Saint Lucian Pilot Says Only A Matter Of Time Before LIAT Collapses

Saint Lucian Pilot, Silvanius Ernest, has reiterated a position he says he has consistently articulated – that it will be only a matter of time before the financially strapped regional airline LIAT, collapses.

Ernest, who is also an aircraft mechanic, says no one is paying attention.

“One of the things I want to say is I am agreeing with the Prime Minister not to put a cent into LIAT until they can fix it,” he told St Lucia Times.

But he expressed doubts that the regional airline can be fixed.

According to Ernest, the governments are to blame for the ‘mess’ in which LIAT finds itself.

“One of the problems we have is for example, recently I travelled and I paid about $700 – one ticket was $700, another was  eight hundred and something dollars one way to Antigua and when I worked it out the taxes were almost the same price of the ticket,” he observed.

“Now I am saying if they can talk about helping LIAT, this is  one way to help LIAT – take out the taxes. If you can take out those taxes, the ticket now will be cheaper and you can get more people to travel,” Ernest told St Lucia Times.

He asserted that people are not travelling because of the high cost of tickets.

“With all the money that has gone into LIAT, what do we know about how the money is spent?” The Saint Lucian pilot asked.

He called for a ‘bigger discussion’ about the operations of LIAT.

“When you look at LIAT is the only airline in the region from 1974. How can you run an airline for that long and not be making a profit? Something has to be wrong,” Ernest asserted.

He told St Lucia Times that LIAT got rid of its Dash-8 aircraft and bought ATRs.

“It’s just about five years you bought brand new aircraft and see the mess that you are in.  Whether they needed to change the airplanes is another thing. But who is  is really there to see about that?But the guys know that it does not matter what happens, at the end of the day even if we don’t make, the governments will come in.”

Ernest described aviation in the region as a mighty problem.


  1. Take out the taxes and who pays to fix the airports. Lower the prices and go do what in another island? I need to have a reason to travel to Antigua/Barbados/Trinidad etc. Do I just jump in a plane for traveling sake? Back in the days tickets were much much cheaper. It would cost a few hundred dollars to travel to the various islands. LIAT still had problems. It costs $300 for round trip to Martinique on the ferry. Do you go to Martinique for traveling sake? LIAT’s problems are greed and Government intervention. And a bunch of morons trying to run an airline. Chastanet maybe a dunce but he clearly is right on LIAT.

  2. Where are we going with these type of language insulting our country’s Prime Minister by calling him a dunce because you’re not supporting him.. is that your culture , does that makes you better than him , as far as I can tell that you’re a highhiperpetual Ass. Shaming your own country Man

    • This has nothing to do with support or lack thereof. Do you know there are people in this country who support neither political party because they are both equally useless? FYI:
      Dunce: A dunce is a person considered incapable of learning.

      Fits the bill. No?

  3. The saint Lucian pilot knows exactly what he’s talking about.. those CEOs and thoes shareholders are the ones that benefiting from LIAT. Liat tickets sales can maintain Liat .. quoting when I was young playing marbles ….FON — I –WIP .

  4. Very True Its Cheaper tô New York on Jet Blue .The Price tô Travel tô Barbados on Liat is Much more Expansive When you Compare Jet Blue Price tô JFK.None of the Caribbean Islands Should .assist Liat Financially

  5. I agree with Mr. Ernest and others that LIAT is doomed. I took LIAT to St. Thomas, USVI on Aug 3rd 1969. It was my first time ever flying on an airplane. After that trip LIAT was supplanted in my mind, and became the airline to book with when I later traveled the region. There used to be long lines at the LIAT office wherever I traveled around the Caribbean. I think complancy sat in, and management did not plan well, so as time changed, the archaic plan that LIAT management was still employing was not working, and proper changes were not implemented. Now LIAT is trying to play catch up, but it is too late. Sadly, some governments, may be consumed by illusion, feel that they can give more money and the problem will be solved, but the reality is, the problem has passed the fix stage. And while management may feel confident, they lack the competence.

  6. Mr.Joe, it’s amazing how some of us are quick to defend for defending sake.You sounds so (crass), unintelligent and your defence of Chastanet makes on sense.He called us St lucians,Jackasses, further he said that 43%of us has a preschool education,but you saw nothing wrong in his statement and he wasn’t insulting us.In addition to his statement he told us he has a mixed degree,never heard of such and you said nothing,no wonder he treats us like that, because of persons like you,who are quick to defend him.I strongly support the writer in calling him a dunce,go and check the meaning and judge for yourself.please stop defending for crumbs, hence he’ll always call person like you hungry and beggers (mendicans).

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