Regional leaders apprehensive about LIAT 2020

A LIAT aircraft at Dominica’s main airport. Photo credit: Lennox Honychurch

The future of LIAT 2020 remains in limbo as regional leaders continue to be apprehensive about the setting up of the new entity.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and his other regional counterparts met in St Lucia recently to discuss LIAT 2020, but it remains questionable as to whether these Caribbean governments are quite ready to embrace the initiative.

When CARICOM heads of government met in Castries, the resuscitation of LIAT formed a major part of their discussions, and reports from St Johns is that the meeting ended without any solid consensus.

“Based on the information, there is a significant degree of reticence within other Caribbean member states to embrace LIAT in the manner we thought that they would want to do at this particular time,” Antigua’s Information Minister Melford Nicholas told reporters

“The government is committed to advancing the resuscitation of LIAT. LIAT has been able to maintain a degree of operations with just two aircraft and has been able to sustain the livelihood of 167 of its former employees and we are looking towards LIAT 2020 with a new possibility of increasing its presence in the Caribbean”, he added.

He acknowledged that the loss of LIAT has been felt by everyone and that Antigua and Barbuda is still committed to the airline.

“There may be an opportunity for some type of joint venture arrangement to be able to facilitate the expansion and resuscitation of LIAT, and the distribution from [Africa] to the Caribbean with an airline like Air Peace,” he added.

Last year, LIAT’s shareholder governments – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica,  and St Vincent and the Grenadines – agreed to restructure the airline and return it to commercial service.

LIAT 1974 Ltd has been in administration since July 2020 and has been operating a reduced schedule with a limited workforce since November of that year. It is now set for liquidation.

Former workers are said to be owed approximately EC$120 million in severance and other payments.


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  1. JAH KAL
    February 17, 2023

    One hundred twenty million that’s peanuts for skerrit and gaston brown.
    They can buy that with their eye close and run through the caribbean island , We can not get flight to dominica from anywhere so if they by liat they can run taxi through the islands.

  2. dissident
    February 15, 2023

    Why can’t these falsely acclaimed world bosses and millionaire PM’s don’t form an airline company if their own

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
    • Dominican Bwoi
      February 15, 2023

      The only Worl Boss I acknowledge is Adidja Palmer

      Free Kartel! :-D

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13
      • Ibo France
        February 15, 2023

        Dominican Bwoi, Kartel is no world boss! He is a convicted crime iCal like Jay Cure. A World Boss in jail?

        To repeat, Kartel is no BOSS. He’s a polluter. He pollutes the minds of the impressionable youthful population. Dust he came from and may he go back to dust in prison.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
      • Toto
        February 15, 2023

        Boy, you keeping bad company. That man is in jail for life for murdering his mate Lizzard. Something seriously wrong with you. I suggest you see a psychiatrist.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  3. Lawyer
    February 15, 2023

    Who on earth would want this company back? Over the years I was on the receiving end of their diabolical customer service and their inflated price. Good riddance! This company wouldn’t have survived more than 2 years in the European aviation market.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 3
  4. Bwa-Banday
    February 14, 2023

    If the new Liat had shown it could be profitable in the short or long term, Antigua would have kept it as their national airline. They simply want others to share the debt burden while they benefit the most. Inter-caribbean travel has become the new nightmare on Elm Street but we cant allow this to push us back into the arms of the very airline that failed us in the first place. Let LIAT die so a more forward thinking airline can fill the void with a better business concept. If not please let Antigua go ahead as the sole owner of their national airline.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2
  5. Channel 1
    February 14, 2023

    A number of these regional governments will turn their backs on LIAT but bend over backwards, crawl on their knees and establish Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG) fund accounts to subsidize foreign airlines from the US, England, Europe etc when these airlines fly in to their islands with passenger loads that are not profitable to the airline.

    All this and more some of these regional governments will do to attract extra-regional airlines to fly to their islands but they will play tight-fist with LIAT which provides such a vital service to inter-regional travel. That is really unfortunate.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3
  6. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    February 14, 2023

    LIAT should be eliminated completely abolished and a new airline established using jets that can make it non stop to the US. People should not have to go through conniptions just to get to Dominica, Dominica is losing out compared to the other islands. That is one of the main reasons, conniptions getting there. When people realize they will have to go through conniptions to get there they do not visit the island.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12
    • Me
      February 15, 2023

      Conniption?? I hope not and presume you mean “connection”.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
      • February 15, 2023

        TBH, both words work here.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
    • Zandoli
      February 15, 2023

      It looks like you learned a new word – conniptions.
      Did you not learn anything in high school about overusing the same word in an essay? It does not make for good reading.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4
      • Bring back the kidnapped parrots
        February 15, 2023

        I did not graduate and do not claim to be a philosopher.

  7. Pablo
    February 14, 2023

    … meanwhile the people suffer and languish..

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  8. JustSaying
    February 14, 2023

    Let LIAT die already.

    We are in 2023 a much different air travel dynamic than what existed in 1970 when LIAT was born.

    Regional governments need to come up with more innovative ways (less financially burdensome) to solve what will always be the challenging issue of intraregional travel.

    If Antigua wants to hold on to LIAT in their “national interest” by all means let them do so. As long as they are ready to take on the financial debt that comes with it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2
  9. Zandoli
    February 14, 2023

    I really do not see the connection between LIAT being resuscitated and the jobs of 167 employees. If that is the mindset of the Antiguan government, LIAT will never be successful. A company’s job is not to create employment. You employ the people you need to sustain the business successfully. That mean, if you can operate with 15 people as opposed to 167, that is what you do. It seems to me the Antiguan government is as concerned about the employment of its citizens as much as it about the vey life of the company. That is why you see government backed companies with such bloated payrolls.
    Their sole focus should be operating a company that can at least look after itself without those massive subsidies.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2
    • Ibo France
      February 15, 2023

      Gaston and his administration are so adamant about reviving LIAT because they used it as a welfare system. No wonder despite all the $millions they pumped into this airline it failed spectacular!y.

      Let me repeat. Having Gaston lead the effort to resurrect LIAT’s fortune is a colossal failure of common sense. Fact – he has degraded Antigua & Barbuda to one of the top ten most indebted countries in the world.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
    • Malatete
      February 16, 2023

      Liat needs 167 employees to operate 2 planes. Intercaribbean airways has 150 employees for a fleet of 7 aircraft. Liat is still top heavy.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  10. Ibo France
    February 14, 2023

    To say intra regional travel is a big headache that’s a huge understatement. This is negatively impacting not only contact among our people but adversely affecting our economies.

    The problem needs both urgent attention and a long term solution. It’s obvious that this problem is too difficult for these bickering Heads of State who have an estrogen imbalance to resolve.

    The worst thing that happened was to put Brown Paperbag to lead the resurrection of LIAT 2022. Even a cursory glance of the present physical and economic state of Antigua would convince you that Gaston CANNOT lead.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2
  11. Toto
    February 14, 2023

    Private operators like interCaribbean have stepped successfully into the brink. No need for any government owned airline, which would be cumbersome and expensive to run and I expect Antigua still would want the lion share. Everywhere I have seen government owned airlines is like an elephant with five legs. They have no business being in that type of business. That is only costing their tax payers money.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 5

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