LIAT 1974 to cease operations on Jan. 24

LIAT Landing

LIAT (1974) Limited, a regional airline owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, will permanently cease all commercial flying operations from January 24, 2024.  This decision has been taken by the court-appointed administrator, Cleveland Seaforth, after careful consideration and evaluation of the present operations.

In a letter addressed to the staff of LIAT (1974) Limited (in administration) on Thursday, Seaforth stated that all employees will be made redundant, effective February 4, 2024, without any payment. However, he promised that obligations will be met. This move is expected to result in over 90 employees losing their jobs.

LIAT (1974) Limited has been under administration since July 24, 2020, and had been servicing several regional destinations before it entered administration. Since then, it has scaled down its operations and is now only serving Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, San Juan Puerto Rico, St Kitts, St Lucia, and St Maarten.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, during his country’s national budget presentation last month, said that his government had embraced the responsibility to restructure and resurrect LIAT, “with a vision of returning the airline to the regional skies”.

Browne also mentioned that LIAT has long been an essential thread in the fabric of Caribbean connectivity.

Browne shared that in 2023, LIAT 1974 Limited, which resumed flying operations on November 1, 2020, operated a limited schedule, despite several hurdles, including unserviceable aircraft, unresolved issues for former workers, financial constraints, staff attrition, and disruptions caused by the hurricane season.

The airline ensured vital connectivity across destinations with 167 dedicated staff.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) based in Barbados will play a critical role in solidifying the arrangement among the governments, which will set the stage for finalizing the agreement with Air Peace, a private Nigerian airline founded in 2013.

This will enable LIAT 2020–a separate entity–to begin operations, thereby securing a promising future for regional travel.

In 2024, the Antigua and Barbuda government will spend an estimated EC$30 million to ensure LIAT 2020 Ltd has all the aircraft needed and appropriate maintenance and operational arrangements are in place for the safe, reliable, and efficient delivery of service to the people of the region.

Browne is confident that LIAT 2020 will emerge stronger, more efficient, sustainable, and better positioned to serve the needs of the people of the Caribbean. In his letter to staff, Seaforth stated that the company was not in a position to make any severance payments at this stage, but indicated that it would not be shying away from its obligations to them on severance, vacation pay, retroactive pay, and any outstanding salaries.

He also mentioned that the company recognizes its obligation as it relates to any of the applicable entitlements, which will be provided to employees under separate cover within 45 days of his letter after the respective computations have been completed.

Seaforth noted that the payment of any indebtedness to employees cannot be made at this time, but also assured that the administrator would make every effort to secure the best outcome with respect to the indebtedness to all employees in accordance with the company’s legal and contractual requirements.

He thanked the workers for their valuable contribution to LIAT (1974) Limited.

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  1. Mike
    January 11, 2024

    I am happy that liat went under, Dominicans were suffering under liat, they would take us to Antigua and live us stranded, and no one could never give us a clear answer to what was going on, liat was very disrespectful towards Dominicans, I was so happy when AA start going to Dominica, we were no longer under the mercy of liat and Antigua. for one Antigua build its airport on the back of Dominicans. I am happy that liat went under it was about time, no more sleep over for Dominicans in Antigua bed bug hotels.and yes I said it

  2. Skerro
    January 9, 2024

    we are sadly to announce the death of liat left to morn five children the prime minister of antigua Dominica st Vincent Granada and st Lucia friends to many to mention viewing will be on January 15 and funeral service on 16 dont forget to bring tissues for the star boy and PM of antigua

  3. January 9, 2024

    We want to travel cheap, however we ignore the fact that running an airline is very expensive. The majority of Airlines that survive receive government subsidies.

  4. Tt
    January 9, 2024

    governments have no business running businesses. they lack the organization , transparency and vision required to lead a business successfully.

  5. Gratitude
    January 8, 2024

    if these Caribbean countries are to take the region to the next level then the need an airline that allows Caribbean national to travel at a cheap or reduced rate .a reduced rate will allow constant movement by Caribbean nationals like what Ryanair and easy jet do in Europe. the key to it is the charging of luggage

  6. Skerro
    January 8, 2024

    liat was in it graveyard long time with those irresponsible greedy government that only looking for there pockets starting on star boy of Dominica fear well liat bye bye

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  7. If we knew better
    January 8, 2024

    Didnt Antigua government just pump more money into LIAT recently?

  8. No Gravy Train
    January 7, 2024

    Good riddance to this Mickey Mouse of an airline operation who is like an annoying spouse perpetually threatening to leave.

    Hopefully, the void in regional air travel will be filled by a more reliable and self-sufficient carrier.

  9. Ntn
    January 7, 2024

    When will we ever get an airline in the Caribbean again liat I personally miss you though u gave me some bumps, leaving me In Antigua for 2 days but u were my choice of travel

  10. Ibo France
    January 7, 2024

    The aviation business is very competitive today, and the margin of profit is not as sizeable as previous times. Therefore, one can logically conclude that our failing governments should have no business in such a fickle industry. Leave said for the private sector.

    What irks me most about the announcement is that the former LIAT workers have been deprived of their pension, severance and other benefits owed to them by law. This is the epitome of sinfulness..

    This depraved action proves beyond an atom of doubt that the incumbent Caribbean governments are all about self aggrandizement, the people’s welfare is of no moment.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7
  11. Zandoli
    January 7, 2024

    Let me make sure I understand the statements made by Mr. Seaforth. LIAT 1974 is no longer in operation and cannot afford to meet its obligations to its former employees. In the same breath, he is leaving them to believe they will be compensated for wages and vacation pay. Where is that money going to come from? Certainly not from LIAT 1974 Limited.
    The respective shareholder governments may decide to pay them, but that is a decision that has to be made by those governments.
    It is one thing to pay for back wages, but vacation pay for working for a company that is no longer in business?
    Let’s wait and see how much they actually get.

  12. En Ba La
    January 7, 2024

    Liat being the regional airlines for some reason did nott survive.

    I am questioning whether the hole that American airlines took in the region whether Liat could not have taken this. For example Dominica.and.rhe USA flights.

    I believe they should have expanded somehow long time they should have taken steps to grow internationally.

  13. January 6, 2024

    Amen finally its time to stop beating a dead horse let it go let someone else take care of Liat problem..

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