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Officials fear LIAT fares could hobble carnival visitors

Officials fear LIAT fares could hobble carnival visitors

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Chief Executive Officer of LIAT Mark Darby has recommended that persons wishing to travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for Vincy Mas 2007 take advantage of early flight reservations in order to capitalize on lower airfares.

Darby, speaking to Searchlight from LIAT’s head office in Antigua, made these comments in response to the Chairman of the Carnival Development Corporation’s call for suitable rates to be implemented for the nation’s premier festival slated for June 29th to July 10th.{{more}}

Ambrose at the CDC’s press conference on Tuesday at Victoria Park lamented that the airfares which have doubled since 2006 have caused potential visitors to voice their concerns.

He noted that a number of confirmed hotel bookings have been cancelled due to the airfares hikes, and urged the necessary authorities to engage LIAT in order to address the issue promptly.

Darby indicated that from LIAT’s point of view, the fares offered by his company are still reasonable and usually vary according to popularity of the flights and late bookings.

He said that despite a busy Easter and World Cup Cricket season, the company is just about breaking even and ‘holding its head above water’.

Darby said that persons wishing to travel to St. Vincent for the ten day celebrations still have the ability to get low rates if they book their LIAT seats now. Using the example of a person traveling from Barbados, Darby said that booking now can cost that person about EC $450, of which his company receives approximately EC $270.

He said that the company is making every effort to cut costs for itself and travelers, and that when the LIAT merger is finalized, fares are expected to improve.

Meanwhile Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste also speaking at the CDC press conference said that her ministry plans to lobby the airline for more reasonable rates, and she intends to approach other airlines to encourage them to increase and introduce flights to the country for the duration of Carnival 2007.

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