LIAT: Island Hopping in the Caribbean
The Caribbean Islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with tens of millions of vacationers visiting each year. The warm weather, crystal clear waters, and relaxing atmosphere attract people from all over the world. For those wishing to visit more than one Island, the only way to travel from one to another is by air. One company that has capitalized on this is Leeward Islands Air Transport, commonly known as LIAT.Based at V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua, LIAT operates high frequency commuter flights to 21 different destinations throughout the Caribbean Sea. The airline also has smaller hubs in Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados. LIAT operates many flights a day from these bases to each of the Caribbean's popular destinations. The airline also has a partnership with Virgin Atlantic, allowing easy connections for tourists from the United Kingdom. LIAT focuses on low-capacity, high-frequency service. LIAT's fleet consists of 18 DeHavilland Canada Dash-8 Turboprop aircraft. This includes 3 Dash-8-100's, 10 Dash-8-300's, and 5 Q300's with 37-50 seats each. The consistency of the fleet has proven very efficient for the airline, as all aircraft have similar seating layouts. The airline has previously operated aircraft like the DHC-6 Twin Otter, BAC One-Eleven, the Hawker Siddeley HS-748, and a few others. The airline has received some criticism for its irregular and inconsistent service times. Some passengers have said the planes leave "when they feel like it." This may be a bit of an exaggeration but I have personally never been able to experience traveling on LIAT myself, so I can't say for sure. Some popular, and also humorous, nicknames the airline have recieved include Luggage In Another Terminal and Late If At All. Nevertheless, the airline provides a much needed service to both locals and tourists in the Caribbean. Without airlines like Leeward Islands Air Transport, inter-island travel would be impossible.