Wednesday, 14 August 2013

LIAT warns of further cancellations and flight delays

Passengers travelling to and from Grenada who would be using LIAT were among the thousands who were warned that there would be flight delays and disruptions during this week as it attempts to handle the many challenges facing the airline during the summer period.

Unscheduled maintenance on its entire fleet of aircraft and transitioning to its new fleet of aircraft are among the reasons LIAT has given for the ongoing flight delays or cancellations, which are affecting Grenada and other passengers travelling throughout the region.

“The Company is currently modernising its fleet by replacing all of its Dash 8 Aircraft with ATR Aircraft. During this transition, LIAT continues to operate its scheduled passenger and cargo service and carry out scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on its entire fleet of aircraft including the Dash 8 and new ATR 72. LIAT is also responding to traditionally high demand during the summer peak,” said a statement from LIAT, which was issued within hours of a Dominica hotelier writing an open letter complaining about the airline’s service.

“This combination of factors has resulted in significant challenges for the company exacerbated by the grounding of one of the company’s new ATR aircraft in Barbados yesterday (Sunday) as a result of a technical issue,” said the statement, which provided no comfort as it explained that LIAT’s Maintenance Department has advised that the grounded ATR aircraft is likely to remain out of service for the remainder of this week as the matter is being addressed.

The airline said that the technical issue concerns a higher than normal oil consumption and without pointing out the damage of the high oil consumption, the statement said that the safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and as such, the aircraft will only be returned to service after the issue is resolved.

LIAT noted that amidst the challenges being faced, the company has been further exacerbated by recent station staff issues in Dominica and Barbados.

“While the company is doing everything to minimise the effects on its customers, they are being advised that for the coming days further disruptions to the schedule are likely to take place,” said that statement, which added that the airline will continue to make every effort to mitigate the disruptions.

“We will also continue to issue timely, informative and up-to-date Passenger Communication Advisories at all stations; through our website; LIAT Facebook and the media; and directly to our customers where contact information has been provided,” the airline advised the travelling public.

The company says it regrets and would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience to its customers as a result of the current challenges.

“We are doing all we can and we will provide open and honest communication to you while we seek to normalise the situation for our valued customers by providing the care and support that you deserve,” said the statement. (LS)

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