ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) — The financially strapped regional airline, LIAT, today, said that its future would only be known after the next annual general meeting “which has not yet been scheduled”.
In April, the airline, which is in debt to more than EC$100 million (One EC dollar-US$0.37 cents), had announced the suspension of commercial flights until June 30, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that resulted in many Caribbean countries shutting down their borders.
LIAT flies to 21 destinations and operates an average of 112 daily flights within a complex network combining profitable and unprofitable routes.
But earlier this month, the major shareholder governments of the Antigua-based airline, announced plans to liquidate the company. However, St John’s has said that it does not support the idea put forward by the other shareholders, namely Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.
Antigua has already announced plans for a new LIAT 2020 and said that it has so far raised EC$20 million towards the venture, while Bridgetown and Kingstown have indicated that there are six airlines waiting to take over the airline’s role in intra-regional travel.
In a statement, Friday, the airline said during the suspension of its services it has “been working with a view to restart our operations as soon as possible”.
“While the board and shareholders have considered numerous proposals to safeguard the survival of LIAT, the COVID-19 crisis has created unprecedented challenges. These challenges have led to options which include a proposal to liquidate the airline.