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LIAT Resumes Flights To BVI, Barbados, Sint Maarten And Antigua, Travel Wise Says

ROAD TOWN. Tortola — For the first time in 10 months, LIAT was flying again to the British Virgin Islands and other Caribbean destinations.

The beleaguered regional airline, which was threatened with liquidation earlier this year, has resumed service to Beef Island in Tortola.

LIAT is also flying from Grantly Adams International Airport in Barbados, Princess Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten and V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua.

According to LIAT, new coronavirus precaution protocols have been implemented to ensure the safety of staff and passengers. Masks are mandatory at check-in and onboard each flight — and the airline has enhanced its cleaning regimen.

Although the planes are returning to the British Virgin Islands, confidence in the airline maintaining its schedule, flight times and commitments remains tenuous under the terms of the company’s bankruptcy administration.

“I’m not sure what’s going on with LIAT to be honest,” Luther Butler of Travel Wise told The Virgin Islands Daily News. “This relaunch has been both perplexing and concerning at the same time.”

Butler said LIAT is making the same mistakes of the past and expecting a different result. He noted that in these times where airlines are struggling to find five passengers to put 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,” Butler said.

His Tortola-based 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 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“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. ”

LIAT does not currently have any planned flights to St. Thomas, St. Croix or San Juan.

Leeward Islands Air Transport Services (LIAT) was founded by the late Kittician (now Sir) Frank Delisle in Montserrat on October 20, 1956.

Delisle began his airline venture by flying with a single Piper Apache operating between Antigua and Montserrat.

—The Virgin Islands Daily News contributed to this report.

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