Grenada willing to subsidise air travel to island

Antigua PM eyes seamless shift as LIAT 1974 hands over to LIAT 2020

by Linda Straker

  • Grenada working with other islands in OECS and Caricom to come up with framework
  • Covid-19 pandemic responsible for LIAT 1974 collapse
  • Taxes on tickets is common air travel problem that cannot be solved by one country

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell appears to have abandoned his idea of Grenada leasing or owning its aircraft as part of measures to improve regional travel to the island and instead will focus on subsidising airlines.

“So, we are prepared to subsidise the flights, but you have to find airlines, you actually have to find the airplanes and you have to find or rebuild a regional carrier,” he said in a town hall meeting in response to a question which focuses on reduced regional air travel in Grenada.

“We are working with other islands in the OECS and Caricom to try and come up with a framework that will allow us…to look at, work at or be a partner with or maybe part owning an airline that will service the region,” he said. He reminded the meeting that the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 is responsible for the collapse of LIAT 1974.

“It requires cooperation from all in the region because you can’t just fly between Grenada and Carriacou, you have to fly Barbados, and St Vincent. You need all of the islands to take part; all of the islands have to be prepared to give the airline’s operator the rights to fly into their country and if you don’t have those things in place, it will not work,” he said.

Prime Minister Mitchell also told the meeting that taxes on tickets is another common air travel problem that cannot be solved by one country. “Even if Grenada reduces the taxes alone it still will not drop the price, because you need Barbados, you need St Lucia to do so. Everybody else has to agree to do so,” he said, pointing out that it is a tough situation.

“So, it’s a difficult situation. I have been talking as much as I can every time I get the opportunity of trying to work with any provider to see how we can get airlift into Grenada at a cheaper price but it requires regional cooperation. It is not something that a regional island can do alone, even if we brought a plane, we will need the rights to travel into other islands and we don’t have enough traffic, with 100,000 people. We simply don’t have enough traffic to maintain a commercial airline that just carries people,” he said.

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  1. Just stop the talking and join with our PM and invest in LIAT 2020.
    Caribbean people are suffering.

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