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LIAT (1974) LTD, operating as Leeward Islands Air Transport or LIAT, is an airline headquartered on the grounds of V. C. Bird International Airport in Antigua. It operates high-frequency inter-island scheduled services serving 17 destinations in the Caribbean. The airlines main base is VC Bird International Airport, Antigua and Barbuda, with bases at Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados and Piarco International Airport, Trinidad and Tobago. Leeward Islands Air Transport Services was founded by Kittician the late (now Sir) Frank Delisle in Montserrat on 20 October 1956 and began flying with a single Piper Apache operating between Antigua and Montserrat. With the acquisition in 1957 of 75 percent of the airline by the larger, better known BWIA, LIAT was able to expand to other Caribbean destinations and to obtain new aircraft types, such as the Beechcraft Bonanza and de Havilland Heron. Hawker Siddeley HS 748s came in 1965, due to the airlines decision to phase out the Herons. In 1968, LIAT was operating some flights via an agreement with Eastern Air Lines to provide passenger feed at this U.S. based air carriers hub located in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was flying "Eastern Partner" service between San Juan and Antigua, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. LIAT was not always an all propeller aircraft airline. After Court Line obtained 75 percent of the airline in 1971, LIAT entered the jet age, using British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven twin jets for their longer Caribbean routes. Smaller Britten-Norman Islander STOL (short take off and landing) twin prop aircraft were used during this time as well. LIAT operated the stretched version of the British-manufactured BAC One-Eleven, being the series 500 model, which was comparable to McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 being flown during the late 1960s and early 1970s by a competing airline, Puerto Rico-based Caribair (Puerto Rico). The BAC One-Eleven jets were supplied to LIAT by U.K. based Court Line.

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