ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Monday July 15, 2013 – The regional airline, LIAT, Monday assured the travelling public that it is committed to improving the level of service offered by the airline even as disgruntled pilots warned of “several vexing issues”.
The airline did not specifically refer to a statement by the Chairman of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA), Carl Burke, that the union had been forced to call an emergency meeting to seek a mandate from its members on several vexing issues.
Burke, speaking on radio here on Sunday, had even warned of possible industrial action on Monday if salary negotiations for flying the new ATR aircraft as well as a new schedule were not discussed with the company.
The company’s two new ATR 72-600 aircraft commenced commercial service earlier this month with an additional four due to be added by the end of this year. LIAT confirmed that talks were taking place with the union and there were no disruptions in flights.
LIAT’s chief executive officer, Ian Brunton in a statement Monday sought to give assurance to the travelling public in light of a recent “Open Letter” of complaint to the airline by a long-standing LIAT customer, Arthur Hicks.
Brunton said that the company had been in touch by telephone with Hicks and that “it is important to point out that the substantive letter was not by way of a complaint, but a light-hearted Facebook entry to his friends”.
But Brunton said the letter was publicised when “someone posted the Facebook entry as a letter in a newspaper in the British Virgin Islands.
““To our employees, our millions of friends and valued customers, we have taken note of all your comments and suggestions. We appreciate all of them and express profound thanks,” Brunton said, noting that “in the face of serious challenges, our focus remains on improving customer experience and achieving profitability.”