Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart has called on the people of the region to support LIAT, saying despite its challenges, the airline has a good security record.
He said at a press briefing here on Wednesday that LIAT has been serving the Caribbean for many years and has done work in the Caribbean no other airline has been able to do.
“LIAT has served the Caribbean very well for upwards of 50 years, has a very good security record like most other businesses… it has its challenges and those challenges require tax payers in certain parts of the Caribbean to pull their pockets,” he said. “At present Barbados is the largest shareholder because we are committed to LIAT and LIAT unites the people of the Caribbean…it has its challenges, we have to continue to support LIAT.”
He continued, “There is a shareholders meeting in Antigua and Barbuda on Friday at which Barbados will be represented. I will not be able to be there but Barbados will be represented by a minister who I have designated. And we continue to support LIAT.”
Stuart argued that LIAT is not perfect but for upwards of 50 years it has rendered inestimable service to the Caribbean and without the airline, interaction among Caribbean people would be non-existence.
“And you only have to ask yourself the question, were there no LIAT what would be the state of popular interaction in the Caribbean?” he noted. “So LIAT justifies itself, we have to make sure that it is as an efficient an airline as possible and we are doing that, but these things take a little time.”
He revealed that LIAT took him to Martinique on Wednesday morning so he could visit Dominica to witness the ravages of Erika and the airline will take him back to Barbados so that he can chair cabinet today (Thursday).
“As we speak I am sure that it is carrying people from one Caribbean island to the other,” he stated. “Therefore we have to stay with LIAT and to give it all the support that it needs while trying to ensure that it is an efficiently-run airline as possible.”