International

Antigua Welcomes Return of LIAT to Barbados, St. Vincent

Antigua and Barbuda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, EP Chet Greene, has welcomed the return of Antigua-based carrier LIAT to Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, after both countries restricted the airline for a few weeks.

LIAT restored commercial passenger flights across the region late last month, but announced early in December that services to Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines would be suspended until new approvals were given, Barbados Today reported on Dec. 20.

A scheduled flight was made to Barbados on Nov. 30, but the carrier said that they were informed by both territories that new arrangements had to be made for further operations into the countries.

In a statement, LIAT said that prior to its suspension of services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline had been operating to these destinations on valid flight approvals, which have not expired.

The decision from both countries drew ire from the government, who called the reasons “subterfuge and trickery,” adding that they were seemingly intended to ensure that LIAT does not succeed. CARICOM was asked to intervene in the matter to facilitate an amicable solution.

LIAT has since announced that its flight to Barbados would resume on Monday, Dec. 21, with the cabinet also confirming that both countries [St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados] “have dropped their objections and will have LIAT land at their respective airports.”

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