Scores of passengers were left stranded at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) on Friday, as pilots employed by regional airline LIAT staged protest action.
This follows a breakdown in talks on Friday morning between management of the Antigua-based carrier and representatives of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA).
In a statement this afternoon, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer-Jones did not go into details on the latest impasse, but apologized to the passengers for the inconvenience caused by the pilots’ action.
“LIAT apologizes for these disruptions to our passengers and their plans and wishes to reiterate its commitment to work with LIALPA to resolve any issues,” Reifer-Jones said in the statement, adding that management was working to restore regular operations as soon as possible.
In the meantime, reports reaching Barbados TODAY were that passengers were left with no way to turn.
One woman, who arrived on a British Airways flight this afternoon with an onward connection to St Vincent, complained that passengers, including the disabled, have been left to fend for themselves.
“We have no idea when we are going to leave Barbados. There are disabled people here and LIAT is not taking responsibility. They haven’t even offered us as much as a glass of water,” she said.
There has been no official word from LIALPA on the latest impasse. However, in recent months the pilots have been at odds with the airline’s management over pay, with the pilots refusing to fly LIAT’s ATR 72 aircraft unless they were compensated for the additional responsibility of flying those larger planes.