LIAT pilots on strike –Guyana bound flights cancelled


AT LEAST one Guyana bound flight on regional airline LIAT was cancelled on Wednesday after pilots of the regional airline refused to fly one of the company’s aircraft.
The airline has been undertaking its flights using the ATR 72 and ATR 42 model aircraft in recent years. According to a report in the Barbados Nation, the pilots who operate the ATR 72 aircraft, downed tools on Wednesday morning after objecting to moves by the company. The pilots noted that the airline has reneged on an agreement regarding payment specific to flying this craft. There are five of these planes in the LIAT fleet.
In a release published on its website, LIAT said that it regrets to advise passengers that industrial action has been taken [Wednesday] by the members of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA). In the ongoing negotiations for higher wages, which includes the operation of the ATR aircraft, the pilots have taken action to refuse to fly the ATR 72 aircraft until an agreement is reached.
According to the airline, as a consequence of the pilots’ action, there were a number of delays and cancellations.
“We strongly advise our passengers to contact LIAT’s Call Centre for rebooking or advice on travel and for reservations, 1-888-844-LIAT (5428) Toll Free from most destinations within the Caribbean Region.”
Aviation sources told the Guyana Chronicle on Wednesday that one LIAT flight arrived at the Eugene F Correia International Airport at Ogle on Wednesday while a flight scheduled for arrival later in the evening was cancelled. If the action continues, additional flights into Guyana are expected to be affected, a source at Ogle noted.
LIAT has been plagued by industrial action over the years, mainly over financial issues between the airline and its pilots.