LIAT’s operations continue to be affected by numerous challenges throughout its network, the airline said Monday, adding that one of its new ATR-72 aircraft could be out of service for the rest of this week.

Hundred of LIAT passengers have had to cope with inordinately long delays, resulting from the on-going re-fleeting exercise.

LIAT is replacing all of its Dash 8 aircraft with ATR aircraft.

Two of the ATRs have arrived, but the pilots who have been trained to fly the ATRs can no longer fly the Dash 8.

“During this transition, LIAT continues to operate its scheduled passenger and cargo service and carry out scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on its entire fleet of aircraft including the Dash 8 and new ATR 72,” the airline said.

“LIAT is also responding to traditionally high demand during the summer peak. This combination of factors has resulted in significant challenges for the company exacerbated by the grounding of one of the company’s new ATR aircraft in Barbados yesterday as a result of a technical issue,” the airline said in a statement on Monday.

It further said that its Maintenance Department has advised that the grounded ATR aircraft is likely to remain out of service for the remainder of this week as the matter is being addressed.

“The technical issue concerns a higher than normal oil consumption. The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and as such the Aircraft will only be returned to service after the issue is resolved,” the airline explained.

But it also said that the challenges the company faces have been further exacerbated by recent station staff issues in Dominica and Barbados.

“While the company is doing everything to minimise the effects on its customers, they are being advised that for the coming days further disruptions to the schedule are likely to take place,” LIAT said, adding that it will “continue to make every effort to mitigate the disruptions” as well as issue timely information.

“The company regrets and would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience to its customers as a result of the current challenges. We are doing all we can and we will provide open and honest communication to you while we seek to normalize the situation for our valued customers by providing the care and support that you deserve,” LIAT said.