Request made to French ferry to offer more travel options

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Heads of Government within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will meet to discuss and make a decision on an air services agreement to improve travel across the region.
Director General of the OECS said the discussion will centre around allowing registered airlines in the region the ability to facilitate free movement of people.
“We have developed an air services agreement that is due to come before the heads for consideration. That agreement will establish that any airline registered anywhere in the OECS has the right of movement across the space,” he said at a Breakfast Forum.
Dr Didicus Jules said the agreement is not to interfere with the functions of regional air carrier Liat, but it is to complement it, especially given some of their known hiccups while carrying out their services.
“The thinking behind that is not to undermine or compete with LIAT. In fact, it will be a very important complement to the existing network circuit travel across the region.
“As LIAT tries to find its feet, it sometimes sheds impractical routes, and in many cases, Liat has to straddle a very difficult line of being a profitable enterprise, and also being an essential service.”
Dr Jules also touched on ferry services within the region. In 2014, French ferry service Express des Iles offered services to Dominicans free of charge and due to their kind gesture, the owners were approached to see whether or not ferry services could be expanded to cover the wider region.
“After Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica, the Express des Iles, which is the French company doing business between St Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe, made a declaration that all travel for Dominicans would be free for a period of time, and the passage of humanitarian goods would be granted.
“We had a discussion with the owners and said to them ‘we welcome the offer made, but here’s also an opportunity to experiment with something. Why don’t you extend your service from St Lucia going southward as far down as Grenada, and go as far north as the BVI?’” Dr Jules said.
Approaching this ferry services and other transportation services in the region to facilitate easy access of transportation throughout the OECS, will be done.
“These are things we are looking at, but we still hope that we can persuade them, because what we need are experienced players in the business,” the head of the OECS said.

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