Owner of Express Handlers, Jacquelyn Richards-Williams told OBSERVER yesterday that those passengers were being airlifted by Anguilla Air Services. Richards-Williams said the arrangement with the Anguilla-based airline is based solely on bookings for a full flight to and from Barbuda.
“Through my understanding of how critical air travel is between the sister-islands, especially in medical emergencies, I, in my persona, sought the assistance of a carrier so that this temporary void may be filled. It grieved my heart to know that more suitable arrangements could not be worked out,” Richards Williams said in a release.
“As our name suggests, we are merely a handling agency that offers support service to airline companies. SVC Air … indicated quite early in this set that its aircraft need to undergo servicing as is stipulated by OECS Aviation authorities. When these planes are pulled out of service a void in air transportation between Antigua and Barbuda would have been created.”
Richards-Williams said passengers with reservations for the affected period would be contacted via telephone to ascertain interest in the seven available seats on the Anguilla Air Service flights.
She said that up to (Wednesday) morning a flight left Codrington Airport with seven passengers.
Since November 30, the twice-daily flight schedule between the Antigua and Barbuda has been disrupted with the passengers being accommodated last week Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday on alternative flights.
Key members of government, including Prime Minister Gaston Browne and minister responsible for Barbuda, Arthur Nibbs told this newspaper that they were unaware that there had been no regular airlifts to and from Barbuda since December 1.