This article needs additional citations for verification . (November 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Founded||20 October 1956 (as Leeward Islands Air Transport Services)|
|Commenced operations||20 October 1974|
|Headquarters|| V.C. Bird International Airport |
Saint George Parish, Antigua
|Key people||Cleveland Seaforth (Administrator)|
LIAT (1974) Ltd, formerly known as Leeward Islands Air Transport Services and operating as LIAT, is a regional airline headquartered in Antigua and Barbuda that operated high-frequency inter-island scheduled services to 15destinations in the Caribbean. The airline's main base was V.C. Bird International Airport, Antigua and Barbuda, with a secondary base at Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados.
On 27 June 2020, the Antiguan prime minister Gaston Browne announced that LIAT would be liquidated following increased debt and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline will be reformed into a new entity Liat (2020) which will continue to provide connections between the Caribbean islands.
On 24 July 2020, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda secured an order for administration for LIAT and named Cleveland Seaforth of BDO as administrator of the company. Seaforth was given a 120-day deadline to devise a restructuring plan and present it to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
Leeward Islands Air Transport Services was founded by the late Kittitian (now Sir) Frank Delisle in Montserrat on 20 October 1956 and began flying with a single Piper Apache operating between Antigua and Montserrat. With the acquisition in 1957 of 75 percent of the airline by the larger, better known BWIA, LIAT was able to expand to other Caribbean destinations and to obtain new aircraft types, such as the Beechcraft Bonanza and de Havilland Heron. Hawker Siddeley HS 748s came in 1965, due to the airline's decision to phase out the Herons. In 1968, LIAT was operating some flights via an agreement with Eastern Air Lines to provide passenger feed at this U.S. based air carrier's hub located in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was flying "Eastern Partner" service between San Juan and Antigua, St. Kitts and St. Maarten.
LIAT was not always an all propeller aircraft airline. After Court Lineobtained 75 percent of the airline in 1971, LIAT entered the jet age, using stretched British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven series 500 twin jets for their longer Caribbean routes. Smaller Britten-Norman Islander STOL (short take-off and landing) twin prop aircraft were used during this time as well. LIAT operated the stretched version of the British-manufactured BAC One-Eleven, being the series 500 model, which was comparable to McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 being flown during the late 1960s and early 1970s by a competing airline, Puerto Rico-based Caribair (Puerto Rico). The BAC One-Eleven jets were supplied to LIAT by U.K. based Court Line.
Court Line went bankrupt in August 1974,and the BAC One-Elevens were removed from the LIAT fleet. In order to keep the airline flying, the governments of 11 Caribbean nations stepped in and acquired the airline. The jets were replaced with a series of smaller types, such as the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter STOL (short take-off and landing) turboprop.
The 1980s were a decade of growth for the airline. By 1986, many daily flights were operated to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as other regions that the airline had never flown to. Faster de Havilland Canada DHC-8-100 Dash 8 turboprops were acquired in order to reduce flight times systemwide.
In November 1995, LIAT was partially privatized, to save it from bankruptcy once again. LIAT also began operating the larger 50-seater de Havilland Canada DHC-8-300 Dash 8 turboprop.
In June 2013, LIAT received its first ATR 72 series 600 aircraft (registration V2-LIA). The airline completed its transition from the Dash 8 fleet to an all ATR fleet in 2016.
In January 2007 the airline announced an intended merger with Caribbean Star Airlines, and they entered into a commercial alliance, involving the flying of a combined schedule. All flights were marketed as LIAT, although the airlines continued to operate separately using their own air operators' certificates, until after completion of the merger. The merged airline was planning to use the LIAT brand with a merged fleet which is standardised on the Bombardier Dash 8 Q300.However, in June 2007, the shareholder governments of Barbados, Antigua, and St. Vincent gave the go-ahead to the Board of Directors to buy out the assets of Caribbean Star instead. LIAT purchased Caribbean Star Airlines on the 24 October 2007 and five of the Caribbean Star's DHC-8 aircraft were then transferred to LIAT. As another result of the merger, LIAT changed its slogan to "LIAT, Star of the Caribbean", which was used as the slogan for a short time, and was then changed back to "The Caribbean Airline".
