LIAT remains absent from Nevis, despite the air carrier’s agreement that it would resume service to the island on Wednesday, Jan. 15. In November, LIAT announced it would suspend flights from Dec. 3 through Jan. 14. The airline attributed the lapse to personnel and equipment shortages, according to Minister of Tourism Hon. Mark Brantley. On Thursday, Jan. 16, Brantley told the Observer that details of the arrangement between LIAT and the Vance Amory International Airport have not been finalized. “Negotiations are ongoing,”he said. “We have had one detailed conversation, and we will have a conference call in a couple of weeks to determine the way forward.”LIAT had been flying between Nevis and Antigua three days per week. The route was particularly important because it funneled British tourists onto the island. Brantley said LIAT’s disappearance from Nevis is not worrisome. “We are optimistic that it will resume service,”he said. “I really have not had much feedback in terms of any complaints from local citizens, but of course, even without that, we will continue to press ahead to get as much airlift as we can so our people can have as many choices as possible.”He attributes the smooth transition to the NIA’s recent contract with Fly Montserrat, which flies between Nevis and Antigua eight times per week. That service began on Dec. 16. Although Fly Monterrat’s planes hold just seven passengers (compared to LIAT’s flight capacities of 37 or 50, depending on the plane), Brantley says he thinks the airline is meeting Nevis’ needs. Still, he’d rather have both airlines. “We moved quickly to get Fly Montserrat to fill the void left by LIAT,”he said. “It will be a great thing if we can now add LIAT back.”He says he expects news of LIAT’s decision within a few weeks. “We hope to flesh out a few remaining issues,”he said. LIAT representatives had not responded to the Observer’s request for comment at press time.