TORTOLA — Troubled regional airline LIAT, which faced liquidation earlier this year, has resumed service to the British Virgin Islands with flights from Barbados’ Grantly Adams International Airport, Princess Juliana Airport in Sint Maarten and V.C. Bird International Airport on Antigua. The flights are the fist since March.
According to LIAT, new measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of staff and passengers during the pandemic. Masks are mandatory at check-in and onboard each flight and the airline has enhanced its cleaning protocols.
While the planes may be returning to the British Virgin Islands, confidence in the airline, which remains under bankkruptcy administration, has not.
“I’m not sure what’s going on with LIAT to be honest,” Luther Butler of Travel Wise told The Daily News when asked what it means for his business to have this link back and if any passengers had booked with his agency. “This relaunch has been both perplexing and concerning at the same time.”
Butler said LIAT is repeating the same mistakes of the past and expecting different results. He noted that in these times where airlines are struggling to get five people on a plane, they’re announcing five weekly flights from the BVI, with 50- to 70-seat planes.
“What I think is that LIAT knows they are only going to get a few people to book then cancel and say you can hold credit up to a year,” explained Butler, whose agency has booked over 100 flights with V.I. Air Link, Island Birds, One Caribbean, InterCaribbean and Anguilla Air Services to the Eastern Caribbean since the borders were closed in March. “Travel Wise will not be booking LIAT anytime soon, as we had a struggle to get back some of our clients their money and we’re still fighting right now to get back the rest. ”
As of Thursday, the airline does not currently have any planned flights to St. Thomas, St. Croix or San Juan.