On 27 June 2020, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda announced that LIAT would be liquidated following a series of unsuccessful months due to COVID-19. The airline was reformed as a new entity that provides vital connections between the Caribbean islands.
The airline is owned by eleven Caribbean governments, with three being the major shareholders: Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines along with Dominica (94.7%); other Caribbean governments, private shareholders and employees (5.3%). It has 667 employees (at December 2018). The government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, which also is the sole shareholder of another regional carrier, Caribbean Airlines, the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago, is a minority shareholder in LIAT. However it allows the Government of Barbados to use these shares by proxy.
The airline is currently in Administration as the Government of Antigua and Barbuda seeks to take over and restructure the airline. However, the ownership has not changed as of March 2021.
The airline is headquartered in Antigua. The Engineering and Flight Operations Department are located at the V. C. Bird International Airport in Saint George Parish, Antigua. The Corporate Headquarters which includes the call centre and customer relations departments are located at the Sealy Building on Sir George Walter Highway. The commercial department is located in St. Michael, Barbados.
On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) reported that British aviation executive, David Evans, was selected by the board of directors to become LIAT's next chief executive.Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) late Wednesday. On April 22, 2014, Evans was appointed as CEO of LIAT.
Evans' appointment comes weeks after the shareholders mandated Chairman Jean Holder to study the future of the airline for 100 days,and shareholder Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves had boasted that more than 200 people had applied for the position.
Evans unfortunately resigned on April 13, 2016, amidst a heated meeting with the board of directors, leaving LIAT yet again without a CEO.
In August 2017, Mrs. Julie Reifer-Jones was appointed CEO of the company. She was the first female CEO of the airline and the only female CEO of an airline in the Caribbean.
On 31 July 2020, Mrs. Reifer-Jones announced her departure in a letter to employees.
The airline is currently in Administration so a CEO has not been appointed.
Until 2008, LIAT's services to Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, and St. Vincent were codeshared with Carib Aviation, which also used Antigua and Barbuda as its hub. The agreement was canceled due to Carib Aviation's discontinuation of all flights effective September 30, 2008.
LIAT in 2018 announced that it would join the Caribsky Alliance with Air Antilles and WINAIR. The alliance would make it easier for travel by having codeshare agreements between the three carriers.
LIAT also provided cargo services, with its service called Quikpak. This service provided Airport-to-Airport & Door-to-Door, customs cleared delivery service throughout the Caribbean. The delivery time was typically within one or two days, and it was guaranteed by the LIAT staff.
LIAT would also begin all-cargo services with a Dash 8-100, which was to be converted from a passenger aircraft to a full-fledged cargo aircraft. Once the new cargo service came on stream, customers for the first time would be able to book cargo online on the company's web site. There was considerable interest by regional manufacturers, agricultural exporters and other traders in the start-up of the service.
The introduction of its new cargo service was planned for later in 2011.
Early in 2013 the airline announced plans to acquire two entirely new types of turboprop aircraft, the 48-seat ATR 42 series 600 and 68-seat ATR 72 series 600to replace its aging fleet of Dash 8's, both purchased directly by the airline, and acquired during their merger with Caribbean Star. The introduction of these new propjets will mark the first time that LIAT has operated ATR aircraft. LIAT began accepting deliveries in mid-2013. Later in 2013 then CEO, Capt. Ian Brunton apologised for what he described as a 'meltdown' around a re-fleeting exercise, with LIAT changing aircraft from Dash-8 types to ATR 42 and ATR 72 types. The troubles, which stranded thousands of passengers across LIAT's 1,300 miles of network, started in early August and continued for some two months while LIAT struggled with crewing both types and deliveries of the new aircraft. To compound the problems, an engine of one of the new aircraft took a week to be replaced, and one of the new aircraft was chartered to the Prime Minister of Taiwan in the middle of the debacle. The CEO blamed the numerous flight delays and cancellations on "unscheduled maintenance, crew shortages, bad weather, airport limitations, obtaining licences for operating our new ATR aircraft, Tropical Storm Chantal, strong surface winds, unfavourable weather conditions, airport limitations, and runway lights". Capt. Brunton resigned in late September, with his departure on October 1, 2013.
