Former Barbadian PM is new LIAT Chairman

New LIAT Chairman, former Barbadian prime minister, Owen Arthur

Former prime minister of Barbados, Owen Seymour Arthur, is the new Chairman of the regional airline, LIAT. Arthur replaces Barbadian, Dr Jean Holder, who retired last December.

Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister, Gaston Browne, is the first to welcome Arthur to his new position, saying that his chairmanship is among several changes being made to LIAT.

Browne said other changes would include the implementation of a proper reservations system and employee-hiring control.

“I don’t think there could be any better candidate” Browne said, recounting how Arthur had invested in the “survivability” of the airline during his tenure as prime minister of Barbados.  He said now that LIAT is at a cross road again, he thinks Arthur is “the right person to help to lead LIAT out of its difficulties”.

The announcement comes a few weeks after prime minister Browne said that he met with the head of LIAT’s largest shareholder government, Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley and the chairman of LIAT’s shareholder governments, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves to reach a consensus on the way forward for the failing airline.

Arthur, recognized as was the longest-serving Barbadian prime minister, served from September 6th, 1994 to January, 20th, 1999; January, 20th, 1999 to May, 21st, 2003; and from May, 21st, 2003 to January, 15th, 2008.

According to release from LIAT, Arthur currently serves as a Professor of Practice at the University of The West Indies. He has served the Caribbean as a learned Statesman including his work presiding over the Regional process to revise the Treaty of Chaguaramas to establish the Caribbean Single Market and Economy(CSME).

The new Board of Directors comprises the Rt. Hon. Prof. Owen S. Arthur as chairman, Mr. Michael Holder, Mr. Mark Maloney, Mr. Robert Riley, Mrs. Juanita Thorington-Powlett, Mr. Isaac Solomon, Mrs. Carolyn Tonge, Hon. Lennox Weston and Hon.Sir Robin Yearwood.

The new Directors bring to the airline and regional transportation sector over 100 years of combined aviation experience. The Directors have demonstrated exceptional records of performance and service to the industry and to the region.

The new Chairman has been tasked by the new Board to undertake a special assignment to meet with regional Prime Ministers to discuss the sustainability of the Airline. This assignment will be supported by other directors and the Management Team of the airline.

The LIAT release states that shareholders, management and Staff welcome the LIAT directors and look forward to working together with the new Board to foster and strengthen regional transportation and integration.

The primary issue with LIAT, remains the raising of capital for the airline, even while the other three existing shareholder governments commit to allocating money to recapitalize it.

Antigua and Barbuda will contribute the largest capital sum of USD $15 million, a sum they have already secured through Banco del ALBA. The goal is to accumulate 25 to 20 million dollars to revitalize LIAT.

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14 Comments

  1. DAPossieMasse
    January 9, 2020

    Oh boy how not surprising. I cannot miss a meal is at again. Skerro bailed out LIAT with Dominica’s diplomatic passport money instead of building an international airport specifically so that he will not affect the tourist industries in Barbados and Antigua.

    Yet the inner membership of the cabal are building hotels (alas Ian dog last) is not a part of dat click. So how do they plan to populate these luxury hotels; can the masses of Dominica’s people afford to utilize these hotels?

    So here comes the appointment of one, not surprisingly from Barbados, to complete the cycle. Gaston wants LIAT to be solvent. JetBlue lands in Barbados at 12:30, but LIAT leaves Barbados at 12:40, so Dominicans must overnight in Barbados to spend money in Mia’s economy, while our passport money is supporting LIAT to make us pay in Barbados. Why would LIAT not wait to be a connecting flight? You ask Roosevelt Skerrit, because he made it work for voters to come to keep him “volerlee” in office.

  2. Go Fly A Kite
    January 9, 2020

    It would have been infinitely more prudent to offer Mr. Arthur an advisory role than the post of LIAT Chairman.

    This beleaguered and long floundering airline will need more than a dash of the name recognition of the former Barbados PM to wrest itself from a legacy of gross mismanagement, poor service, and a high degree of customer dissatisfaction.

    LIAT has been content to remain complacent and slow to change as there continues to be no viable competitor to offer regional flyers a better flight service option.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  3. Malatete
    January 9, 2020

    LIAT does not need a cherry on its cake like this. It is not a cake but a terminally ill patient that requires urgent and ruthless surgery. The first carbuncle to be excised should be its CEO, the well connected Julie Reiner Jones. The seat/mile costs under her leadership are still ridiculously high and her leadership has done nothing to improve this.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  4. Nacinimod
    January 9, 2020

    The LIAT business model is not compatible with the huge ego of each island building its own international airport. As a result, not enough traffic to support an airline like LIAT and its massive bureaucracy.

    Moreover, the onerous fees, taxes and levies imposed by Caribbean governments is unconscionable. Randall Robinson, a former American Airlines CEO, once said it is impossible for airlines to make money. The economics just does not make sense. High purchase or leasing costs, high fuel prices, high pilot and crew costs, etc. etc. And oh, I almost forgot, high maintenance costs, that cannot be compromised.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  5. jamie
    January 9, 2020

    I just don’t get it,why are all these older people getting these jobs,what about the younger generation,the come with brighter ideas,this is the reason Liat will continue to fail.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
  6. Casio
    January 9, 2020

    Is now dominica wouldnt get flights.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  7. January 9, 2020

    Legendary Incompetence And Tardiness.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  8. Unknown
    January 8, 2020

    Being a former PM, an accountant, lawyer etc, does not qualify to run an airline. Running an airline requires a lot more, including being able to adapt to quick changing markets and being very flexible.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
  9. Jacob and Esau
    January 8, 2020

    Look another Bajan and former PM going to trick Roosevelt again this time to get Skerrit to pay twenty million dollars for 24/7 service. Bodied , CARICOM just feasting on that brainless and corrupt leader that doesn’t have a clue on what to do to make life better for Dominicans. Ralph Gonzalves got our international airport from Skerrit, Motley got Ross University and all our apartments from him, St. Lucia got kubuli and trois Piton, St Kitts got Amerijet, Anguilla got some millions a few years ago, List had already gotten some 8-10 millions and the CARICOM community just keep fooling Esau and take everything we had. Lord have mercy on us with Esau.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7
  10. peter crumble
    January 8, 2020

    He will kill LIAT the same way he killed BARBADOS

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8
    • Glen
      January 8, 2020

      We have no knowledge of Mr. Arthur killing Barbados. To the contrary, the country grew during his tenure.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5
      • Galileo
        January 9, 2020

        I really don’t know where these type of people get there comments from. After about 15 years at the helm, Barbados was in 2010 upgraded to a developed country but Crumble is saying he killed Barbados. I have always said here if you have nothing to say, just keep quiet. Don’t comment and make a complete idiot of yourself.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
  11. Up den dung
    January 8, 2020

    The older we get de more power we want. Man is never satisfied. No wonder our young people are not able to find a good paying job. Old people are not stepping aside.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • January 10, 2020

      In a healthy economy the number of positions available aren’t fixed, there are enterprising people, young and old, starting businesses which increases the number of jobs.

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