By Demion McTair. Updated 7: 25 p.m., Monday May 11, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – Another airline has offered to transport Vincentian students in Jamaica to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, One News SVG understands.
Parents of students in Jamaica are in discussions with the Vincentian-based airline – Fly One Caribbean to get their students home.
Students in Jamaica have told One News SVG that the airline’s asking price is USD $975 dollars for each student, if 30 students are willing to come on the charter flight.
It means the proposed flight will work out to being US $364 dollars less than the LIAT asking price.
The students say that according to the airline, the US $975 dollars the lowest rate they are able to offer in the circumstances.
The students say that the airline is collecting the names of individuals wishing to take the flight. Students have to send their passport information and fill out a health form to send to the airline by May 12, 2020.
Based on the numbers received, more than one flight can be organized.
The development comes after news broke that LIAT had proposed a rate of US $1,339 per student for a charter flight, if 56 students were willing to travel on the flight.
Jamaica Observer reported recently that the Fly One Caribbean has offered to transport Jamaican students in Barbados home.
The Vincentian students are currently stuck on campuses in Jamaica, which have all moved classes online for the rest of the semester, eliminating the need for them to be on the campuses.
At least 70 students expressed an interest in travelling home, Vincentian students told One News SVG.
One News SVG understands that for a considerable number of them, their housing contracts will expire on or about May 15, thus attracting daily rate housing fees thereafter.
As Jamaica’s borders remain closed as a Covid-19 containment measure, taking chartered flights is the only flight option to leave the country at this time.
Responding to the LIAT asking price, students have said that they cannot afford to cover the cost, which is nearly four times the regular one-way airfare price.
There is no feedback yet on the One Caribbean price which will work out to being USD $364 dollars less than the LIAT asking price.
One News SVG was informed that the Honorary Consul for St. Vincent to Jamaica, and members of the executive of the Vincentian Students’ Association of Jamaica – VINSA, have been negotiating with at least two airlines to get the students home.
Students from some other Caribbean countries, including St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda, have left Jamaica recently on LIAT charters, while some students from other Caribbean countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas, remain on the campuses.