KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Vincentians planning to fly with LIAT today are among travellers across the region grounded after the airline’s pilots called in sick.
LIAT said in a statement that its “pilots rostered for duty this morning … have called in sick.
“As a result of this action by the pilots, passengers are advised that there are likely to be cancellations or rescheduling of flights today,” the statement further said.
“LIAT will provide further updates throughout the day,” the airline said.
The development comes one day after LIAT announced “the termination of the Company’s employment relationship” with Captain Michael Blackburn effective yesterday.
Blackburn, who is the president of the of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association confirmed to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that he had received a termination letter from the airline, but was not in a position to discuss it.
Media reports last month said that St. Lucia aviation authorities were investigating Blackburn for a recent safety violation at the George F. Charles Airport.
Blackburn, whose aircraft was second in line to land, allegedly ignored instructions from air traffic controllers at the airport, forcing the aircraft that was number one to land to take emergency measures, a source close to the investigation told the CMC.
LIAT and the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) were also investigating the matter, CMC reported.