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Grenada PM Meets with LIAT CEO

Grenada PM Meets with LIAT CEO (Forimmediaterelease.net) Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell (pictured) has complimented LIAT CEO, Mark Darby for taking the steps to clarify Government's serious concerns regarding the operations of LIAT.

Prime Minister Mitchell and Mr. Darby recently at the Prime Minister's Office in Grenada. Prime Minister Mitchell told the LIAT CEO that he was committed to the success and survival of LIAT but had serious concerns about the way the service was being operated. Prime Minister Mitchell presented the view that the current monopoly arrangement which LIAT enjoys, was not necessarily in the best interest of the travelling public. He identified unavailability of flights, the unreliability of services and the sharp increase in fares as the main problems passengers were facing. Prime Minister Mitchell noted that Grenada was being badly affected by this problem and recounted tourism figures which showed a significant decline in intra regional travel to Grenada in the last year.

This decline Prime Minister Mitchell noted was coupled with a 200 percent increase in air fares in the corresponding period. Dr. Mitchell told Mr. Darby that LIAT's poor service was having a negative effect on the regional integration movement. “I have consistently raised this point with my colleagues at the Heads of Government Meetings. If we are serious about integration we have to provide a cheaper and more reliable means for our people to travel the region," Prime Minister Mitchell remarked. He said that people across the region were suffering and were being placed under severe stress because of the rigours and hardships they faced while travelling with LIAT. He related stories told to him by vendors and traffickers, small business persons, and sports men and women in Grenada after having to spend countless hours stranded in Barbados or Trinidad with no arrangements made for accommodation.

In response, Mr. Darby outlined to the Prime Minister that several factors including higher oil prices had caused the increase in air fares. He however said that LIAT was working on outlining a plan to improve service. Mr. Darby said that the airline was seeking to address the concerns of its passengers and is seeking to work with regional Governments and other stakeholders to create a better airline.

Prime Minister Mitchell strongly suggested that if service between Grenada, Barbados, Trinidad and other islands could be improved that this would solve many of the problems. Additionally, Prime Minister Mitchell gave Government's commitment to assist in making this reality. “We are prepared to work with LIAT in finding a solution. I am sure that if we can make flights cheaper and more available between Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago and others, this will greatly ease some of the burden our people are experiencing," Prime Minister Mitchell said. The Prime Minister also noted that Grenada was prepared to invest in LIAT once assurances could be given of improved service. The Prime Minister ended the meeting by asking Mr. Darby and Minister of Tourism, Honourable Claris Modeste Curwen to look at options and solutions which could improve the service to Grenada.

Contact:
PRESS SECRETARY OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Email: pmoffice@gov.gd -or-
Email: pmoffice@spiceisle.com,
Website: www.gov.gd
Phone: 1-473-440-7258 -or- 1-473-440-2255
Fax: 1-473-435-7285

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