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.