Vincentian airline, One Caribbean, is ready to begin regional flights as soon as next Sunday as part of its efforts to fill the void left by regional carrier, LIAT, whose government owners have decided to liquidate the financially troubled airline.

Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, speaking on WE FM on Sunday, said he had had discussion the previous day with One Caribbean and a letter was supplied to him from the lessor of their planes.

“And they have immediately another SAAB 30-seater, it is really a 34-seater but they take off the back bench, so to speak, so that they can have more space for cargo so they run cargo. They accommodate 2,500 pounds of cargo…”

He said that the airline operates two SAAB 30-seaters and a 19-seater aircraft.

Gonsalves said that One Caribbean could get another 30-seater aircraft within two weeks.

“One Caribbean has given us — that is to say, the government — a proposal and they want to begin to move passengers on the 12th and I think they have been advertising that.

“I’m supposed to get a proposal from SVG Air tomorrow (Monday) and I am urging SVG Air and One Caribbean to coordinate their work.”

He said he had spoken to the principals in interCaribbean Airways months before the COVID-19 pandemic and had spoken with them since then.

Gonsalves further said that the chairman of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) had called him and he had been in touch with the airline before.

“They have sent me a document which shows that what they have at the moment, they can do 80% of LIAT’s pre-COVID network.”

He said that Air Caraïbes, a French Antilles airline, has two ATRs and a number of jets that link Martinique and Guadeloupe to Paris.

Further, there is Air Antilles, which operates outside of the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA) region and for which special arrangements would have to be made, the prime minister said, adding that this had happened before.

He said that One Caribbean would like to begin by moving people between St. Vincent, Barbados and St. Lucia and then within another week to Grenada and Dominica.

“And I am waiting on the proposal from SVG Air to do Grenada, more or less immediately, while they continue to do that link which they have been operating in the [northern Caribbean].”

Gonsalves said he does not know when CAL would recommence flying.

The prime minister said he is interested in regional travel and that is why Kingstown has halved its departure tax, bringing it down to US$20

“And what happens would be on the market place which you have and the investments and how these things are going to pan out,’ he said, in an apparent reference to competition among carriers.

“But we have assets, as I have identified, where, if there is coordination, we can move people. Because I am interested, I have to be interested in moving people,” he said, having listed the assets of each of the airlines.      

30 replies on “One Caribbean ready to fly 3 routes next Sunday”

  1. It would appear that the PM has little interest in a freely competitive regional airline industry and wants to maintain a monopoly stranglehold on the SVG route. This is clearly and attempt to maintain the LIAT arrangements in another form with its taxes and high fares etc. While it could be a temporary measure to facilitate traffic flows , in the long run it will be unsustainable. And is likely to go the way of LIAT. CARICOM needs to convene a urgent meeting to deal with the fledging regional airline industry and not allow some governments to come up with their half baked solutions which will only put the industry in further jeopardy. No time for more talk , we need viable concrete decisions to save the industry from those that want to destroy it out of their narrow political interest.

    1. James Douglas says:

      LIAT was unreliable and costly under the Management of CARICOM. Get your facts straight.

      1. Caricom dosen’t coordinate LIAT departure times and the customer service provided on the aircrafts. LIAT is just shitty despite their safety record.

  2. Randolph Cato says:

    Is there full information on who actually owns the airline? This is very important to know for liability and also providing confidence in its sustainability. What i9s the source of the capital that enables it to acquire so many aircraft?

  3. Orlando Alexander says:

    Would it be possible to transfer liat aircraft to one Caribbean and SVG air simultaneously ??? ????

  4. True that Mr Thomas safety is a main concern but before they start what about the reduction in those heavy taxes or it’s just business as usual every man for himself don’t just talk about moving people tell us about reduction in airfare right now they are hundreds of people owed money from LIAT. And if there is a second wave of the covid 19 as predicted more shutdowns are likely it’s not a matter of if but when, all the government’s know what’s to be done it just takes one to make the first move n the rest will follow.

    1. Anyone who paid for their tickets with a credit card can get their money back from their card company. If they have a return ticket there is international free help available to travel, ask IATA, LIAT was/is a member.

  5. The problem with Liat was it problem management you had a number of problems chairman at the top of LIat.

  6. Orlando Alexander, one cannot just transfer planes from liat to one Caribbean. The bankruptcy laws and procedures have to run its course. Lots of decisions have to be made with respect it’s creditors, for example how much asets is available to its secured and unsecured creditors if any. It’s not just a simple decision as the Buccament Bay saga will show you.

  7. What about the diaspora, we need straight flights from the UK to SVG, the local airlines have just been pick pockets and unreliable over the years.

  8. The question I have is what is going to happen on the smallest routes? Will they just get serviced twice a week? How will these small airlines access Puerto Rico now that we have been downgraded? And is it time for me to buy a sailboat to go visit family?

  9. Mavis Kemper says:

    I think it’s a good idea we need more plane to Kingston fly jamaica is off the market air jamaica have been sold

  10. Toussaint Tatem says:

    My only hope is that the fares are reasonably affordable and we can travel more within the region.

    1. Hi Vicki.

      You wont be able to get there if you are a US citizen as there is a Ban. And Air Canada keep cancelling their weekly flight between Martinique and Montreal since March. They had flights confirmed on July 5Th, then got pushed to the 12th to be cancelled again.

      The only way to go to the US right now is with American Airlines on July 11th from Argyle airport. Or sail/use a private charter to Antigua (4500-5000usd for a 6 passengers plane from SVG to Antigua) and then use the daily flights to Miami with American Airlines

      Martinique is only good if you are trying to go to Paris right now.

    2. You cant go to the US through Martinique as Americans are banned in Europe. You should be on the weekly flights to Miami from St. Vincent using American Airlines.

  11. It can and will be faster by boat to move from Lucia, Grenada and Bdos. It may even be cheaper if there are more than 6 persons travelling. Folks with fair size boats should be making deals to move people around the islands. It would also be safer and better to avoid the virus. This thing is not going anywhere soon and spending hours on a plane breathing in all sort sorts of band air is dangerous. I don’t think I can visit SVG for the next 3 to 4 years.

  12. Nationalist says:

    Looks like Iwitness News censoring none- inflammatory perspectives on the site. Commenters raised this concern before, and I had to raise it as well.

    Who is responsible to present the details of such venture? Is it the airlines’ public relations teams, or the media? The crews, specifically the pilots and years flying, the business model, heads of operations and their visions as it relates to the demands of air transportation, are just a few areas and more that travelers will like to know, I’m sure.

    Operational turbulence has been a feature of Caribbean airlines: Air Jamaica, BWIA, Fly Jamaica, Caribbean Star and LIAT.

    One Caribbean and SVG Air, all the best nonetheless as you embark on this venture. Soar!

  13. One Caribbean is a United Nations. Phase we tge Christian island nations of the the carribbea3 will never be one with those of the heathen island nation of the Caribbean another ken2 United Nations idea on us Christian island in disguise !!!

  14. A one Caribbean ! Mean the joining of the Christian island with those of the heathen islands. this is a godless evil idea by this SATANIC system the United Nations .

  15. Larry
    Dos any one know how I can get to Barbados from Dominica
    My flight was on List 2 months ago.

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