LIAT shareholders to meet this week to discuss the airline’s future

LIAT aircraft

Shareholder governments of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, are to hold an informal meeting on Saturday amid reports that there are plans afoot to sell the airline. 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says Saturday’s virtual meeting will discuss a number of issues facing the Antigua-based carrier, including the impact the coronavirus has had on the struggling airline.

Gonsalves acknowledged a proposal to sell the airline has always been on the table but shareholders have not discussed that.

According to reports from CMC, Barbados directors of the cash strapped airline met on Monday, discussing the future of the airline including the possible sale of half of the airline’s fleet.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne says while he was not privy to any report regarding the possible winding up of the airline, he too like his St. Vincent and the Grenadines colleague, has been examining the likely impact of COVID-19 on the finances of the airline.

LIAT was forced to shut down its passenger commercial flights in March when the regional government closed their borders as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the virus that has killed thousands of people and infected millions of others worldwide.

LIAT shareholder governments are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Last year Antigua and Barbuda rejected Barbados’ offer of US$44 million for a portion of its shares of LIAT. The two parties are still in negotiations.

LIAT is said to owe millions of dollars.

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  1. June 25, 2020

    I think that Tail should sell out and hope for the best some other company could buy it and take the Caribbean out of its headache because this will never stop Liat reach to a point never on time not reliable I for sure not flying liat as long as I have other option. Time to let go remember the federal palm & federal maple we did let go its Liat turn.

  2. Ibo France
    June 24, 2020

    DNO this comment has nothing to do with LIAT. I have asked this question umpteen of times but you have stubbornly refused to reply.

    Why don’t you do editorials? Are you afraid that someone in high ofFice might take offence or deliberately distort your words?

    The PRESS in Dominica is a colossal failure. All they do is to regurgitate, word for word, what is said or written.

    The press is the fourth power in a democracy as it has such a significant social influence. It’s apparent that fear of the powers that be has prevented the media from exercising its constitutional right to speak truth to power.

    DNO, weekly editorial, with the sole intention of effecting positive changes will put the country on the right footing.

    ADMIN: We welcome guest editorials from yourself and others who can afford to make the time.

  3. L C Matthew
    June 24, 2020

    Liat is just a reflection of what our caribbean leadership represents today. Failure! Failure to empower the regions people, failure to increase the ability of citizens to gain and grow wealth, failure to increase inter island commerce and travel which is what the sustainability of liat depends on, failure to consider the millions of people living in the region in their developmental policies, failure to be honest and responsible with countries finances. Liat executive get large pays. Government officials enrich themselves. A false sense of development when it seems Chinese and other nations dump millions with their own labour indirectly returning funds back to china. Would it not have been great if all those projects were done by Caribbean nationals who could travel home every two weeks. The regression of the region is just a symptom of the terrible leadership we have now leading. Liat is a victim of that circumstance. I want to see how much of that 8 million Dominica gets.

  4. June 24, 2020

    Just rename it WIAT, Winward Islands Air Transportation, case closed. That is after Skerrit buys it.

  5. Bad guy
    June 24, 2020

    Please can the airport be opened before the second week of July

    • Toto
      June 25, 2020

      Don’t you hear DNO report yesterday that Antigua have 39 new cases of Covid. They open their airport to US flights when Europe is thinking to ban all tourist from there because they have such a high infection rate there. Don’t be selfish my boy, think about all of us.

      • JJ
        June 25, 2020

        Are you sure they came to Antigua via US airline or any airline carrier? All reports said they came via ocean cruise liners as workers returning home. They were already in quarantine just as Dominicans returned the same way several weeks ago.

  6. Ibo France
    June 24, 2020

    The people of the region are now suffering from ‘LIAT fatigue’. The airline’s longstanding financial woes are progressively worsening despite the infusion of millions of dollars to make the company viable.

    Its demise seems inevitable. However, I would like it to survive and become financially stable again. Its disappearance will create a devastating blow to intra regional travel. Unemployment will surge in some countries causing untold hardships for many. Air travel to and from Dominica will be especially problematic.

