ST. JOHN’S, Antigua CMC – Pilots employed with the regional airline, LIAT, stayed away from their jobs on Tuesday severely disrupting the schedule of the Antigua-based airline.
A statement issued by the carrier said that it was advising passengers “that due to action taken by its airline pilots’ trade union, Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA), pilots who were scheduled to fly this morning, Tuesday, November 5, 2013, have not reported for duty.
“The company has not been provided with the required notification of industrial action as required under its agreement with the pilots. As a result of the action, some of the company’s morning flights have been disrupted. This is also likely to affect service for the remainder of the day.”
LIAT flies to more than 21 destinations on a daily basis.
LIALPA president Carl Burke would not comment when contacted by reporters on Tuesday, but an emergency meeting has been called to discuss his indefinite suspension.
Last week, LIALP warned that the airline, which is undergoing a US$100 million fleet renewal program, would face a second meltdown that could result in flight cancellations and delays.
Burke said that the problems that led to flight delays and cancellations in August have not been addressed and the airline was again battling a shortage of pilots. He also said that there was unrest with LIAT engineers that could soon result in industrial action.
LIAT, said Tuesday, that passengers affected by the pilots industrial action who wish to re-book will be allowed to do so without charge for a period of one week from the date of their originally scheduled travel.
“LIAT sincerely apologizes to affected passengers and the general public for any inconvenience caused as a result of the action by its pilots,” the airline said.