Irma cost­ing Liat mil­lions

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - News - By MARIA BRAD­SHAW

HUR­RI­CANE IRMA will cost LIAT mil­lions of dol­lars in fi­nan­cial losses.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Julie Reifer-jones yes­ter­day re­vealed that the re­gional air­line’s cur­rent in­abil­ity to op­er­ate com­mer­cial flights in and out of St Maarten and Tor­tola meant it was likely to lose about $4.4 mil­lion (EC$6 mil­lion) be­tween now and the end of the year.

Reifer-jones was un­able to give an es­ti­mated fig­ure for likely losses dur­ing the en­tire hur­ri­cane sea­son. How­ever, speak­ing dur­ing a me­dia con­fer­ence call with re­gional me­dia yes­ter­day, she said the over­all fi­nan­cial fallout would be “quite sub­stan­tial”.

Over­all, the air­line was forced to can­cel 33 flights since dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Irma’s deadly pas­sage, its planes could not fly north of Do­minica.

“Re­gional travel is very de­pen­dent on what’s hap­pen­ing in the economies of the re­gion and of course any hor­rific event of this sort will im­pact cer­tain ter­ri­to­ries and also the re­gion as a whole. And that will im­pact re­gional travel and LIAT. Frankly, this is one of the com­plex­i­ties fac­ing a re­gional air­line like LIAT,” she said.

“Two years ago it was Do­minica, to­day it is St Maarten and Tor­tola im­pact­ing our net­work. And based on pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence it takes some time be­fore re­cov­ery takes place. For us, St Maarten and Tor­tola are very key des­ti­na­tions in our net­work. We have done some pre­lim­i­nary as­sess­ments and we think that the neg­a­tive im­pact on LIAT will be in the re­gion of EC$6 mil­lion through to the end of the year.”

As a re­sult, the CEO said the air­line’s com­mer­cial team was “look­ing at our flight sched­ules to de­ter­mine whether there are some other op­por­tu­ni­ties for us to re­po­si­tion air­craft to be able to gen­er­ate some ad­di­tional rev­enue in other ar­eas.”

LIAT, which is based in An­tigua, con­firmed that its en­tire staff was safe and the com­pany suf­fered min­i­mal dam­age. In the in­ter­est of safety, the air car­rier re­lo­cated air­craft and some of its staff to Bar­ba­dos over the last week, but be­tween Tues­day and yes­ter­day, they all re­turned to An­tigua.

“I be­lieve all the teams that were in Bar­ba­dos have moved back. Cer­tainly the fleet has been re­aligned to match our nor­mal op­er­a­tional re­quire­ments. We had an engi­neer­ing team in Bar­ba­dos, they have been re­lo­cated, the call cen­tre has moved back up, the op­er­a­tions team for sure is in An­tigua,” Reifer-jones said. ( SC)

A SE­RIES OF EVENTS in­volv­ing the po­lice have left the Bai­ley fam­ily of Pick­er­ing, St Lucy, an­gry and an­noyed.

They said that for the past two weeks, po­lice had been to their homes on three oc­ca­sions look­ing for guns, bul­let­proof vests and fugi­tive Rom­mel Daniel, who is wanted in con­nec­tion with an in­ci­dent in which two women were chopped up three weeks ago.

Donna Bai­ley and her daugh­ter, Dana, said the sit­u­a­tion had left the fam­ily in shock and in fear of their lives. They said they had never had any in­ter­ac­tion with law en­force­ment be­fore.

“The first time they came was on Au­gust 22,” Donna ex­plained, point­ing out that she was sit­ting at a win­dow when a group of of­fi­cers, whom she de­scribed as “Task Force men”, de­scended on the prop­erty and told her to keep quiet; that they were go­ing to her sis­ter’s house next door.

The woman told the DAILY NA­TION they barged into the house with guns and be­gan search­ing ev­ery room, fright­en­ing the chil­dren who were in the house.

“They showed my sis­ter a search war­rant but she could not un­der­stand what was writ­ten on it and they did not leave a copy,” she com­plained.

How­ever, she added that the po­lice even­tu­ally told the fam­ily they were look­ing for Dana, and that they had re­ceived in­for­ma­tion she had a gun.

That same day, they also went to Dana’s work­place en­quir­ing about her.

Dana, 27, said she was ad­vised by her fam­ily to con­tact a par­tic­u­lar of­fi­cer at District “E” Po­lice Sta­tion.

“I called the sta­tion and iden­ti­fied my­self and told them I un­der­stand the po­lice look­ing for me . . . . The of­fi­cer that an­swered the phone told me to hold on and I

THE BAI­LEY FAM­ILY, in­clud­ing Dana (sit­ting) and her mother Donna (right), speak­ing to a fam­ily mem­ber about the po­lice searches at their homes. (Pic­ture by Maria Brad­shaw.)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Barbados

© PressReader. All rights reserved.