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(Nation News) BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jun 19 2017 – New regional carrier Trans Island Air (TIA) has hit back at Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy’s suggestion that conditions in the travel business are rough for new airlines in the Caribbean to survive.

In a statement issued over the weekend, TIA rejected the argument that new entrants could not make it and that LIAT’s position was unique because of the financial support provided by its shareholder governments, including Barbados.

TIA’s official high-profile launch last Wednesday in St Lucia was aborted by weather conditions in Barbados which prevented many of the new airline’s officials, including owner Bruce Kaufman and Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss, from leaving Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA). The launch was also to be addressed by St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet who is a strong supporter of greater competition in the airline industry.

Speaking at the tenth anniversary of Airlines Executive Lounge at GAIA last week, Sealy said 60 per cent of LIAT’s routes were unprofitable.

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