ANTIGUA OBSERVER – After a recent public spat over numerous issues, Liat and the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots’ Association (LIALPA) have formed a new working group at the board level to address pilots’ concerns directly.
After representatives from LIALPA, including its President Carl Burke, met with Liat board members on Thursday, it was agreed that three members from each side would make up the six-member body.
Burke later told OBSERVER media that “the committee was set up not only to look at the issues or grievances affecting the pilots, but also to make recommendations to various departments mainly flight operations and the commercial departments.”
He said the flight schedule was one area of Liat’s operations that the group would examine. The purpose was to “ensure that the Christmas period is not adversely affected” by what Burke termed “the shortage of crew”.
The sufficiency of crew has been a point of contention in the past two months, with Liat maintaining that its crew, including pilots, is adequate to fly the route, and LIALPA saying that the company needs more pilots and more realistic scheduling.
Nevertheless, Burke admitted that there had been some difficulty in adequate and accurate communication of the pilots’ grievances to the board, saying it did not “give a true picture of what was actually taking place on the ground”.