Antigua prime minister says LIAT to be liquidated and new airline formed

A LIAT aircraft

“From all indications, LIAT will be liquidated,” Antigua prime minister Gaston Browne announced on Saturday evening.

A new entity will be formed.

“COVID would have actually, let’s say increased the losses exponentially, so whereas in all of 2019 LIAT made a loss of about EC$12 million, that was within the means of the shareholder governments to subsidize,” Browne said on local radio in Antigua.

“You would have found that since COVID, the planes have been grounded; they have to pay the lease payments and they are not getting any revenue.

“A decision will have to be made to collapse it and then maybe the countries within the region will have to come together to form a new entity,” Browne added.

Browne said the new entity will require full cooperation with a mixture of public and private capital.

“What I’m hoping that we do not have going forward with the new entity, is any squabble over the location of the headquarters,” Browne said.

“At the end of the day, the only service that Antigua and Barbuda has enjoyed … within CARICOM is LIAT and this has been the case for several decades.

“So I just hope that we are not going to have countries within the region opportunistically fighting us to get the headquarters in their country to displace Antigua and Barbuda,” added Browne.

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  1. Malatete
    June 30, 2020

    The airplane pictured is on old De Havilland Dash 8-100. No longer in Liat service and as far as I know was stored in Jacksonville(Fl.) in July 2015.

  2. Ibo France
    June 29, 2020

    Many people are advocating for LIAT to be immediately axed. It’s not that easy to start a new airline. Presently, the airline business is very risky as high operational cost makes it barely profitable. Back check the records and you’ll see how many of these business entities have failed.

    When one purchases an airline ticket, half or more of the cost of that particular ticket goes to government for taxes and fees. Apart from the mismanagement of LIAT’s executives, Caribbean governments are complicit in the downfall of the airline. That’s IRREFUTABLE ❗

  3. Cdr. Bud Slabbaert
    June 29, 2020

    In September 2016, a study was made for the creation of “Air Dominica”. It was proposed to be a Private Public Partnership. Dominica would have a say in what destinations it would fly to. In the start-up phase, it would have foreseen 2 times daily flights (1 morning-1 afternoon) to Antigua, Barbados, and Guadeloupe to conveniently make connections (for arriving and departing passengers) with international flights at those hubs. The operation base would have been Canefield airport in the start-up phase and possibly Douglas-Charles if the demand was growing. If I recall well, the estimated start-up cost was US$ 300,000. At that time the new airline could have been operational in 3-4 months. The study was never acted upon.

    • magway ca
      June 29, 2020

      you must be loosing your right mind. $300000 you say yuh for a start up airline. stop mixing your weed with ur medication rasta

      • Cdr. Bud Slabbaert
        June 30, 2020

        The study was made by an independent highly qualified aviation professional who has been involved in many airline matters worldwide where he solved the problems.

    • RoRo
      June 30, 2020

      Why don’t you start it up?? You seem to know it all. Put your money where your mouth is!

      • Cdr. Bud Slabbaert
        June 30, 2020

        I have no interest in starting or managing an airline or an aviation operation. I’m only mentioning that to my knowledge an independent study was made by a reputable aviation professional. However, seeing certain reactions about a post, I could not recommend investors and other aviation operators in my network to explore starting an operation in a certain location.

  4. Maybe
    June 29, 2020

    Liat is so expensive I don’t know why they always at a lost is someone pocketing the money from dominica to Antigua it’s more expensive than from Antigua to Florida so why liat always broke is it bad management

  5. Bryce
    June 29, 2020

    LIAT’s current crisis presents the opportunity for Dominica to get out of LIAT and instead use the millions that are going to be dumped into LIAT’s new-but-no-better incarnation to form its own airline. I refer you to commentaries published in 2018 on Dominica News Online by cdr. Bud Slabbaert. Search “Slabbaert” in the search box above…

  6. June 29, 2020

    That’s good news I always say that it would be better to get rid of Liat and let another companys come in to give service because the government owners do not want to bring others in to give Liat competition they would loose to much money because of their interest. So I am very much in favor of that move

  7. Tt
    June 29, 2020

    Why not let a private company fill that gap. Governments arent good at running businesses.

  8. Malatete
    June 28, 2020

    It is a pity but inevitable. Barbados having been the largest single shareholder with just short of 50%, I can not see them participating in rebirth of the companion in the same format, headquartered in Antigua just to salvage some jobs there. It does not have to be a national airline. An outside operator could do just as well and would not be hampered by any political considerations and therefore operate leaner. 100% government owned national airlines, as a rule are not known to be competitive or have a reputation for excellence.

  9. John Smith
    June 28, 2020

    The news that LIAT has gone bust has made my day.
    Arguably the worst airline in the world.
    Just hope Rowley doesn’t get involved. He just throwing money at Tobago….another dead loss.

  10. Bwa-Banday
    June 28, 2020

    It took these useless Caribbean governments with Dca at the helm long enough and the advent of COVID19 to realize LIAT is a failed entity. How long have we been saying to allow LIAT to die and start a new airline or allow a new private business venture to fill the gap? But noooooo, the cabal defendants consistently rebutted simply to defend the dumbo leader who saw it fit for reasons that made no sense to pump more money into LIAT..smmfh! What are they saying now :twisted: :twisted: ?

