ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has defended the decision of his administration to invest eight million dollars (US$2.96 million) in the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT.
Skerrit said the airline has been working with the government to facilitate air travel into the island and that the decision to become a shareholder in the Antigua-based airline would further improve airlift.
He said LIAT had already introduced two flights to accommodate night landings in Dominica allowing Dominicans to take advantage of late connections from the North America and Europe from Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda.
"We appreciative of LIAT for this ...and as a matter of fact we already started discussions with LIAT in light of the situation confronting American Eagle to see whether they could re-instate the direct flight from San Juan to Dominica to facilitate our people who would be flying into Puerto Rico and who find Puerto Rico to be the more accessible hub to get to Dominica.
But we can't go and make those demands on LIAT when we see LIAT has its own challenges and we just sit idly by criticising LIAT at every opportunity we get," Skerrit said.
Earlier, hotelier and leader of the opposition Dominica Freedom party (DFP), Judith Pestaina said while she supports the government's investment in the airline, which is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, ST. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados, there was need for transparency.