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Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has expressed his government’s willingness to have Trinidad-owned Caribbean Airlines made Saint Lucia’s national air carrier given the many issues facing air transport in the region.
The prime minister made this announcement on Monday evening during a live press conference on the National Television Network, stating that this may be the best option right now for Saint Lucia.
“This means that Caribbean Airlines would now be able to fly between Saint Lucia and Barbados and Trinidad and even go to Puerto Rico and other places,” he declared.
Chastanet, a former tourism minister, noted that people are frustrated with LIAT, and explained that the regional carrier cannot resolve all of the transportation needs of the region by itself.
It was also observed that the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCCAA) is a major impediment to competition in the region, simply because it has not allowed the entry of other airlines.
“I am convinced that ECCAA cannot be fixed,” Chastanet told the news conference, adding that he would like to move Saint Lucia’s Civil Aviation Authority away from ECCCAA.
“Moving our aviation to Trinidad will I believe, encourage other people to be able to open up an airline in Saint Lucia or in some of the other Islands,” he added.
Chastanet has firmly stated that Saint Lucia would not be providing any financial support to the island-hopping carrier, LIAT, which has struggled over many years to stay in the air.