LIAT to replace ageing fleet

liatBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — Regional carrier LIAT, is currently negotiating a US$60 million loan with the Caribbean Development Bank, to assist with the replacement of its ageing Dash 8 fleet with modern ATR72 aircraft from July.

Chairman of the LIAT shareholder governments and St Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, made this disclosure during a press conference following a shareholders’ meeting last Friday in Barbados.

He said the loan would also be used to replace the burnt-out hangar facilities in Antigua and added that plans to acquire the 12 ATR72 aircraft were on target and the planes would be purchased by 2014.

Gonsalves said the current Dash 8 fleet was costly to maintain and, therefore, the acquisition of new aircraft was critical to LIAT’s operations.

“Without LIAT this region cannot function. Over the last 20 years, some 30 airlines have come and gone. But, we must always remember the airline that is doing the donkey work. LIAT does the donkey work and we should appreciate that. So, let us start having an appreciation for this airline which has survived and been tried for 57 years. When the history is properly recorded, generations to come will applaud the heroic efforts of those in government and in the administration of LIAT, to provide this important vehicle for the region to benefit,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, said LIAT was vital to the region and its people and noted: “LIAT has been in the air for some 57 years and without it, we all know what would have happened to the movement of our people throughout the region. It certainly, quite frankly, has prevented us from reaching the level we have reached as a people in this region.

“At the same time, you can see that every effort is being made by shareholders, by the management, employees of LIAT and other stakeholders, to ensure that there are issues to be addressed and we are determined to ensure that they are addressed as we move forward,” he continued.

Spencer said there was scope for other countries to support LIAT, and stressed that he would use every opportunity to continue to lobby in this regard.

“Without LIAT flying up and down the region, all of our respective economies would be affected and I am urging my colleagues in the other member states to recognise the importance of this institution,” he added.

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30 Comments

  1. arnold vanderpool
    May 28, 2013

    LOVE LIAT

  2. Madam
    May 17, 2013

    Liat is part of our culture but unfortunately the week link is not the old aircraft but the bad customer service…..
    Train your employee to treat your customers better and you will be no. 1 in the caribbean

    • Solution
      May 18, 2013

      LIAT is made up of people like you. It is easy to stay from the outside and chat but find yourself in that situation of many Dominicans and lets see how you would perform.

  3. Solution
    May 16, 2013

    LIAT is here to stay yeah, tell all dem haters.That’s my NUMBER 1, NUMERO UNO AIRLINE IN THE CARIBBEAN. CONGRATULATIONS LIAT.

  4. May 16, 2013

    Liat needs to purchase small jet aircraft like 727’s to fly straight from the US like Tampa or Miami to Dominica non stop.

    • Malatete
      May 16, 2013

      John, the 727 is a dated (3-engined) aircraft, the last one of which was built in 1984. I don’t know how many of them are still flying today but I believe a few operators still use them, primarily in freighter(cargo) configuration. They can operate from relatively short runways and I don’t know if Amerijet still fly their’s in-& out of Melville Hall as they used to.
      I guess what you are referring to is the 737, a twin-engine design and a very successful aircraft. I have seen it flying into Melville Hall but I do think that LIAT does not have the passenger traffic volume to warrant a 150 seater aircraft at present. They are only now getting 2 ATR72-600’s for their denser routes. As for flying 737’s direct from the U.S.A. into Dominica I do believe this was done, on a charter basis, to bring Dominicans home to vote in the last election but to use them for regular scheduled flights must remain a pipe dream for the moment as we are still struggling to give LIAT enough passengers, on a regular basis for their smaller Dash-8 and the new ATR42-600 replacement.

  5. Anonymous
    May 16, 2013

    When I going to visit mamma…I taking the train …..or I driving down eh……The air plain smells of CACA…..before take off they spray with air freshener….

  6. Anonymous
    May 16, 2013

    Ha, ha, ha. New Airport soon to be opened in St.Vincent, So PM Gonsalves is pushing new aircraft to come on stream in time. Great celebration and good strategy! :?:

    • Anonymous
      May 17, 2013

      But the new airport is for big jets so what do you mean LIAT? Strange comment.

      I am glad new aircraft is on its way and apart from the obvious safety aspects, its just good business. As most people know, every machine hits it point of dimishing returns after which you throw away good money after bad.

      Very sensible move.