    Now Gaston take infront on the possible public/ private partnership but we need to be vigilante because the same leaders I am certain already have their duck in a row to become the “private” owners of the majority of shares. I promise you it will be no surprise if a “certain” Dcan leader hands are already in there utilizing our passport money to lay his personal claim to shares. Keep watching this space….. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    • zandoli
      June 29, 2020

      No matter who forms an airline, private equity or government back, it is bound to fail unless the high fees and taxes are eliminated within the region. These governments treat regional travel as a cash cow to be milked to death. Which company do you think will subsidize regional travel and lose money ear after year?

  11. Jonathan Y St Jean
    June 28, 2020

    Great move. And I hope this means that the too powerful union will not be an obstacle to travelers receiving excellent service. This is an opportunity to create new rules and guidance for the new workers union which will be formed. Also, what about the equity that Dominica has in LIAT? I hope we get something worthwhile and not lose all the money that was invested. LIAT has an excellent track record of safety and I hope none of it will be compromised in the replacement company that will be established. Dominicans are over-dependent on Liat and as such we have no choice but hope this remake works. Hoping for the best with this new vision and venture, God knows what we need something that works.

  12. Ibo Francer
    June 28, 2020

    It’s sad that this Caribbean ‘institution ‘ has literally collapsed. However, it was inevitable taking into consideration all its financial woes.

    Gaston Browne, the PM of Antigua &Barbuda, is not the best person to lead on the formation of a new airline for the replacement of LIAT.

    I’ve listened to him extensively. This man is short fused(quick tempered), irrational at times, narcissistic and does not possess the temperament of a skillful negotiator.

    Before any new entity can be formed, he’s already demanding that the headquarters MUST be located in Antigua. Is this the best way to start a new enterprise among a group of shareholders?

    The man is petty, irascible, loquacious and ultra selfish.

    Definitely, we need our own regional airline for regular connectivity and economic development. Let’s all hope that we can come up with a financially viable and reliable one for

  13. Anansi
    June 28, 2020

    I see nothing changing as long as the same mentality continues with the current management. What we need is a joint venture between a major global carrier (or carriers) and Caribbean governments to provide affordable island-to-island air service. Otherwise the proceeding company will fold even faster than its predecessor.

  14. It's my damn business
    June 28, 2020

    So instead of forming a new airline why Skerrit and the Dominica Labor party not just buy three or four planes to serve Dominica? I say Skerrit and the Dominica Labor party because PM Skerrit, who is also finance minister has already told us that the government of Dominica is damn broke and cannot do anything for Dominica and that is the labor party that is Rich and has money. Well we know is Roosevelt himself that is the Labor party and the cabinet and is he that is super rich while he made Dominica and the government of Dominica extremely poor. So Skerrit why not buy a few planes under the name of the Dominica Labor Party, to serve the needs of Dominica? Don’t take more of our money to invest in LIAT or the new company of maybe Gaston Browne, Mia Motley, Roosevelt Idiot Skerrit and Ralph Gonzales.

  15. de Observer
    June 28, 2020

    Well the fallout seems to maintain a direct trajectory towards that which has been taking place in Dominica’s politics – Lennox Linton. Because they apparently feared he would not join them in their good old boys and girls club: Caribbean Government Leaders, they colluded -even bringing RSS forces- to keep him out fearing that he would not join the money trail but instead expose it as he did on 60 Minutes.

    Now that Covid-19 has messed everything up, money is running out and the Dominica PM seems not to have it to bail the Antiguan and Barbados based airline, why, because he is built the mansion and maybe things did not go as planned, so apparently he asked parliament to pay him rent to live in his own house, LIAT collapses. Garcon Dominicans sot we!!! Bway Wat ah ting dat en.

    The mystery of how God does His work.

  16. As I See it
    June 28, 2020

    As far as I am concerned that is another move by another Prime Minister of CARICOM, this time Gaston Browne, to trick Roosevelt Skerrit to pump a few millions of dollars into LIAT or the so called new entity, since that’s their only use for Skerrit in CARICOM. I mean Ralph Gonzales fooled him by taking our international airport from Dominica, Barbados PM Ms. Motley fooled him by taking Ross from him so Gaston Brown says is his turn to fool the big fool of the caribbean, who had to buy a weekend doctorate from India to make good his ego, though they all know he is an … hole. So soon expect to hear the announcement of government giving away a large sum of money into LIAT or the new airline since Skerrit made Dominica the most backward, most difficult to get to and get out from island of the Windward, Caricom and indeed the Caribbean. They know Skerrit is on the back foot and cannot open the airport since LIAT is the only means really of getting to Dominica unlike other islands.

  17. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    June 28, 2020


    When Gaston Brown suggest liquidation he is simply suggesting reducing (accounts) in order; to determine the amount of indebtedness or damages.


    To liquidate means to convert inventory, securities, or other assets into cash.

    Securities and other assets LIAT do not have; the airline is completely bankrupt!

    What is the sense  in  talking liquidation when LIAT has been a long none profit operating airline dating back to the first day of its inception; the only alternative is to shut LIAT down.

    For the rest of its existence the airline will never ever see a profit: this thing is in operation for almost seventy (70) years, operating without yielding one dime in profit.

    In fact not even breaking even, regarding operational cost; so what’s the purpose?

    Business is all about making money, whether the business is owned by government or private individuals!

    Shut it down, scrap the junk!

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