Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Allen Chastanet, has denied media reports that his country will be subsidizing regional airline, LIAT.
He said St. Lucia supports the airline but remains committed to “seeing the necessary restructuring and some real change in operations at LIAT.”
According to media reports, the Prime Minister of Antigua Gaston Browne announced on a radio program that the governments of St. Lucia and Grenada, which have been harsh critics of the Antigua-based airline, now see it fit to support it.
According to the reports, Browne said the matter was agreed to at a just-concluded OECS meeting in St. Lucia.
But Chastanet said this is not true.
“We have been consistent in our position on LIAT in that we propose that the airline operates on a strictly commercial basis,” he said. “We have not yet made a decision on subsidizing LIAT. What we have agreed to is a meeting to discuss some of the issues relevant to the airline. We look forward to continued dialogue with the OECS and other stakeholders on the future of the airline.”
The governments of Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica are the main shareholders of LIAT.