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LIAT hopes new initiatives will boost ticket sales

LIAT hopes new initiatives will boost ticket sales

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Brian Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of regional airline LIAT, has indicated that the company has come up with a number of initiatives, which are expected will boost the company’s ticket sales and encourage travel within the region.{{more}}

Challenger, speaking at a press conference with regional media last Friday, October 14, at LIAT headquarters in Antigua, said that the new initiatives, which are in their early stages, are in response to the current high fares and costs encountered by the airline.

“We have put together something which we call our Four S’s… we will be looking at certain target groups which we have identified; these are seniors, shoppers, sports people and students.

“We’ve just begun a process working with the Barbados Association For Retired Persons to put together a programme which will enable members of that association to get a discount when they travel.”

Challenger indicated that discussions were also held with key persons in countries which were identified as the Caribbean’s business districts: San Juan, Puerto Rico and Dutch St. Maarten, regarding putting together shopping packages that they believe would be attractive to residents of the Eastern Caribbean and include discounted shopping and travel fares, lower vehicle rental rates, lower hotel rates, among other benefits.

According to Challenger, LIAT will be putting special emphasis on the sporting aspect of its initiative, with chances of creating a pilot project, which will be developed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and extended throughout the region.

“Prime Minister Gonsalves has been very keen on this. He has actually had some discussions with us and we are very excited about that possibility,” Challenger added.

“We also recognize that we have a number of universities in the region; both the Caribbean institutions as well as the newer, non-traditional medical schools, and we really want to see how we can provide special incentives to students, whether its increasing the amounts of bags they can carry without paying over weight, special fares, special packages during the school term and that type of thing.”

Challenger said that these initiatives, along with the regular packages that are currently being offered by LIAT, could only work with the assistance of all involved.

He used the example of reduced departure tax rates for persons who are traveling for shopping or any of the other initiatives.

“Central to all those programs is the question of partnership. LIAT believes that in this economic climate, everybody needs to work as partners: hotels, merchants, airlines, governments, to really try and bring down the cost of the product and in that way build the market.”(JJ)

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