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(V.I. Consortium) ST. THOMAS — Senator Jean Forde in a release issued Thursday expressed his displeasure at the recent announcement by LIAT Airlines that it will be terminating its routes to and from the Virgin Islands in March.

“This is a blow to the territory,” said the second-term senator. “Many of our residents, including myself, have historically depended on LIAT to visit their families and to move products back and forth. The removal of this transportation linkage makes travel to other Caribbean islands more difficult and expensive, and it ultimately weakens the social and economic bonds between the Virgin Islands and our neighbors,” Mr. Forde said.

The senator said he was particulary incensed at the lack of communication with Virgin Islands tourism officials and policymakers. ‘

“To the best of my knowledge, no attempt to sit down with the Department of Tourism to discuss difficulties they may have been having with the routes and work out possible solutions,” Mr. Forde noted. “My staff and I wrote and called LIAT Corporate Headquarters last month to seek clarification when we learned that tickets were no longer being sold for flights beyond March 1st. To date neither calls or emails have been answered.”

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