By Elesha George
Travellers flying on LIAT can no longer book trips to several Caribbean countries as COVID-19 takes its toll on the regional airline.
On Monday, LIAT announced that it had suspended inter-island travel to seven of the 15 destinations where it operates.
The airline announced that the suspension applies to all flights in and out of Guyana, Trinidad, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Maarten, Grenada, Tortola, and the British Virgin Islands (BVI), effective 11.59pm on March 22.
These countries have either closed their borders until further notice to all inbound passengers — whether nationals or non-nationals — or have extended travel restrictions to a number of international countries to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Beginning today, LIAT will also have restrictions for passengers requiring special assistance. These include unaccompanied minors, young passengers, and passengers requiring medical clearance and mobility assistance.
Online check-ins have also been suspended in order to ensure proper screening of passengers and to comply with various government travel orders. Check-ins must now be completed in person at the departing airport.
The airline warns that further instructions or restrictions from governments of countries into which LIAT operates may mean changes to flight schedules.
All passengers booked during the affected period will be allowed to rebook or cancel their bookings based on the LIAT Waiver Policy – COVID-19.
Travellers are advised to email or call the airline three days before their scheduled travel date as the company has been responding to a high volume of correspondence.
Windward Islands Airways (WINAIR), which services the Lesser Antilles islands in the northeast Caribbean, has also announced changes to its flight schedule. The company closed its sales office to the public effective March 24, until further notice.
WINAIR has also discontinued all scheduled flights until April 6, but offers an option for travel on charter services from 8am to 5pm, seven days a week, provided that the current protocols permit the requested flight.
Caribbean Airlines, another major carrier for Caribbean travellers, said while operations of domestic flights will continue, it has applied international flight restrictions.