Following the Contentious end of a three Day Strike By Antigua-based Regional Carrier LIAT, the announcement has been made of the launch of Seaborne Airlines ‘ new nonstop service between San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport and Antigua and Barbuda’s V.C. Bird International Airport beginning July 21.
This follows an agreement with the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority in Which Seaborne said that they would seek to provide increased airlift and convenient connecting opportunities for both visitors and Antiguans and Barbudans.
Seaborne will operate four weekly roundtrip flights between San Juan and Antigua under the new schedule, enabling passengers from more than 30 American and European destinations to reach Antigua through San Juan connections with Seaborne partners including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, and Vieques Air Link.
Antigua & Barbuda government officials are clearly hoping Seaborne’s new flights will ameliorate services gaps created by LIAT’s recent strike and chronically troubled operations.
An agreement between LIAT pilots and management to end the three-day strike was reached June 9. The walkout began June 7 when members of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) refused to fly after the company’s management reportedly failed to honour a salary agreement reached in January 2017.
On June 8, Antigua and Barbuda’s government issued a statement condemning the strike, with tourism officials calling LIAT “too unreliable” and announcing new airlift to “mitigate fallout from unreliable service and periodic industrial action at the airline,” according to a Caribbean News Now report.
Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, told the Barbados Today newspaper his country’s government had been working with other carriers to ensure that all their eggs are not placed in one basket.