Home > LIATís management looks forward to progress on closure of CTOs
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, June 6, 2011 – LIAT’s management has expressed confidence that its unions will be able to work with the Company to effect the closure of City Ticketing Offices (CTOs) by the end of June.
LIAT’s Corporate Communications Manager Mr. Desmond Brown noted that the decision to close the CTOs formed part of the Company’s strategy for reducing its operating costs. Similar CTO closures have been completed by other airlines to reduce their operating costs. At present LIAT only maintains CTOs in six of its more than 20 destinations.
“We have already seen major shifts towards telephone and internet-based booking,” Brown said, “particularly among the younger generation who tend to favour electronic communication. At the same time we continue to have large numbers of bookings through travel agents for those persons who prefer face to face contact. In fact, in most of our destinations we have never had CTOs and have used these other sales channels successfully over the years.”
Brown noted that the Company’s decision to issue termination letters to its CTO employees, to take effect at the end of June, was dictated by the need for moving expeditiously to reduce its recurrent costs in a structured manner.
“The Company has been discussing these matters with the unions for over a year now, during which time we have continued to incur these costs. We have reached broad agreement on proposals originating from the unions, for closure of the CTOs to the best of our ability. This includes implementation of a Voluntary Separation and Early Retirement Programme (VSEP) which would open possible spaces for persons displaced from the CTO closures.”
In relation to the June closure of the CTOs, Brown noted that the current financial situation in the region meant that every company is constantly assessing its operations in order to manage its cash flow and finances.
“LIAT is no different and we have taken this step in the context of the need to swiftly reduce our operating expenses in a manner consistent with our business plan. We expect to continue the dialogue with our union partners in the best interest of the Company, the affected employees, and the region as a whole.”
The Corporate Communications Manager noted that the total number of affected employees was less than 40 and that responses to the VSEP to date had been “very encouraging”.