Sunday, September 22, 2019

Gonsalves Says LIAT Needs Capital From New Sources

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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister has said in an interview published by Barbados Today that  LIAT needs significant injections of capital from new sources.

“Even if Barbados sells significant portion of its shares and Antigua gets the majority, Barbados will remain a significant player because it will still be on the board. The truth is this, what LIAT needs is a heavy dose of new equity capital,” Gonsalves was quoted as saying.

“That is the issue as I see it, rather than the buying of shares from one country by another – to have more money inside of LIAT to help it to do the necessary and desirable restructuring to serve the public better and improve LIAT’s bottomline,” he told Barbados Today.

Gonsalves asserted that although the loss making Caribbean airline was desperately in need of funding, which should also come from destinations that benefit from its service, he questioned their willingness to fund an operation that is inefficient.

Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet  has in the past made it clear that his government will not invest money into the ailing airline, despite pleas from regional leaders to help keep the carrier afloat.

LIAT is owned by regional shareholders, with major shareholders being the Governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

It has some 600 employees.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Selling advertising on the plane, even inside the aircraft if doable, naming rights, etc.
    If they can ever be on-time, the aircraft can be lease for private use,
    Bring fresh minds to the table, there are smart, young innovator in the islands,
    let them take a crack at the problem, clearly the existing manager are not solving the problem.

  2. File for bankruptcy. About bloody time always taking tax payers money to bail those rich a*******. Shut it down. How many pilots who want to open an airline were crushed.

  3. What LIAT REALLY needs is to be rid of fat lazy greedy politicians like Gonsalves screwing up the operation. If LIAT had been converted to a commercial operation years ago – as has been suggested many times over the years – it would be turning a profit now – like WinAir’s $850,000 in 2018 – and not still scrounging around like a homeless vagrant with the same old begging story. Gonsalves “model” is the Communist model, where the State owns everything and pulls all the strings.

  4. 600 person for nine planes. Where else in this world would this happen? To hell with a waste of an airline. Barbados, hurrrrrryyyyyyy!!!!!!!

  5. Give more of the taxes collected on those ridiculously expensive tickets back to the airline and cut back on the salaries paid to those top managers who obviously can’t solve the problem for years. Higher experienced consultants who can inject some fresh ideas.

    • Inviting foreign airlines to do what we are unable to do gets us started on a slippery slope. In the Caribbean today there is lots of money around, but those who have it keep it well guarded.

      Some time ago our more forward-looking statesmen realised that the commercial banks were maximising profits by witholding loans from entrepreneurs, so many of them started “Development Banks” where locals could get better rates, better terms – and at least get a loan to start a business. Unfortunately the greed factor recently has been such that the local Dev Banks are now harder to borrow from than the commercial, and entrepreneurship, cash flow, business and everything else has stagnated.

      I’m here to tell you that allowing foreign airlines in to serving the island-to-island traffic WILL signify the end of LIAT, Caribbean Airlines, BahamasAir and every other government-owned regional airline. We simply cannot compete with efficiency and deep pockets.

      The REAL problem with aviation starts with politicians who think they know everything and refuse to listen to the professionals. Aviation is only one of the sectors where conditions make it impossible for an entrepreneur to borrow money, from the simplest plan to the most complicated. No money, no risk, no progress.

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