also contained the iFly Sweepstakes component that offered a chance to win a trip to St. Maarten from the Netherlands with KLM. “It was great the receive the news today that our sweepstakes had the biggest reach ever compared to previous destinations chosen by KLM, especially considering that some previous sweepstakes destinations were some of our biggest competitors,” Head of the STB Rolando Brison said.
“Every single one of those 120+ thousand participants made it clear 'we want to go to St. Maarten’, and the buzz about St.Maarten is still huge in the BeNeLux market as a result of this sweepstakes and promotional effort."
AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten – Due to increasing world oil prices Winair will reintroduce fuel sur charge on all tickets sold for travel commencing April 10, 2017.
These fuel charges are 3.30 US$ or 6.00 NAF per segment.
March 01, 2016 Winair had eliminated all fuel sur charges as the world oil costs had decreased at that time. We will continue to monitor world fuel prices and adjust these sur charges accordingly.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - In a few weeks, St. Maarten, will be featured on the most watched travel show in Europe and seen by potentially a quarter-of-a-billion people across the globe. The BBC Travel Show sent a crew to the island recently to cover the SXM Music Festival. While on island, contact was made with the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau and an interview setup with its new Head Rolando Brison.
In the interview with the BBC, Brison was asked about the destination’s tourism product, about the uniqueness of the airport and about the SXM Music Festival that they came to cover and how it fits into the tourism product. The BBC Travel Show utilizes a network of correspondents in London, Tokyo, Sydney, New York and Kuala Lumpur and the program aims to provide unique insight into the world of travel.
The 30-minute episode about SXM Music Festival show will be broadcasted within the next 3 to 4 weeks to a major portion of the 265 million direct subscribers of the BBC channels that broadcast the show, plus many other affiliates around the world as well as potentially millions of views more across YouTube and social media.
Since the BBC typically does not play any paid advertisements, the only way to get advertising on their network is through programming. With the value of a national television one minute ad being over US $300,000, the exposure St. Maarten will receive from the SXM Music Festival episode is more than 2 to 4 million euros potentially, based on how many viewers will ultimately watch the show.
HAVANA, Cuba – The Cuba travel boom has turned into a bust for two US airlines.
Florida carrier Silver Airways and Frontier Airlines will suspend all Cuba flights in the coming months citing poor demand.
Silver, which operates from Fort Lauderdale to all nine regional airports on the island will halt flights on April 22.
The airline seemed to blame other operators for flooding the market with ‘too many flights and oversized aircraft’ creating overcapacity.
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