The suspensions of a Barbadian pilot and the head of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Associaiton (LIALPA) are at the centre of today’s crippling strike at LIAT.
Barbados TODAY has been reliably informed that the action against Captain Neil Cave and LIALPA boss Captain Carl Burke followed the grounding of an aircraft for technical repair on Saturday.
Cave, who was scheduled to fly the plane, was apparently not satisfied that the appropriate test procedure was used before bringing the aircraft back into operation.
He also reportedly highlighted discrepancies with the official paperwork and this led to his suspension the same day.
Cave reported the matter to LIALPA and Burke tried to intervene on his behalf during a meeting with Director of Flight Operations Captain George Arthurton, but he was also placed on suspension.
The pilots are now demanding the immediate retraction of both suspensions and a written apology from the airline.
Flights throughout the region, meantime, have been left stranded yet again.
Several flights, including some out of Barbados, have been cancelled.
LIAT says customers affected by the disruptions who want to re-book will be allowed to do so without charge for a period of one week from the date of their originally scheduled travel.
After that they will be required to pay applicable fare and change fees when re-booking. Passengers who are unable to travel as planned due to the work stoppage, will be issued a full credit for future travel at their request.
LIAT also advised that passengers who decide to travel but are unable to complete their journey due to the disruption, will not be provided with meals, transportation, hotel accommodation, etc. Passengers with onward connections are advised to contact their respective carriers.