CARICOM chairman calls for regional support of LIAT

Stuart said LIAT has a good security record
Stuart said LIAT has a good security record

Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart has called on the people of the region to support LIAT, saying despite its challenges, the airline has a good security record.

He said at a press briefing here on Wednesday that LIAT has been serving the Caribbean for many years and has done work in the Caribbean no other airline has been able to do.

“LIAT has served the Caribbean very well for upwards of 50 years, has a very good security record like most other businesses… it has its challenges and those challenges require tax payers in certain parts of the Caribbean to pull their pockets,” he said. “At present Barbados is the largest shareholder because we are committed to LIAT and LIAT unites the people of the Caribbean…it has its challenges, we have to continue to support LIAT.”

He continued, “There is a shareholders meeting in Antigua and Barbuda on Friday at which Barbados will be represented. I will not be able to be there but Barbados will be represented by a minister who I have designated. And we continue to support LIAT.”

Stuart argued that LIAT is not perfect but for upwards of 50 years it has rendered inestimable service to the Caribbean and without the airline, interaction among Caribbean people would be non-existence.

“And you only have to ask yourself the question, were there no LIAT what would be the state of popular interaction in the Caribbean?” he noted. “So LIAT justifies itself, we have to make sure that it is as an efficient an airline as possible and we are doing that, but these things take a little time.”

He revealed that LIAT took him to Martinique on Wednesday morning so he could visit Dominica to witness the ravages of Erika and the airline will take him back to Barbados so that he can chair cabinet today (Thursday).

“As we speak I am sure that it is carrying people from one Caribbean island to the other,” he stated. “Therefore we have to stay with LIAT and to give it all the support that it needs while trying to ensure that it is an efficiently-run airline as possible.”

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19 Comments

  1. Jaded
    September 11, 2015

    Too bad Prime Minister Stuart focused only on the emotive aspects of keeping LIAT. The continuation of LIAT should be a decision made with the head and not with the heart. Mr. Stuart had an opportunity to make a convincing case for keeping LIAT afloat but he passed. Although I too have emotional; attachments to the airline I would still like to see it run as a much more reliable and profitable business.

  2. Th
    September 10, 2015

    BGI is getting good service and you have many altertives so since DA depends on Liat encourage us to stay in prgatory.

  3. Rabbit
    September 10, 2015

    Here we go again with these fly for free heads of states. I guess we all work where we have a benefit so Liat is beneficial to you not me or anybody else I know. By the way who are the shareholders you are talking about? Liat need real competition jus like in any other free market,stop trying to protect Liat for your own personal interest.

  4. Dan Tanner
    September 10, 2015

    LIAT is a failure. It is arrogant and provides no customer service worthy of the name.

  5. bimjim
    September 10, 2015

    Prime Minister Stuart, the fact that LIAT has been the region’s longest serving airline is 100% irrelevant. The fact that the airline is facing tremendous financial challenges as it struggles to survive is testament to the gross mismanagement by politicians, by Board and by management alike, not because the people have abandoned it.

    YOU, the shareholder politicians, stuff the Board with unqualified people.

    YOU, the shareholder politicians, make the Board appoint unqualified people to executive management.

    YOU, the shareholder politicians, refuse point blank to make the airline efficient or allow any major changes to its ridiculous way of doing business.

    YOU, the shareholder politicians, refuse to accept offers of competent individuals and get rid of anyone who show promise.

    YOU, the shareholder politicians, put a PM as shareholder chairman who has no competence in aviation and whose sole purpose in life is to make himself a ridiculous Napoleonic figure in his region…

    • September 10, 2015

      Amen! Some other hard working citizen
      has seen the light.

    • September 10, 2015

      @bimjim, set up your own regional airline with qualified people and show us what proper management of an airline is. I do hope that I don’t have to wait too long for BIMJIM AIR……..

  6. September 10, 2015

    Just a load of anti LIAT talk. Running an airline is expensive and the complaints about LIAT is common to almost all airlines. Travelled recently on AA and I got my luggage two days after I arrived home and it was not in a good way. Guess what I arrived safely so the inconvenience of delayed luggage or price of ticket did not matter. What has happened to Caribbean Star, I guess gone with the wind. The people who want to shut down LIAT should put their money where their mouth is and form an airline to replace LIAT, in the absence of that shut up and support LIAT. Some governments are shying away from investing in LIAT because it is not profitable. That is a selfish attitude as the four share holder governments carry the financial burden of LIAT while the other governments contribute nothing and benifit even more than some share holder countries.

