President of the Grenada Hoteal and Tourism Association (GHTA), Jerry Rappaport does not believe Liat will resume the flights that have been cut from Grenada unless the Keith Mitchell Administration has the resources to provide the airline with concessions.
“As long as we are not doing that… I don’t think they’re (Liat) going to give us the kind of service that we really need,” said Rappaport who was a guest on the “Sundays With George Grant” Radio programme.
He claimed that there are a lot of issues with airlift, indicating that this is the biggest issue facing Grenada at present.
He said that unless there is better service from Liat, the regional tourism will not increase.
According to Rappaport, members of the GHTA have already begun to express concerns about Sunwing taking control of the Rex Grenadian Hotel, and how that airline will impact on other existing airlift.
He said the reason why the region needs a strong regional carrier is because a lot of the flights out of North America and the United Kingdom leave too early in the morning for someone in a neighbouring area to make a connection.
However, he said that in order for Grenada to get more airlift, there has to be more hotel rooms.
During her contribution to the 2017 budget debate, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen claimed that Liat has been disrespectful to the country.
Dr. Modeste-Curwen indicated that with less than one month’s notice the airline pulled out the early morning flight to Barbados which is known to be most critical to the country which, she said, “will hurt us.”
Liat also pulled its late night flight out of Trinidad and Tobago to Grenada on September 19.
The senior Government Minister informed the House that in consultation with Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell about having to make a financial contribution to Liat, she was told that Grenada will pay if the airline provides proper and efficient service.
“We paid before, and we stopped paying because of their disrespectful conduct, and we will continue to not pay as long as this behaviour I(continues), this is a sovereign nation,. and it must be respected by all,” she said.