JA, here comes LIAT
Today it's Haiti, but come next year, it could be a whole new world for the regional carrier, Liat.
The much-maligned airline announced recently that Dominica would receive eight additional flights per week when it launches its new schedule in December, with flights to the Haiti capital, Port au Prince. The new service to Haiti begins on 5 December with connection through Antigua, Dominica and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Now, The Sun understands that Liat is set to introduce flights to Jamaica next year. In fact, one official source familiar with the airlines expansion plans told The Sun that there was a strong effort to include Jamaica in the new schedule this year, however excessive bureaucracy in Kingston got in the way.
"Jamaica almost got in this year (but) the paperwork was the turn off. Lots of red tape," said the source, who asked not to be named because this person was not authorized to discuss the issue. However, the source said there was "a chance" that it would happen next year.
If Liat and the Jamaican authorities can reach agreement, the flight will depart Tortola, British Virgin Islands, for Kingston. It will last just over two hours on the 68-seater ATR.
The source was unable to provide information on the fares or the schedule, but, according to this person, there is a demand for direct flights between Jamaica and the eastern and southern Caribbean.
However, before there can be a landing in Jamaica, Liat has to overcome what one source said was the Jamaicans' interest in Caribbean Airlines (CAL). This, suggested the source, was an issue in the negotiations.
"(They are) being protective of CAL," the source said.