LIAT launches Caribbean freighter

CARIBBEAN carrier LIAT has launched its own freighter cargo service for the region.

LIAT chief executive officer, Brian Challenger, said at the launch: “While the transport of various forms of cargo is nothing new to LIAT, today’s ceremony nevertheless signals an important milestone in the evolution of the company’s air cargo business as we move towards the formal introduction of an aircraft dedicated exclusively to the movement of air cargo throughout our islands as well as into Guyana in South America.”

However, Challenger added that Customs bureaucracy was a barrier to the growth of air cargo throughout the region. “The presence of outdated and rigid bureaucratic practices significantly raises cargo costs by requiring overtime and other payments for Customs Officers for operating outside of an eight-to-four work schedule. Clearly such rules, which may have been applicable and appropriate some time ago, today serve as fetters to trade and cost-effective operations. We hope that our regional policy makers will work to eliminate these outdated bureaucratic leftovers and allow the consumer to benefit from a streamlined and efficient customs service.”

Wilbur Edwards, LIAT director of cargo, will oversee the operations.

Edwards explained that it was “the governments of the Caribbean aggressively promoting improved trade between the islands of the sub-region” that persuaded LIAT to launch the freighter.

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