Antigua and Barbuda makes a bid for Barbados’ shares in LIAT

An aircraft of the cash-strapped LIAT

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Brown has made good on his intention to bid for the purchasing of Barbados shares in cash trapped LIAT.

In fact, the Government this week officially submitted a document to authorities in Barbados indicating its interest in purchasing the shares that country owns in the cash-strapped regional airline LIAT.

Browne confirmed in an interview with our freelance reporter in St John’s this week, that the proposal was submitted Tuesday and the government is anticipating a favourable response.

“We are looking towards the sustainability and viability of LIAT. We now have to await a response from Barbados and then we will develop an action plan on the way forward,” Browne said.

His decision comes on the heels of a recent meeting of LIAT’s shareholder governments in Antigua.

During the meeting, Browne presented the proposal which involves, among other things, a way to finance the retention of the three planes owned by the Caribbean Development Bank.

There was also a suggestion that the planes be sold as part of the downsizing of LIAT and there is agreement among some shareholders that this is a matter which merits very serious consideration.

The shareholder governments have been asking other Caribbean governments to provide financial assistance to the Antigua-based airline that services 15 Caribbean countries.

St. Kitts-Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Grenada have responded positively to the call for raising US $5.4 million to help the airline deal with its current financial problems.

Antigua’s leader has insisted, “My government is determined that LIAT should remain in the air and we will oppose any decision to collapse the airline.”

Meantime, according to recent reports, Grenada has joined Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to become the fifth shareholder in LIAT.

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20 Comments

  1. Ummm...
    May 14, 2019

    Good move! No one trust Mia Motley. She’s trying to kill Liat so Barbados could open it’s own airline.

  2. Mathhias Dover
    May 14, 2019

    Interesting story. Well written and informative. What i need to know is how Antigua is able to have such financial capabilities and Gaston Browne best friend Roosevelt doesnt?

  3. Joseph John
    May 13, 2019

    That was a very smart business move by our PM. I am no wall street expert but I know that buying shares in an airline is a good investment. The value of those shares can double. The Antigua PM knows that and is prepared to take the risk. He considered LIAT a safe risk. I think so too. I would reconstruct LIAT and fire the top managers. I have seen several failing companies be restructured that way and turn out to be highly profitable success.
    That is what we need to do to turn our marketing board around. Managers and top employees need to be held accountable and show positive results or sent packing. Business entities are not gentlemen’s club, but are enterprises that can show a profit. If after 1 to 5 years a business cannot have a good bottom line heads should roll. There is no way a food or travel business can fail with so many customers and good management.

  4. REAL!!!!
    May 13, 2019

    If they buy the shares, Antigua is going to do much worse than what B/dos was doing when it comes to LIAT……Note, I never agreed with what B/dos was doing.

    So I hope Dominica will be looking for a solution quickly that does not involve LIAT if this happen. Because I believe in the short term Dominica will be screwed even if we put money in.

    Why not a decision for the rest entities to buy B/dos shares and split it evenly….Gaston is only thinking about his Country to Hell with the REST.

  5. Malatete
    May 13, 2019

    Again, that aircraft, V2-LDQ, is and old Dash -8 and, retired from active service in Feb. 2015 I believe and flown to Jacksonville, Florida in July of that year. If it still registered as on lease to LIAT that would be a very questionable practice.

  6. Truth Be Told
    May 13, 2019

    Great move by Antigua! LIAT will eventually be majority share ownership in the hands of Antigua, meaning Antigua will own the airline where its operational Headquarters was already Antigua! Dominicans do you see how Caribbean islands make progress and advancement in their development and prosperity? Do you see strategy? Look at St Vincent International Airport, strategy! Look at Ross University School of Medicine, Barbados, strategy! Look at Antigua’s play to be the majority shareholders and therefore owners of LIAT, strategy!
    But keep on voting Labour in Dominica because they resurface the roads… and kakarat stay there!

  7. Pipo
    May 13, 2019

    and I am insisting that I will not use your airline again mr. Browne! Customer is always king, not dictatorial politicians.

  8. Annon
    May 13, 2019

    And the beat goes on………

  9. TJ
    May 13, 2019

    It is intended that Antigua always see the benefit of keeping LIAT.
    After all it is benefiting his people at the expense, let say Dominica. After all Antigua have many alternative of Air travel.
    So, his care is to keep Liat at his home at the expense of Dominica and the other island supporting him.

  10. I Vex Man
    May 12, 2019

    1. So what we have is a situation where Barbados took Ross University from us.

    2. St. Vincent took our international Airport from us.

    3. Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Kitts and others taking our educated young brains from us.