    • September 10, 2015

      Tell LIAT to go public and trade on the stock market.
      Sell shares to raise money for operating cost; instead
      of those unscrupulous businessmen and greedy,
      corrupt politician running it like a mom and pop store.

    • True Dominican
      September 10, 2015

      ‘Point’ Has No Point

  7. Shameless
    September 10, 2015

    HERE WE GO WITH THAT SUPPORT LIAT BS AGAIN!! If liat goes another one will show up. Regional leaders are continuously pouring money into liat , a failed and will continue to fail entity. Yes we are grateful to liat but we cannot and should not allow a failed entity to rules our skies through an engineered monopoly. When someone in authority says this “support liat” thing etc, etc they are simply limiting other airlines ability to penetrate the market.

    LIAT as it stands has become too politicized. They could not say no the Skerro during his campaign hence the reason why the risked people’s lives unnecessarily by flying into Melville Hall at night even when proper equipment were not operational. And no one can tell me its not true …ask some of the LIAT captains.

    If after all these years and and multiple CEO’s the airline cannot get on its feet its time to throw in the towel.

    Assertive, NEVER Aggressive! :twisted:

  8. Dominican
    September 10, 2015

    Well if liat goes it will open up the market to other airlines who may do a much better job than they are doing. I cannot believe what liat put me through to get a ticket out of Guadeloupe because my two previous flights from Dominica were cancelled. granted I understand why there were cancelled but, liat said that it would re-book from else where for no additional fee. What a bunch of bull I had to pay the difference in fare. And not sure if anyone else noticed but all the tickets were the same fare from Guadeloupe to Tortola. :cry: :-| :-| :cry: :(

  9. September 10, 2015

    I don’t hate LIAT like some people do, but we need innovation in regional transportation, and subsidising a fifty-year-old publicly-owned company isn’t the way to get it. I’d rather see a deregulated market conducive to startups like Hummingbird Air, or ferry service that’s specifically designed to connect people with long-haul flights to/from nearby islands.

  10. natureislandguy
    September 10, 2015

    The Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart may use Liat Airline as his personal run around transport but that service is not the experience of the average traveler, certainly not this one. In the last nine years I have lived here I have had many problems with the Airline

  11. Justic
    September 10, 2015

    Now everytime i turn around liat have money problem and their tickets are still high who spending the money

  12. Mac
    September 10, 2015

    I don’t understand “the airline has a good security record.”, take off, landing, service and price is what we care about. You tool.

  13. Malgraysa
    September 10, 2015

    I heard mr. Freundel Stuart plea but we should not forget that, as Liat’s largest shareholder it is Barbados’ interest that the company survives. Nothing against that but it should do so in a fair and competitive manner, if only to keep it on its toes. It should not be seen as some kind of social service, to be maintained at the taxpayer’s expense and the suffering of passengers because it enjoys a monopoly. That would be wrong. Let it compete in order to to make it more efficient and not carry unwarranted overheads. I wish Liat well but please, put the interest of paying customers first.

  14. Carol Freel
    September 10, 2015

    Liat stops at every island along your route to your destination many of which you have to get off and get back on again. It takes hours to get from one place to the next because of all the stops. Liat overbooks consistently and you never know if or when you’re going to arrive at your destination. Getting back home is another disaster. LIAT SUCKS!!! And it’s way too expensive. I’m swimming next time or rowing a boat – I’ll get there quicker. They need to take lessons from Alaska Air – those people know what they’re doing and they do it very well. Same small airline, 100000% better than Liat, who always has an excuse for being flaky, inconsistent, late, overbooked and inefficient. They just SUCK! Sell it to someone who knows what they’re doing.

  15. grell
    September 10, 2015

    Pm Stuart thanks so much for your relief effort,but liat is a waste my friend,the bad management liat continues to support and the bad customer service,no way.Winair has proven time and time again they are the best in my book.cUSTOMER SERVICE IN ANTIGUA IS THE WORST.

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