Friday, November 15, 2019

Barbdos PM Says LIAT Doomed Under Current Ownership

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has asserted that the regional airline LIAT is doomed under its current ownership, according to a report in Barbados Today.

The publication quotes Mottley as saying that her colleague leaders are “not on the same page” on the future of the cash-strapped carrier.

She  was addressing a town hall meeting at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill campus.

 Mottley said  that sustainable, reliable and affordable air travel is necessary if the  Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is to grow, it was reported.

Mottley has lead responsibility for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) in CARICOM’s quasi-cabinet.

“In a series of frank assessments of the fate of the 63-year-old carrier, she maintained that if the success of LIAT was left in the hands of the shareholder governments alone the regional carrier was doomed,” Barbados Today reported.

 “Now there are some discussions that have to take place with LIAT,” she was quoted as saying.

“LIAT is not a CARICOM issue; LIAT is the issue of three or four governments having to have shareholder discussions.

“Now if you expect the three or four shareholder governments alone to carry the burden then you will end up in trouble each time because it means that at some point they are going to make commercial decisions because there is not a bottomless pit to service it.”

The Prime Minister said it was still important for the shareholder governments to be united on the future of the airline, which despite a series of challenges in upgrading its fleet, control costs and manage a huge payroll, this year became one of the top on-time carriers in the region.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Instead of LIAT squeezing their “trying to succeed competition” (sea ferries), they really should look at the “SEA FERRY” alternative. Those who wish to travel by sea will do so, and those who wish to travel by air, will do so as well. Many people use l’Express des Isles, Val Express and Wave Riders when they have to travel to the French Antilles – and they are always full!!! St Vincent always has boats plying to and from Vieux Fort. So, LIAT – why not?

  2. Four goverments or call them share holders cant keep the company floating , and you expecting new investors to pick up the buck, Yes we need LIAT , but LIAT dosent care a dam about us seems to be . I guess good fast and big boats will make us forget the flying disaster

  3. LIAT needs to reopen its DIRECT ROUTES to destinations like like Puerto/ St. Croix at least once a week during the year and more often during the Christmas season. Cape Air and Seaborne are making a fortune on SHORT connecting flights in that region with the same passengers that LIAT carries from a LONGER distance fromthe islands.
    LIAT has always been there to serve despite it’s loses but some leaders of the very islands it serves are not supportive due to high taxes and introduction of other airlines like Red Jet and Caribbean Airlines. AA has flights from St. Croix to St. Lucia through Miami so it means there is a potential market. LIAT needs to carry out a survey with its travellers to help improve its service routes and it’s financial status.

    • What LIAT _REALLY_ needs is professional management. I know the fear is that some people may get laid off, but if professional management turn the airline around it can become another Caribbean Airlines, expand past the inter-island hopping, and then hire the layoffs back again as needed.

      LIAT’s management has historically been by poilitical appointees who know Jack about airlines, far less management, and because you may have run a haberdashery or been a big-up in Tourism does NOT mean you can run a fast-moving airline like LIAT.

      LIAT needs CHANGE – MAJOR change – if it is to survive. A country dropping US$15 million into the pot is a speck in the sky, and I guarantee that LIAT will be back for more six months later – right on schedule.

      CHANGE the shareholder Chairman, CHANGE the Board Chairman, CHANGE the Board, CHANGE the CEO. NONE are sufficiently qualified or experienced in aviation to run an airline, and in all the many years Holder has been Board Chairman he has learned exactly NOTHING about airlines and aviation.

      Enough with the G*dDamned politricks. Get the politicians the hell out of LIAT and let it be run commercially, and perhaps in five years LIAT will be putting cash into the Treasuries of its shareholders – instead of it sucking up these constant subsidies.

  4. The M.V Windward was a saviour to the poor people of the region. It took a little longer to reach your destination but one was able to reach there and still have money in they pockets. I am of the view that it is NOT in the interest of the various governments to support any competition that will go against LIAT

  5. PM Mottley…

    With all due respect, you refuse to defecate, so get the hell off the pot. Almost two years ago you had LIAT in the palm of your hand, you received advice to make LIAT a commercially, professionally run entity to remove the financial demands on the shareholders, and you did NOTHING.

    In fact you took a negative steps – despite being told that the current LIAT team (from shareholder Chairman down to CEO) had proved themselves over DECADES to be a waste of time and money, those are the only people you consulted – three times.

    Then you had a chance to sell the LIAT shares to Antigua for EC$40 million, yet your team demanded EC$44 million and I understand when that was refused they then walked out of the “negotiations”. So PM Browne has offered to inflate his country’s own shares by putting that amount into Antigua’s shareholding.

    So who won? Cash-strapped Barbados lost a potential BDS$30 million (US$14.8 million) added to the Treasury, and Barbados will lose the majority shareholding in LIAT anyway. What kind of warped logic do you work under?

    Politicians, IMHO, are the scourge of our world today. By and large they are elected dictators who have corrupted democracy until the end result looks nothing like fair and equal treatment of its people, and you appear to be no different.

    Sorry if you are offended, but I speak my mind, and you, obviously, do not like to hear the truth.

  6. The real reason LIAT is in this predicament is because they got GREEDY, like every politician. One airline serving the inter islands can’t survive, Too much high prices for short flights prevent people from travelling. Bring the flight prices down and see LIAT SHARES go up as in more people travelling therefore more revenue

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