President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Gene Leon, has called on regional governments to address the Caribbean’s transportation issues.
Dr. Leon says the absence of airlifts in some areas has seriously hampered trade and commerce.
He noted that intra-regional transport declined by as much as 50 percent between 2008 and 2018.
In the Eastern Caribbean, he said the situation is at a crisis level, as the demise of LIAT in 2020 meant a loss of airlift from an average of 500 weekly flights in 2019 to 50 flights in 2022.
Dr. Leon stressed that dependable and cost-effective air transport services are essential for the transformation of several of the region’s economies.
He said governments must consider legislation and other “decisive and integrated action” to address factors that contribute to the high cost of travel as well as other factors that hinder the seamless movement of people within the region.
He also suggested rationalizing the regulatory environment and promoting cooperation among regional airlines to “reduce wasteful competition” and improve inter-airline connectivity.
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Edited by Jesus Chan
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