Six Airlines to Take Over From LIAT?

Trinidad and Tobago Guardian:– Prime Minister of Barbados and former chair of Caricom, Mia Mottley has revealed that six air carriers have expressed interest in taking over LIAT’s travel routes, in wake of the carrier’s current financial challenge.

They are SVG Air, One Caribbean Ltd, Caribbean Airlines, InterCaribbean Airways, Silver Airways and Air Antilles.

The issue of regional air travel was discussed as St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves assumed chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) from outgoing chair, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley during a virtual handing over ceremony yesterday.

Mottley explained that the announcement was made citizens within the region had expressed concerns over the absence of interregional transport as LIAT would now be liquidated.

Noting that it was not an easy decision Mottley added: “LIAT has been for us, a critical part of our history, it has allowed Caribbean people to move but there also is a time when those instruments that served us well in the past may not be the right instruments for us going forward.”

She explained that if the board of directors did not liquidate the insolvent airline they would then be guilty of fraudulent trading.

Mottley said the Caricom stakeholders were however, satisfied that the six airlines could more than fill the immediate gap, given the reduced travel due to the COVID-19 measures implemented to contain the spread of the virus.

She said Caricom hopes to work with the six airlines and other private sector players who also expressed interest in working either on their own or with some of the existing players to fill the gap in airlift.

According to the Barbadian, PM, working together with private sector players needs to be done as governments have to now use their funds to deal with health, water and transportation expenditure as well as salvaging a vulnerable tourism industry.

Mottley added that the Caricom heads of Government have agreed to assist the airline industry in the best ways they can.

Gonzales assured that air transport in lieu of LIAT’s exit would be soon implemented.

“I believe we are going to be able to provide, in a very short time, a sufficiency of regional transport to serve the sub-region––to serve ourselves safely, reliably, sustainably and reasonably priced,” Gonsalves said.

He said the challenge placed upon the Caribbean regarding regional air transportation is one which the region has to solve.

Gonsalves had said LIAT did not have significant assets to satisfy the liabilities it owes.

LIAT’s fleet consists of ten ATR aircraft—five ATR 42-600s and five ATR 72-600s—with LIAT only owning three of its aircraft.

One of the largest liabilities LIAT owes is a $29 million severance payment it contractually owes to its’ employees.

LIAT Ltd, previously known as Leeward Islands Air Transport or LIAT, is headquartered in Antigua.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Another Foreign Company Should purchase all these Aircraft from Liat and Decrease on the Airfares So that more Persons will Travel.Liat Tickets was so expensive and why Did they Bànkrupt ?

  2. Dr. Ralph, welcome back; we the tour oganiers and also travelers in the region, would like to see price controle, you spoke about prices, that is our main concern and also well oganize companies Dr. Ralph; we don’t care how many companies that want to fly the region!

  3. yes I agree with you . the ticket price is so heavy that’s why people can’t afford and the seats are vacant thus they will not be able to paid their employees

  4. I agree with the four respondents . why is liat so expensive . the price for a return ticket can take you to Toronto, Canada and look at to go to Dominica from guyana is us 820 dollars . come on tickets must be cheap for people so more it cheap will be the rush and more people will demand making it good for the airline and can also be able to paid its employees . I hope the tickets for those 6 airlines is affordable . thanking you in anticipation

  5. Most of you might not know But LIAT at one time move around 1.6 million people around the Caribbean per year and for the past 5 or 6 years that number was down to 600.000 just do the math and one more thing can somebody tell the people of the 500 that was employed by LIAT in Antigua and what that payroll amount to per month or week no wonder things went bad for so long.

  6. Most of you might not know But LIAT at one time move around 1.6 million people around the Caribbean per year and for the past 5 or 6 years that number was down to 600.000 just do the math and one more thing can somebody tell the people of the 500 that was employed by LIAT in Antigua and what that payroll amount to per month or week no wonder things went bad for so long.

  7. Most of you might not know But LIAT at one time move around 1.6 million people around the Caribbean per year and for the past 5 or 6 years that number was down to 600.000 just do the math and one more thing can somebody tell the people of the 500 that was employed by LIAT in Antigua aand what that payroll amount to per month or week no wonder things went bad for so long.

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