Antigua undaunted by SVG threat to starve Liat of funds

ANTIGUA OBSERVER:- The government of Antigua & Barbuda has said that it stands ready to fill any monetary void left by St Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG), after its Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves blasted the regional carrier for poor service to SVG and promised that his government will cease injecting funds into the airline.

While Dr Gonsalves has dismissed Liat’s reason given for the poor service – bad weather – as “an excuse”, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Lennox Weston has shot back at the SVG Prime Minister, for, as he sees it, making much ado about nothing.

“Every time Liat has a late flight you hear this big uproar as if airlines don’t have late flights. Liat has problems, yes, but when you’re going to use a cancelled flight…to go Antigua bashing….I find that to be the type of thing I don’t respond to because its meaningless,” Weston declared.

“Even if other countries pull out we’re going to find the money to put into Liat. We have signalled our intention to have majority shares…” he added.

According to iWitness News online, the SVG position on its funding to Liat followed a meeting in Kingstown SVG on Wednesday, where Dr Gonsalves, who has been a major supporter of Liat, came down hard on its management for persistent delays and cancellations in SVG.

The news outlet said Liat was expecting EC$810,000 from the government of St Vincent to aid its operations – funds which are now being withheld.