BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy is hinting at further job cuts at regional airline LIAT.
It was just last month that the chairman of the airline’s shareholder governments, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said staff numbers had dropped from 1,200 in 2001 to 669 at present.
Sealy told Parliament Tuesday even more jobs could be slashed as the financially ailing company seeks to improve efficiency.
“This Government has made tough decisions because we understand it cannot be business as usual. That’s the reality. And you know what? We’re probably going to reduce that staff count [at LIAT] by another 30.
“Now it is true that only 90 of those people [total staff] are based here – most of them are based in Antigua, but we are trying to run a lean, mean and more efficient operation, but at the same time not compromise our social responsibility to the people of the Caribbean,” Sealy stated.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – LIAT has once again chopped Anguilla and Nevis from its route network.
Earlier this year LIAT, entered into a short-term arrangement with Caribbean Helicopters, to facilitate airlift to the two islands.
A company statement said the agreement ended on November 19 and LIAT opted not to renew.
WILLEMSTAD - Chairman of AVA Airways, Olivier Arrindell did send on September 26, 2016 a letter to the Minister in charge of civil aviation, Suzanne Camelia Römer, in which he indicated that it has been well over four months that the Minister had to cancel the hearing of appeals requested by the company regarding its Economic Permit.
Ava Airways is still awaiting for the so-called aviation economic permit, which was illegally rejected by the Minister.
Mr. Arrindell informed the Minister, as you know, that she had to cancel the said hearing, due to the fact that the Minister had neglected and, thereafter, i.e. after she was referred to section 33 paragraph 3 of the Ordinance on administration justice, obstinately refused to comply with the law and refused to submit to Ava a copy of the documents, on which basis the Minister publicly pretended to have replied to refuse the economic permits of Ava Airways, which were requested by Ava Airways.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Regional airline LIAT has announced that it will not be paying employees for uncertified sickness beyond the number of days allowed under the labour laws of their respective countries.
The move comes on the heels of bitter public exchanges between the airline’s management and the Leeward Islands Pilots Association (LIALPA) and the Leeward Island Flight Attendant Association (LIFAA) following charges reportedly levelled by senior airline officials that frequent illness among staff was responsible for LIAT’s flight delays and cancellations.
Both LIALPA and LIFAA, who blamed the airline’s woes on “a shortage of crew, poor working conditions and an incompetent management team”, vehemently denied the charges.
AIRPORT ROAD, St. Maarten – KLM and WINAIR have begun the process of expanding their business relationship in St. Maarten. The target date for implementation of code share agreement is scheduled for 2017.
”WINAIR currently enjoys a interline with KLM, one of the world’s premiere airlines, thru expansion of this agreement to a code share agreement both WINAIR and KLM will operate flights throughout each other’s route network offering greater benefits to our mutual customers, improving connectivity, adding destinations, pricing and ease of travel for customers traveling to and from the Caribbean, Europe and beyond.” stated Michael Cleaver President and CEO of WINAIR.
KLM visited St Maarten with an audit team of 4 people to perform a Code share audit to ensure Winair is in compliance with ICAO requirements.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Three people were confirmed dead when a small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Tinson Pen Aerodrome Thursday afternoon.
The police report that the plane burst into flames when it crashed into a small house in the community of Greenwich Farm.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines announced Thursday that the composition of its Board of Directors has been changed with effect from October 14.
The incoming Board includes Chairman – Mr. Shameer Ronnie Mohammed; Vice Chairman – Mr. Michael Quamina; Director- Mr. Vishnu Dhanpaul; Director – Ms. Enid Zephyrine; Director – Dr. Chris S. Maharaj; and Dennis Lalor – designated by the Government of Jamaica continues to serve as a Director of the Board.
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Regional carrier, LIAT, has had to cancel 261 flights and delayed a further 564 this year, due to crew sickness.
The average number of sick days per member of the crew is around 21 days, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who is chair of LIAT’s shareholder governments told parliament on Thursday, but reiterated that the airline has a lot of good workers.
“And I don’t want to damn the crew, because I know they are very good people and it is demonstrated. But if we have a problem, we have to talk about it honestly and the management has to deal with it with good sense and sensitivity,” Gonsalves said.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM Airport) will host the Caribbean Aviation Meetup conference June 13-15, 2017. The Caribbean Aviation Meet-up is a results-oriented platform for communication between the various stakeholders in the aviation, tourism and investment industries.
The event will focus on needed changes for improved airlift in the Caribbean and on its positive impact on tourism and economy.
“We are delighted that we could secure that the conference will be held on St.Maarten in 2017,” said Larry Donker, Deputy Managing Director of SXM Airport.
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