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LIAT to get additional airplanes

LIAT to get additional airplanes

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Two additional airplanes are expected to become part of the LIAT fleet in the coming months.{{more}}

In summer of 2013, the regional carrier announced that they would be undergoing a re-fleeting exercise, to replace the then Dash-8 aircraft with ATRs.

While speaking at a press conference last Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who is also the chair of LIAT’s shareholder governments, gave an update on the progress that the airline has made since.

“To date, we have taken delivery of six aircraft,” he said, indicating that this included four ATR 72s and two ATR 42s.

“We’re expecting two additional ATR 42s in 2014. One this month and one in June, so then we will have eight.”

The chair further noted that a fifth ATR 72 is expected to be added to the fleet; however, there has been “no commitment on that yet.”

According to Gonsalves, a fifth ATR 42 is also expected to come, but due to a delay in financing, it will be delivered in 2015.

While making note of the re-fleeting that has been taking place, the chair also highlighted some issues related to the selling of the Dash-8 aircraft.

Gonsalves noted that a fire that took place in June 2010 had burned records and this is now causing some problems.

“There are three Dash-8 planes which we are supposed to sell. We have sold one. We have a delay in selling the other two. Not that there isn’t a market for them and the people who buy them will refurbish them, but remember we had a fire and all the records were burnt,” he said.

“Now when you sell a plane, you have to sell a plane with its history. So, you have to reconstruct the records and it has taken a longer period of time than anticipated.”

While Gonsalves acknowledged that the plane can be sold for spare parts, he also said that the money would not be as much as if it was sold for operation.

“The management, the board of directors will have to make the decision as to how they reconstruct the records and if they sell it just for spare parts, they will get less money for it than if they sell it so that it can go into the air,” he said. (BK)

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