Reason for latest LIAT pilot action comes to light

Captain Carl Burke

LIAT pilots stayed away from flying planes Friday afternoon after they were called to an Emergency Meeting by  President of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) Carl Burke.

In a memo written to members Burke said he was forced to call the meeting of all pilot members in Antigua at 12 noon at the company headquarters.

“It has been brought to my attention that LIAT has gone ahead and authorized the training of a NON-LIAT pilot on a LIAT ATR Aircraft with a MEMBER of the ASSOCIATION this morning.”

That act by LIAT was considered so egregious, Burke was compelled to act. He also asked the Barbados based crews not to operate any further LIAT services until they contacted him.

LIAT was forced to cancel several flights Friday afternoon after pilots engaged in industrial action.

Earlier this year, between June 7 and June 9 LIAT’s pilots launched on strike action after management appeared unwilling to implement the promised pay increase for pilots who were being required to fly the larger ATR-72 aircraft.  The strike ended after management and LIALPA signed an agreement for pay increases but not before costing the airline $7 million.

The three day strike cost the airline $7 million in revenue.


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  1. They should probably go ahead and just sell this airline to a private company. I could be wrong and stand to be corrected but this had to be about more than that, the trigger man for these strike actions has a bigger grievance and seem to enjoy messing with liat. You heard they planned to train a pilot using liat staff and equipment so you shut down the entire operation, what kind of madness is that? What the hell happened to discussion? Could someone explain why it would be a problem?

  2. This is the craziest thing I have ever read. Maybe I am not understanding the implications of LIAT training a non LIAT pilot using a LIAT pilot on a LIAT aircraft. Is is that the LIAT pilots are afraid for their jobs? Is it that they want to be the only source of pilots for the aircraft so that they can strong arm airline anytime they want? Or is there some other reason? Anyways..if this is the true and full reason for inconveniencing passengers across the region these pilots are wicked and heartless. When they launched the strike for pay increases I sympathized with them because everyone would want to receive a pay increase that was promised to them but this is ridiculous. This blatant act of disregard for passengers across the region should be punished. We need a new set of pilots that are not integrated into this LIAPA street gang.

  3. I can not support the pilots on this one. I actually thought the move by Captain Burke to be childish. You are doing this to the company where you and many others make their living directly and where so many others depend on for theirs. Is there any dialogue that could have taken place before such a drastic measure. Only thing I can say, his bottom line is OK, because any action that the company takes he can just call I strike and cost them many millions.

  4. He has to be a mad man. He just always being petty and acting irrational. Best Liat fire him and stand the cost, would be cheaper than the millions he keep costing the company.

  5. I guses some of you don’t mind your workplace bringing in someone to train and replace you without your knowledge it is called respect. You want to tell apua workers we are training staff from overses to do their job here. The problem with LIAT is with the greedy people them that are making money just to sit and do nothing while raking in money and expect the pilot them to fly bigger planes for the same money cut all the board people them money in half and see if they smile

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