    4. What they don’t want we taking. They don’t want Haitians although they have work for them. But somehow is Dominica that has NO work, NO money, No Health care system Skerrit brining to us. Can you all not his plan is to destroy us with his money so he could have his kind of Dominica?

    5. Your remember when he FOOLED us with this: PM Skerrit says investors ‘flocking’ to Dominica after Maria https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/general/pm-skerrit-says-investors-flocking-to-dominica-after-maria/

    6. Skerrit where are the investors that flocking to Dominica? The Haitians? They are the ones we see flocking to Dominica but they not hiring anyone. Boy you that what Skerrit did to our country? We need to FIRE…

  11. I Vex Man
    May 12, 2019

    But check that nou:
    1. Gaston Douglas has 200 Antiguans working for LIAT and the man is prepared to do what it takes to protect LIAT because he is smart enough to understand that LIAT represents a pay cheque for 200 citizens.
    2. Compare that to Roosevelt Skerrit that allowed Ross University to leave Dominica. Ross University had over 1200 Dominicans working and an income for over 2000 people, yet Skerrit allowed them to leave without putting a FIGHT man! In fact Skerrit paved their way out and told us is because of Maria they leaving. In even gets worse when we understand that it is his 3 Bajan senior advisors that helped take Ross from us.
    3. Barbados is not interested in LIAT, although they got Ross University that will greatly increase tourism. Why? Because they have an international airport
    4. Skerrit met a design for our international airport and the man allowed Ralf Gonsalves, PM of St. Vincent to TRICK him out of it. If we had an international airport Ross would be here for…

  12. Jonathan Y St Jean
    May 12, 2019

    Without some big-time investor(s), putting money in LIAT is just like flushing money down a toilet. Barbados will continue to benefit if LIAT survives because it’s a hub to connect to the international venues. Keeping their money in a failing venture is not a wise move. Dominica is at the worse disadvantage if LIAT collapses because it doesn’t have the options those with better airports have. The collapse of LIAT may just be a blessing to get Dominica to look more seriously at alternatives of ferry transport more seriously and also to setting up hubs north and south with the French territories and a its own airline to service those hubs.

  13. Anon
    May 12, 2019

    Why would Barbados sell its shares it has more to lose than any other shareholder.

    • Truth Be Told
      May 13, 2019

      Barbados is broke and need the money! Do you people not follow regional and international news? Mia won the elections because of the failures of the last Government of Barbados which left the Barbados economy in free fall. A bit like how our PM will leave Dominica economy broken!

    • Pipo
      May 13, 2019

      Man think! If Barbados sell now to Gaston Browne they get at least something but if the the airrline goes bankrupt they will just have shares that can not even be used as toilet paper.

      • Anon
        May 14, 2019

        To repeat why would Barbados broke or not with an economy as large if not larger than the entire OECS sell its shares? LIAT is vital to Barbados’ regional trade and tourism. LIAT needs efficiency not deception.

  14. Roseau
    May 12, 2019

    Before this sale goes through , Antigua has to tell us what changes they are going to make to make LIAT a viable company .

    • Joseph John
      May 13, 2019

      Antigua has to tell “us” nothing. “US” can assume all kinds of authority over every one like those gangsters who gave the Dominica government 14 days to quit. But every one knows what their “assumption ” mean.

  15. Deaf & Dumb
    May 12, 2019

    I see with my little eyes, hear with my little ears, smell with my little nose that Gaston Brown might be on his was to completely buy LIAT. Don’t be surprised to hear he tricked Skerrit already to pay some shares knowing very well that Skerrit is not smart and already he is on his way out. They already know the man is the dumbest PM in the Caribbean as Gonsalves exposed his dumbness, when he came right here in Portsmouth and took our international airport from him and then, recently, Barbados PM Mia Mottley, didn’t even have to come to Dominica; she just used Skerrit’s advisors from Barbados to take Ross University from him. Alla magwesa! to prove the dumbness of Skerrit, the former Haitian president came right here to trick Skerrit to replace our University with the University of Port-au-Prince. Don’t forget Denzil Douglas had already tricked him in getting our Diplomatic passport. Whenever Caribbean leaders want to fool a PM they just turn to Skerrit. Is Ian alone he can fool

  16. Upwardly Mobile
    May 12, 2019

    Good Goggley!!! Say it ain’t so!!! Nature Islanders traveling from Antigua have had our fill of “Your flight has been cancelled due to strong winds on or near Dominica. There is a flight that departs at 0600 am tomorrow. You can overnight at a nearby hotel or the Defense Force barracks. A driver will pick you up at 0200 am to take you to the airport”.

    This is what travelers can look forward to if this proposed buy-out pans out. From my extensive personal travel experience, I can emphatically state LIAT is definitely not synonymous with reliability and quality service.

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