The much anticipated commercial agreement between LIAT and Caribbean Star Airlines that combines the flight operations of both carriers for the first time officially begins. The commercial agreement and its attendant new schedule, which features improved flight times and connectivity benefiting the traveling public, are key steps toward finalizing a proposed merger of LIAT and Caribbean Star.
Top executives representing both carriers are present at airports across the region today greeting passengers and providing customer assistance to facilitate the transition. Mark Darby, CEO of LIAT, commemorated the event, stating, ‘This is a significant day for both airlines. Teams from both LIAT and Caribbean Star have been working feverishly over the past few weeks to ensure that a smooth transition takes place. We’re looking forward to the benefits this alliance will bring to our customers, staff and shareholders.’
The commercial agreement of LIAT and Caribbean Star means the flights of both airlines will be marketed as LIAT and identified by the ‘LI’ airline designator although some planes will be clearly branded as Caribbean Star Airlines. Both LIAT and Caribbean Star will continue to operate as separate carriers under their own management until the proposed merger of the airlines is implemented.
William ‘Skip’ Barnette, President and CEO of Caribbean Star Airlines noted, ‘Clearly, we believe that this combined schedule is the best thing for our customers as it will allow us to provide a broader range of services; better timing and improved connections. A lot of thought and planning has gone into this new schedule over the past few months and we are happy to see it finally come to fruition.’
Darby and Barnette jointly added, ‘We understand that there have been some concerns expressed about our fare levels - which we believe are unfounded. The fare structure in use today is the same one that we have been using since early December. We are approaching a very busy time with Cricket World Cup and Easter and the limited seats offered at the lower prices are quickly booked. If our customers can be flexible with their date and time of travel, and book further in advance, cheap fares are available.’
Darby continued, ‘We constantly monitor fares and as promised last week, now that the new schedule has become established and patterns of travel demand have become clear, we have refined our fare program and reintroduced lower fares across the system - you only have to look at our website, call our call center or visit your travel agent to see the great fares that we have on offer. Be on the lookout for special promotions in the near future.’