The impending merger of British West Indies Airlines (BWIA) and Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) has received a boost from Caribbean governments.
The two airlines, jointly owned by several island governments, would merge under a single holding company, according to a plan being assembled in Trinidad.
Currently, the Trinidad-based BWIA and LIAT are facing severe financial difficulties. The plan would create one larger, more cost efficient airline. Trinidad owns a third of BWIA and has frequently provided bailouts to the company.
A government official told The Associated Press that she expected regional leaders to discuss the issue at July’s summit of Caribbean Community leaders in Jamaica.
As a precursor to the merger, the airlines’ frequent flyer programs are slated to integrate “in the very near future,” according to Anthea Watkins of LIAT’s Corporate Sales and Communications.
The integration of LIAT’s Frequent Flyer Program and BWIA’s Bwee Miles should broaden the scope and reach of benefits to members. LIAT’s program, with just over 2,000 members, has been very successful, Watkins said.