Regional carrier LIAT is defending its record in the wake of scathing criticism by the head of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Dennis Clarke.
Clarke, who was stuck in Antigua last week due to flight problems, had called for a review of the airline’s operations, describing it as ‘bedlam’.
But in a statement issued today, LIAT said while it respects the position taken by the union general secretary, its average punctuality over the last six years has been 67 per cent, putting LIAT in the company of some well-known airlines.
LIAT said it is forced to cancel between one and two flights a day in comparison to the 1-2 per cent average of the global airline industry.
“Our operational performance is certainly not where we would we want it to be and we owe it to our customers to deliver real improvements. Delays and cancellations can happen for a myriad of reasons – maintenance, weather, crew availability, airport handling, Air Traffic Control, government clearance procedures, and so on,” the airline noted, adding that its complex schedule “inevitably brings pressure on operational integrity”.
“We are therefore looking at ways to simplify and streamline our schedule while maintaining our core route network. This may mean reducing some flights in order to make the overall schedule more reliable. We intend that these changes will be in place by the end of October 2014,” the airline added.