PM Says Saint Lucia Willing To Support LIAT Under Certain Conditions

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, asked by reporters Monday whether Saint Lucia would be willing to invest in loss-making regional airline, LIAT, responded in the negative.

“The answer would be no,” Chastanet said at a pre-cabinet news briefing.

But he later went on to explain that on a matter of principle, Saint Lucia would  consider providing support to the carrier once specific conditions were met.

“Clearly, I don’t need to say it, it is there for itself – LIAT almost nine years ago was given a new lease of life and LIAT had complained bitterly about the level of competition in the region,” he recalled.

Chastanet, a former Tourism Minister, said in those days Caribbean Star, EC Express and other carriers existed.

He told reporters that all of LIAT’s debt was wiped off and the airline was recapitlaised through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in excess of seventy million dollars.

Chastanet said new planes were brought in and in the past nine years LIAT has operated relatively competition free.

He noted that an alliance has been put together in which there is no competition.

But Chastanet said LIAT has now found itself back in a position of insolvency.

He disclosed that a proposal has been made to this country to provide a one-time cash investment of some $US 600,000.

“They would also like us to consider doing an MRG (Minimum Revenue Guarantee) on specific routes. So whatever  routes we would like to see LIAT continue to fly on that we would pay an MRG. If we took all of the routes  that are currently flying,  they are saying that would cost us about  $US 1.6 a year in order to maintain this existing route structure,” Chastanet explained.

He asserted that Saint Lucia’s position is very clear.

“We would not consider doing any of those things unless there is a significant restructuring of LIAT – that we would know that the cost of running LIAT is not going to be what it currently is,” the Saint Lucia PM stated.

He said that on a matter of principle, Saint Lucia would be willing to support LIAT but under certain conditions, including its restructuring to provide service to the region in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Chastanet also said Saint Lucia believes there needs to be competition.

8 COMMENTS

  1. The PM should be asked whether he supports the restructuring plan recently done by the CDB. After all this is what his justification for not investing is .
    In any case the reasoning behind not supporting with MRG’s is bewildering.

  2. Bible in a Year
    March 16
    New Testament Verse of the Day:
    “Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies.”
    –John 7:18

    • But you want to benefit off the backs of the taxpayers of the shareholder islands.

      I believe LIAT should significantly reduce flights in and out of St. Lucia.

      • We found the idiot. Most flights into and out of St. Lucia are filled. LIAT would be shooting themselves in the foot.

  3. Do the travellers note the amoutn of money that goes to the island because of the taxes that each Government wants for his island? Somtimes those taxes are as much as the Liat fare. The smartness of our Governments is that all their taxes are added into the amourt that you pay for your ticket and the LIAT company does not receive the whole amount you pay.

    question: Do our government ministers and theri entourage buy their tickets?
    Too many people beside the Pilors and Fight stewards immediate nucleus family get rebate tickets

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