The meeting was held on Thursday, May 10, 2016 and gave Government a chance to state clearly to the LIAT management Dominica’s position on the current situation with regards to the airline’s service to the country as well as hear directly from LIAT the current challenges facing the airline.
“We expressed clearly to LIAT the need for improved service to Dominica. As you know the Honourable Prime Minister wrote to LIAT recently and the meeting was a follow-up to the Prime Minister’s letter. The importance of LIAT to Dominica’s air access is critical and it cannot remain business as usual for the country,” Minister Tonge stated.
A new schedule to take effect from June 1, 2016 will see increased flights by LIAT to Dominica. This will include the reintroduction of a direct flight to Puerto Rico four days a week and additional flights from Barbados and Antigua allowing for same day connections. Minister Tonge welcomed this new schedule.
“Same day connections are very important to us. The reintroduction of flights to Puerto Rico and additional flights from Barbados and Antigua will allow this to happen. This will also mean the afternoon and early evening flights will once again resume at the Douglas Charles Airport,” Minister Tonge stated.
The LIAT management expressed satisfaction that Dominica is an integral part of LIAT’s regional agenda. However they confirmed that a number of challenges still plague the airline including staffing issues. The addition of a tenth ATR aircraft later this year will further boost capacity.
Dominica delegation to the LIAT meeting was headed by Minister Tonge and Minister for Public Works and Ports Hon. Mirium Blanchard. Acting Chief Executive Officer of LIAT Julie Reifer-Jones headed the airline’s delegation.