Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has reiterated his country’s opposition to providing any financial bailout to the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT.
Speaking to reporters Friday, the former Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister declared that Saint Lucia’s position remains the same.
LIAT’s commercial operations will remain suspended until July 15, 2020, due to COVID-19.
“LIAT was insolvent before COVID,” Prime Minister Chastanet observed.
Chastanet recalled that the regional carrier needed structural changes.
“I know that they were working very hard to bring that about,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister said.
Chastanet acknowledged the need to have air traffic among the Islands.
“I have long believed that sadly, if LIAT were not to reopen, there are other options and once a formal announcement is made by the shareholders as to what is going to happen with LIAT, at that point the government of Saint Lucia will provide its comments,” he explained.
Asked about the options he had in mind, Chastanet mentioned Caribbean Airlines as being among them.
He also observed that there are locals, one of whom is actually putting on a charter service between Grenada, Saint Lucia and Dominica.
“There is no shortage of entrepreneurship in aviation and I have no idea what discussions LIAT is having or the shareholders are having as a potential solution,” the PM told reporters.
He said it was his understanding that LIAT shareholders are supposed to meet this week.
“I don’t know if they are going to make any final decisions, but I wait like everyone else. But certainly you don’t need to be in the know or right in the room to understand that it is going to be very difficult for LIAT,” Chastanet asserted.