LIAT provided service in the Eastern Caribbean region from Puerto Rico in the north to Georgetown, Guyana in the south, linking the chain of islands in between.
In addition to the above airlines, LIAT once had interline agreements with:
The airline had former codeshare agreements with:
As of April 2021, the LIAT fleet consists of the following aircraft:
The LIAT retired fleet includes the following aircraft:
LIAT has a mixed reputation among both locals and visitors to and from the Caribbean Islands.Their flights often operate irregularly, with inconsistent arrival and departure. Baggage is often misdirected or not loaded entirely. They are known for having very poor customer service, late departures, flights cancellation and their staff are criticised as surly and unhelpful. These problems were exacerbated with the 2010 strikes and again during the labor disputes in 2013 and 2017 – with many flights canceled and passengers stranded and unable to receive refunds. The management and head operators of the airline makes it clear that they are not responsible for any flight cancellations or stranded passengers.
In July 2013, the airline received a complaint from a passenger, which went viral on the internet and caused a reaction by Virgin Group President Richard Branson.
The airline has greatly improved in on-time performance over the years. Following the refleeting to the ATR, the airline concentrated efforts in improving its On-Time Performance. In May 2018, the airline was ranked first in on-time arrivals in Latin America and the Caribbean for Regional airlines.
Bahamasair Holdings Limited is an airline headquartered in Nassau. It is the national airline of The Bahamas and operates scheduled services to 32 domestic and regional destinations in the Caribbean and the United States from its base at Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS).
Telluride Regional Airport is a public airport six miles west of Telluride, in San Miguel County, Colorado. It is owned by the Telluride Regional Airport Authority. At an elevation of 9,078 feet above sea level, it was the highest commercial airport in North America with scheduled passenger flights when Great Lakes Airlines resumed scheduled passenger service in December 2016; however, those flights ceased in March 2018. In August 2018, commercial service returned with the introduction of Boutique Air, and the airport remains the highest airfield in the U.S. with scheduled passenger flights, and is the second highest in the US behind Leadville Airport.
The De Havilland Canada DHC-8, commonly known as the Dash 8, is a series of turboprop-powered regional airliners, introduced by de Havilland Canada (DHC) in 1984. DHC was later bought by Boeing in 1988, then by Bombardier in 1992; then by Longview Aviation Capital in 2019, reviving the de Havilland Canada brand. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100s, it was developed from the Dash 7 with improved cruise performance and lower operational costs, but without STOL performance. Three sizes were offered: initially the 37–40 seat -100 until 2005 and the more powerful -200 from 1995, the stretched 50–56 seats -300 from 1989, both until 2009, and the 68–90 seats -400 from 1999, still in production. The Q Series are post-1997 variants fitted with active noise control systems.
BWIA West Indies Airways Limited, known locally as "Bee-Wee" and also as British West Indian Airways, was the national airline based in Trinidad and Tobago. At the end of operations, BWIA was the largest airline operating out of the Caribbean, with direct service to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Its main base was Piarco International Airport (POS), Piarco, with major hubs at Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) and Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) during 2006. It was headquartered in the BWIA Administration Building in Piarco, Tunapuna–Piarco on the island of Trinidad. The company slogan was Sharing our warmth with the world.
