LIAT 2020 finally receives Air Operator’s Certificate

LIAT 2020 aircraft and crew

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has announced that LIAT 2020, based in Antigua, has obtained its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). However, he criticized the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in Barbados for causing further delays in the airline’s return to regional operations. LIAT 2020 is a collaborative effort with Air Peace, a private Nigerian airline established in 2013. Earlier this year, Browne stated that Air Peace would invest close to US$65 million, while the Antiguan government would contribute US$20 million.

During his weekly radio program, Browne confirmed the acquisition of the AOC but expressed frustration over the CDB’s sluggish response to the sales agreement for the aircraft. Antigua and Barbuda’s government had pledged to deposit US$12.1 million into an Escrow account for the acquisition of three planes owned by the CDB as part of the efforts to launch LIAT (2020) Limited.

The government had made an offer to purchase the three aircraft from the CDB, which were previously operated by the regional airline LIAT. Despite this, the CDB’s extended vetting process of the sales agreement, which has lasted over two weeks, has become a significant obstacle. Browne expressed his perplexity at the length of time it has taken for the CDB to review the sales agreement and his frustration with the delay.

Browne also highlighted the government’s need to engage in a lease agreement with the LIAT 1974 administrator to lease one of the planes for US$100,000 a month, in addition to a maintenance agreement costing another US$95,000 per month.He conveyed his hope that the sales agreement situation would be resolved early the following week and emphasized his concern that the CDB’s legal department has held up the process for an unreasonable length of time.

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