Aircraft grounded after ‘main wheel failure’

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The woes of and public outrage against regional airline LIAT continued into this week, as one of company’s aircraft went out of service – a move likely to result in further headaches for customers.

LIAT announced yesterday that one of its aircraft had to stay on the ground in Barbados after it suffered a “main wheel failure during takeoff.”

The flight was coming from Guyana with 43 people on board. LIAT did not indicate in its release how the other affected customers would be accommodated.

The landing was uneventful, according to the release from Corporate Communications Manager Desmond Browne.

It added, “The aircraft is being examined by the company’s maintenance department,” but did not indicate when it is to be returned to service.

Over in St Kitts & Nevis, twenty-nine Dominicans who were attending a Credit Union Conference on the twin island federation stormed the company’s counter after an extended delay.

Journalist Carlisle Jno Baptiste, who is among the affected, told Dominica News Online that it was only after heated exchanges customers were communicated to.

The group should have left St Kitts at 4:50 pm Sunday on LIAT flight 511 bound for St Maarten, then onto Dominica, but that flight did not materialise.

At the end of the workday yesterday, the passengers had not left for their final destination. Similar circumstances have been reported in other territories.

News of LIAT’s continued service disruptions come exactly one week after the company said its intra-regional operations were returning to normal.

What has been termed the “summer meltdown” has been blamed on what critics say is an ill-timed re-fleeting exercise.

It was only last week that one of the new ATR aircraft returned to the airways after being grounded for more than a week due to engine problems.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)


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