George F. L. Charles Airport is the smaller of the two airports in Saint Lucia, the other being Hewanorra International Airport. It is located 2 km (1.2 mi) north of Castries, the capital city. George F. L. Charles Airport is managed by the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA). Its runway runs parallel to a pristine beach, Vigie Beach, which is a popular tourist attraction.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, currently marketed as the Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter, is a Canadian 19-passenger STOL utility aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada and currently produced by Viking Air. The aircraft's fixed tricycle undercarriage, STOL capabilities, twin turboprop engines and high rate of climb have made it a successful commuter passenger airliner as well as a cargo and medical evacuation aircraft. In addition, the Twin Otter has been popular with commercial skydiving operations, and is used by the United States Army Parachute Team and the United States Air Force's 98th Flying Training Squadron.
V. C. Bird International Airport is an international airport located on the island of Antigua, 8 km (5.0 mi) northeast of St. John's, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda.
Island Air was a commuter airline based in Honolulu, Hawaii. It operated scheduled inter-island passenger services in Hawaii. Its main base was the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oahu.
Kapalua Airport, also known as Kapalua–West Maui Airport, is a regional private use airport on the west side of the island of Maui in Hawaii. It is located five nautical miles north of Lahaina, in Maui County. Most flights to Kapalua Airport originate from commuter airports on the other Hawaiian islands by commercial commuter services, unscheduled air taxis, and general aviation.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-7, popularly known as the Dash 7, is a turboprop-powered regional airliner with short take-off and landing (STOL) performance. It first flew in 1975 and remained in production until 1988 when the parent company, de Havilland Canada, was purchased by Boeing and was later sold to Bombardier. Bombardier sold the type certificate for the aircraft design to Victoria-based manufacturer Viking Air in 2006.
Caribbean Star Airlines was an airline based in Antigua and Barbuda. It operated scheduled passenger services in conjunction with Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) to destinations in the eastern Caribbean. Its main base was VC Bird International Airport, St John's. The company slogan was A Whole New Altitude.
Contact Air Flugdienst was a German regional airline from Filderstadt. With flight operations based at Stuttgart Airport, it operated scheduled passenger flights under the Lufthansa Regional brand.
Executive Airlines, Inc. was a regional airline headquartered in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Effective April 1, 2013 Executive Airlines was continuing to do business in the Caribbean and Bahamas as an aircraft ground handling company, providing services to various airlines in the region, after it had ceased operating scheduled passenger flights with ATR turboprop aircraft as an American Eagle air carrier on behalf of American Airlines via a code sharing agreement providing passenger feed at the former American Airlines hub located at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
LTA - Línea Turística Aereotuy was a Venezuelan regional airline headquartered in Caracas and based at Simón Bolívar International Airport.
Rocky Mountain Airways was an American commuter airline headquartered in Hangar No. 6 of Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado. It was sold to Texas Air Corporation/Continental Airlines in 1986 and was operated as a Continental Express subsidiary until its operations were merged with Britt Airways in 1991. The airline flew from Denver's Stapleton International Airport to a variety of destinations in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. The airline operated out of the old commuter terminal in Concourse A at Stapleton.
Caribbean Airlines Limited is the state-owned airline and flag carrier of Trinidad and Tobago. The airline is also the flag carrier of Jamaica and Guyana. Headquartered in Iere House in Piarco, the airline operates flights to the Caribbean, North America and South America from its base at Piarco International Airport, Trinidad. Presently Caribbean Airlines employs more than 1,700 people and is the largest airline in the Caribbean. The company slogan is The Warmth of the Islands.
Air Martinique was an airline based in the island of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Its head office was on the grounds of Fort-de-France Airport, now Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport, in Le Lamentin.
Te Anau Airport, Manapouri serves the towns of Te Anau and Manapouri. It is not to be confused with the former and now closed Te Anau aerodrome located just south of that town.
Robin Mark Darby was a British airline executive having now retired in December 2020. He was the former CEO of Aurigny Air Services, having previously been CEO of Baboo, LIAT and Head of Aviation Consulting at Deloitte.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to LIAT .|