  7. philme
    May 16, 2013
  8. philme
    May 16, 2013

    why 2014 to replace this old aircraft and they need to take this price down to fly around the islands

  9. Dominican
    May 16, 2013

    It appears that Gonsalves is the major shareholder in this failing Donkey named LIAT. For years now he and other government heads have provided loans to LIAT and yet they always broke. For airfares that are so expensive one would expect better and on-time service but year after year it’s the same old story!!

    • Solution
      May 16, 2013

      No wonder, because the caribbean governments need to support the Airline, it dosen’t belong to 4 islands. LIAT belongs to the caribbean. Put your money where your mouth is stop hating. The caribbean governments need to drop the taxes becuase the basic fares are affordable.

      • Anonymous
        May 21, 2013

        This is a point most international airport donkeys dont understand. All these airports drive up taxes and fees and therefore airfares.

        I really pray they get their wish with their airport and start paying EC$200 departure tax in addition to the $1500 to Antigua.

  10. Anthony Ismael
    May 15, 2013

    Government monopoliies are always inefficient.

  11. Don't Edit
    May 15, 2013

    ATR for the win!! Liat i will never fly on.

  12. wow
    May 15, 2013

    ATR’s These air carfts are very lazy ones. DASH 8 all day every day. And sure the price of travel needs to drop, ANU just there 1000ec na man.

    • Malatete
      May 15, 2013

      Oh, these are the aircraft that were used by American Eagle on the SJU-DOM route. The 600 variant is the latest version, also chosen by Caribbean Airlines. Anything wrong with them if operators prefer them over the Dash-8?

    • philme
      May 16, 2013

      you don’t know what you talking ATR72 aircraft is why batter

  13. Former Liat hostage
    May 15, 2013

    Let Liat collapse and permit another operator run by “businessmen” fill the void.

    • Solution
      May 16, 2013

      Then you would take a boat to get to Antigua. Don’t you see that we have no one else to fly us out of Dominica? I don’t know why LIAT even bother with Dominicans.

    • Anonymous
      May 21, 2013

      LOLOLOL if businessmen filled the void after LIAT I can assure you Dominica will have maybe one flight a WEEK since business is based on profit and DA is a welfare route. There is no profit with daily multiple flights so when chopping as businesspeople do, DA will be the first to go.

      You mean you dont even understand that one basic business rule of profit? You dont even understand that??????????????????????????????? WOW!!!!!

      Anyway Dominica is not poor because of size of population.

  14. Student
    May 15, 2013

    Yeah it would help if we had cheaper fares to Caribbean destinations. Seriously!!!

  15. Malatete
    May 15, 2013

    Something does not make sense here. In a press release of 21 Jan., 2013 Air Lease Corporation of the U.S.A. announced that it had signed a long-term lease agreement with LIAT for two new ATR72-600 aircraft to be delivered respectively in June and August of 2013. I have not heard anything to the contrary since and presume that this agreement still applies. If LIAT have changed their game plan and now have decided to purchase the aircraft outright instead it would excplain the delay in delivery to 2014. This version of the aircraft was launched in 2011 with a price tag of U.S.$.22.7 million and the loan being negiotiated by LIAT would be adequate to cover a purchase. However, it would also be costly for LIAT to extricate themselves from an agreement they signed with Air Lease less than four months ago. It would be helpful if our authorities could be frank and explain what transpired in that short period of time rather than giving the public a half story, which raises more questions. I wonder what Capt. Ian Brunton, CEO of LIAT would have to say on the matter, if he is allowed to speak of course.

  16. May 15, 2013

    talk allu talk LIAT is here to stay……after allu talk bow allu head and climb the steps…do u all have a choice?

  17. Anonymous
    May 15, 2013

    What a load of ****!

    I will be grateful when I dont have to pay EC$1000 to go Antigua!!!!! ANTIGUA not Japan. ANTIGUA!!!! US$360 to be exact.

    The only people to feel grateful for LIAT are the CEO’s and managers over the years who have milked that company dry at the expense of passengers!!!!

    • truth
      May 15, 2013

      WORD!!!

    • Malgraysa
      May 15, 2013

      That is just a distance of some 100 miles as the crow flies. They don’t even offer you a cup of coffee and they still can not make a profit? You are right, either it is gross incompetence or someone is milking that cow dry.Malgraysa.

    • north posse
      May 17, 2013

      Have u really had a good look at the price on ur tkt along with the taxes? If did so and understood it u would realise that a little over a 1/3 of that 1000 dollars u paid is government taxes. Stop crying bout liat killing all u and ask the governments to lower their taxes.

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