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LIAT PILOTS ON SICK OUT-Passengers stranded

A number of Guyanese and other Caribbean passengers were left stranded today as Liat was forced to cancel all of its flights across the region. Pilots attached to the airline called in sick today as part of industrial action.

None of the pilots turned up for work today leaving all of the airlines aircraft grounded across the region.

In a statement this morning, LIAT acknowledged the problem but offer very little details. The airline asked affected passengers to contact their country office.

Passengers will be allowed to rebook their flights an no additional costs and those who may have decided to travel with another carrier or cancel their trips all together will be given full credit for future travel with the airline.

Today company officials were not available for comment. The sick out action by the pilots caught the airline by surprise and they had no alternative arrangement in place. Across the Caribbean, passengers turned up at the airports only to be told of the cancellations. Many of them were furious saying that they were not notified early enough to make alternative arrangements.

Over the past few years, LIAT has had some major industrial problems that have resulted in huge losses for the already cash strapped airline. Regional governments have been looking at ways to make the carrier much more successful but it appears as though as soon as one problem is solved, another one pops up.

There has been talk about allowing other small carriers to ply many of the liat routes since a single strike action usually causes chaos for travelers in the small Caribbean states who depend heavily on the liat service. Liat operates two flights into Guyana daily. Other countries see a much higher number. Barbados sees over 15 flights per day and Antigua sees a whole lot more. The governments which are the major shareholders in LIAT are expected to meet on the latest industrial plight.

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