There is a serious issue which needs to be addressed very urgently by government since it is affecting thousands of Grenadians.
THE NEW TODAY is referring specifically to the cut back in services to the island by LIAT – which is known as the regional island-hopping carrier.
The two most travelled routes by Grenadians in the region are Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.
LIAT has caused major disruptions in its schedule of flights to these two destinations from the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).
The removal of the morning fight by LIAT into the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados has impacted heavily on our people who used the flight to visit the U.S Embassy for visas and our businessmen.
It is now costing the average Grenadian more money to make a visit to Barbados since most of them now have to overnight at a cost.
This situation reminds one of the days of travelling to Barbados from Pearls airport prior to the building of the present airport by the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) with massive Cuban assistance in the 1980’s.
Pearls did not have night landing facilities and as a result it was extremely difficult for anyone to make a trip to Barbados to do their business and come back the very same day.
The airport at Point Salines solved many of the problems faced by persons travelling both inside and outside the region in terms of cutting back on hours spent in moving in and outside of Grenada.
It became easier for someone in North America or Europe to leave their homes and reach Grenada within a 24-hour period.
Today, the table has turned around for persons travelling within the region while the extra-regional service has gotten much better for our people.
There are many options available to our people who make visits to the United States and New York in particular where there is a very large Grenada diaspora.
However, Grenadians now have to overnight on trips to both Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago.
If a Grenadian wants to reach Barbados at an early hour he/she would have to take Caribbean Airlines in the morning and go down to Trinidad and then get a LIAT flight to Barbados. This is madness.
The traffickers are hurting with the removal of the night flight by LIAT out of Trinidad.
Our government has to do something about this problem that is confronting many of us.
It is all good and nice to be talking about discussions taking place with other persons to fill the void created by the disruptions from LIAT.
Many airline operators have come over the years and disappeared in no time including that of the infamous Sir Alan Stanford who is now hidden away in a cell in Texas in the United States.
LIAT – with all its problems – has been faithful and managed to survive in the worst of times.
The new dispensation now means that the LIAT office at MBIA is no longer opening early in the day and much later in the day for fewer hours.
It is quite possible that the airline as part of a cost-cutting exercise might see Grenada as a place where workers can be sent home since they now have much less to do.
THE NEW TODAY is calling on government to sit down with the airline and try and resolve in a very amicable way the current problem facing the travelling public in the Spice Isle.
If the issue is political then it has to take a political action and decision to jump over the hurdle.
The four island governments that are financing the airline are definitely in the driving seat and can press the trigger at any time to fire a shot that can affect others. It is simple this – he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Talk is cheap. Mr. Prime Minister and Madam Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, we want “delivery” of the goods on this problem now facing our people with the LIAT dilemma.