    Let’s keep hope alive as difficult as it may be.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      June 25, 2020

      lbo, it is Dominica not the region; Dominica not listed here!
      Rank Airport name City Country or territory IATA/ICAO Code Passengers
      1. Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport San Juan Puerto Rico Puerto Rico SJU/TJSJ 9,448,253 [a]
      2. Punta Cana International Airport Punta Cana Dominican Republic Dominican Republic PUJ/MDPC 7,137,882 [b]
      3. José Martí International Airport Havana Cuba Cuba HAV/MUHA 5,713,859 [c]
      4. Sangster International Airport Montego Bay Jamaica Jamaica MBJ/MKJS 4,766,301 [d]
      5. Lynden Pindling International Airport Nassau The Bahamas The Bahamas NAS/MYNN 4,102,762 [e]
      6. Las Americas International Airport Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Dominican Republic SDQ/MDSD 3,982,978 [b]
      7. Piarco International Airport Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago POS/TTPP 2,840,643 [f]
      8. Queen Beatrix International Airport Aruba Aruba Aruba AUA/TNCA 2,546,360 [g]
      9. Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport Pointe-à-Pitre Guadeloupe…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      June 25, 2020

      To be accurate, we know that there are international Airports on the islands of St. Kitts/Nevis, Grenada, and St. Vincent.

      These islands do not need LIAT; shut LIAT down the only people in the Caribbean who will be hurt are Dominicans.

      I did post an input in response to your comments I have yet to see it.

      Blame Roosevelt Skerrit and the labor party for Dominica not having an international airport.
      Remember their passion, each time Dominica International Airport was mentioned; the labor party and their supporters screamed: ” we doh want it!”

      “Antigua, and Barbados have one already.”

      Then Roosevelt brought Ralph Gonzales to Dominica to convinced the idiots that we do not need an International airport, all we need is refurbish Melville Hall Airport and change the name to Douglas Charles, and that will cause night landings.

      While he made a fool of Roosevelt, he built an International Airport in St. Vincent!

      How stupid are some prime minister?

  7. Maximum Bob
    June 24, 2020

    Dominica should buy three of the planes and start its own service – Nature Island Airlines – flying between Barbados, Antigua, and San Juan. Forget an international airport – use those of our neighbors, and spare generations of Dominicans financial and political indebtedness to China.

    • Eagle-Eyed
      June 24, 2020

      And when the three planes can no longer fly we would still be left without an international airport and no planes. Not a very clever suggestion. An international airport should be a priority. We should look forward with ambition not backwards.

      • Nadia Buke
        June 24, 2020

        The corona virus impacted on Liat like any other business but all can’t be blamed on the virus. After more than 50 years Liat can’t get it right will they ever. It all boils down to poor management and every time the govts have to pour money in that bottomless pit. Please fold up or sell to someone who can manage. Caribbean taxpayers are tired.

      • Maximum Bob
        June 25, 2020

        You don’t think Dominica operating its own airline is ambitious? Erm, to answer your rather odd question – you gradually increase the size of your fleet. Being indebted to China is hardly ‘looking forward with ambition’ is it?

      • Just a thought
        June 25, 2020

        You do understand that the point of having a business is to make a profit and expand right? There will be a technical department that maintains the planes and in case you don’t know, planes can also be bought and repaced.

      • Da peeps
        June 25, 2020

        Great idea, LIAT is a money pit that should have been shut down many years ago. I guess covid19 will do what the rest of the shareholders should have done years ago. You cannot run a business that’s in the red every year. But again Dominicans always late so we would be missing our connecting flights on every trip if we turn it into a Dominican airlines.

    • Malatete
      June 24, 2020

      Liat is a small airline with only ten ATR turboprops in its fleet, eight of which are leased and two owned by the airline. I do not think it has any viability in its present configuration and if anyone thinks about starting our own Dominican airline have a word first with Sam Rafael of Junglebay, who tried this and who will advise you how difficult it is to operate an airline profitably in- out of Dominica.

      • Maximum Bob
        June 26, 2020

        Think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be a business that is run for profit. It could be a business that is simply run as a service, covering its operating costs – like a nationalized industry. The financial benefit to Dominica would come via increased tourism and business thanks to an inexpensive air shuttle service between Dominica and local international hubs.

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