Closure of LIAT imminent says Gonsalves

A LIAT aircraft

The Chairman of LIAT, Dr Ralph Gonsalves has expressed fears that the closure of the regional island-hopping carrier is imminent.

That’s because he says most of the countries which use the carrier services are not responding favorably to the airline’s request for US$5.4 million to ensure its survival.

Countries, including the four major shareholders – Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – along with Grenada, have agreed to contribute to the US$5.4 million.

Dominica, is being asked to contribute US$347,938 in light of its 25 weekly flights, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with 52 departures per week, will contribute US$723,711 while Grenada, which has 35 LIAT departures per week, is being asked to contribute US$487,113. 

Barbados, which has the 116 weekly departures, the highest by LIAT, is being asked to contribute US$1.614 million, while Antigua and Barbuda, which has 69 departures, will contribute US$960,310. 

They were asked to make the contribution in March and the deadline was the 15th of that same month.

But the Vincentian leader said on a radio program this weekend that so far, Grenada is the only government that acceded to LIAT’s request by pumping approximately $1 million into the airline company.

According to Dr. Gonsalves, due to the lack of financial input from the other shareholding countries, LIAT’s closure is imminent.

He said that LIAT has a compliment of 10 aircraft – seven are leased and three are owned by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) due to monies borrowed and a decision will soon have to be made on the way forward.

He said the company will have to ask the CDB to sell those three aircraft and operate seven of them and then get other smaller airlines like One Caribbean to fly between Grenada and St. Lucia, rather than get LIAT to fly on one of the routes which is going to Trinidad which is not economical.

“… The governments have not been responding so the shareholders are reaching a critical point now and if you ask me, what is likely to happen … there will be a transitional restructuring leading to a closure of LIAT,” he said.

Dr. Gonsalves pointed out that a new airline would then have to be the next option for the region if LIAT is closed.

However, he said that there will be consequences in terms of job losses.

The second option, he indicated, was to give the airline to the private sector completely, while the third option was to close it down and start afresh.

The Roosevelt Skerrit government took a decision in 2012 to invest 8 million dollars into the struggling LIAT.

In response to criticism of the move, Skerrit told DNO then, that Cash injection in LIAT will secure Dominica’s investment in tourism.

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65 Comments

  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 23, 2019

    BX boy; nice to see you are still reading DNO: It’s been a while we have not communicate; I hope to take my vacation in Nova Scotia  in the Summer, unless Rendy Chose Dominica or Europe, I will contact you when I get into Toronto.

    BX, anybody with all the money in the world who decide to invest in LIAT would only be flushing their money down the drain LIAT is a waste of time!At this time even if they try to sell LIAT in shares to the public that might keep them afloat for a while, bit it would eventually collapsed, then that is what they should have done many years ago, rather than burdening the individual governments with the cost of running it.

    If it was sold in shares a non-governmental board would be formed, there would be less politics, the management would have to find a way to make money to pay shareholders dividends.

    Government owned will never work!

  2. shay
    April 23, 2019

    Liat has been going down the drain for years now. It is the “small” things like very poor RUDE customer service, flights ALWAYS late or delayed, and way too high ticket cost, is what has now contributed to the fall of this company. While the big heads were happy to see fat pockets, the customers who ARE THE ONES who kept this company afloat, got tired of those issues and we slowly found other routes. I personally have never used Liat in over 12 years because of those very issues. I use my small FRIENDLY Coastal air. In my opinion, Government’s need to stop bailing them out. pumping money into a company where there is NO reform, will never produce different results.

  3. L
    April 23, 2019

    If you all are not so trustworthy with Skerrit, why d o you All vote him back in? He continues to bribe people when election comes to the table and you all still vote him in, why? He has managed to built a palace, squandering the people’s money and yet you all vote for him. He give the Chinese and soon Indian the keys to the Dominican Empire I.e. it’s land to dig up and leave which creates landslide and floods and yet you all still vote for him. I don’t know what to say, except that corruption needs to end and it down to the people for that to happen NOT skerrit. P.s. you all should buy you own Chinese cook book at least you know what goes in your food.✌🏾✊🏾

  4. Manyways
    April 22, 2019

    US $347,938.00
    Devide by 25 flights
    US $13917.52
    Wow!now this is smart investment, or is it?

  5. South
    April 22, 2019

    Put LIAT up for sale! I personally will make a bid for the purchase of LIAT with some investors. Politicians need to get out of the airline business. In the hands of private investors, the airline will survive. Move the Head quarters from Antigua, lets move it to Dominica. Create a culture of accountability and commitment, lets provide a unique Value proposition second to none in the industry.

    • Neville
      April 23, 2019

      Stop talking and put your money where you mouth is. I’m sure Skerrit would give you a few passports to sell as he does with all his hotelier friends.

  6. Pipo
    April 22, 2019

    Oh yeah Dr. Ralph, who are those lessors making goo money out of Liat. They have been doing do for years, I believe even charging for old aircraft put into storage. You should disclose everything Dr. Ralph.

  7. jaded
    April 22, 2019

    Skerrit did the right thing at the time to invest in LIAT. But, operationally, LIAT continues to be a burden to shareholders. Antigua, in particular, needs to cut staff but they won’t. In terms of job losses Antigua probably has the most to lose if the airline shuts down, but they have not yet paid their additional investment. Why?

    LIAT was a terrific idea but it is no longer financially sustainable, so it is goodbye. Time to go private.

  8. Onlooker
    April 22, 2019

    Close down LIAT and get rid of the fat.

  9. Malatete
    April 22, 2019

    So be it. Ten airplanes with a total seating capacity of 540 but a staff of over 600. I don’t know what LIAT’s average load factor is but even with a utopian 100% this is unsustainable.

    • Ti Garcon
      April 22, 2019

      A fully privatized company would cut wastes and keep wages and expenses at a minimum. People fail to understand most employees at LIAT are political in nature especially at management level, just like at the port. Regional governments run LIAT.
      But even if LIAT is fully privatized, unless these ridiculous taxes are removed from the ticket cost, LIAT will fail to ever be profitable, because the high ticket cost is a deterrent to travel. They don’t need high taxes, they need move people flying, which increases LAIT revenue, and spurs inter island tourism.

      • Odyssey
        April 23, 2019

        You really hit the hammer on the nail! Very well said :wink:

    • April 22, 2019

      Too many chiefs at LIAT, organization and fair leadership is needed,proper staff training from every island that liat flies to, people time keeping, careful handling of peoples luggage, every island train their staff properly and the airline flies out on time, and get to every destination on time, they wouldn’t have to fork out money for hotels and peoples luggage, they need to have special training as in staff and good time keeping,as in departures and arrivals, that is where the problem lies, also too many fat cats getting or making too much money is another problem, why the company isn’t thriving.

  10. April 22, 2019

    Let the rejoicing begin, start the blame game LIAT is on the verge of collapse….. everyone has the answers but no one has the answers to save LIAT, even the employees who depend on this once fatted cow refuse to give realistic concessions. Why don’t the employees buy the airline?

    • %
      April 22, 2019

      @Anon
      The answer should begin with you, but alas you are a shameless and empty DLP attack dog!!!.What if the tremendous strides that the UWP had made in building the international airport was continued by this corrupt and polluted DLP? This would cause us less pain. Why couldn’t you tell the greedies in the DLP about that?
      Your shameless zealot!
      Skerrit Must Go
      Skerrit Must Go
      LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

      • April 23, 2019

        @zero % you making up stories again. What strides the UWP made in building an international airport? The UWP borrowed money to build an airport with no plan. Then they turned around and use that same money to pay civil servants and finance government debts. After selling Domlec you and the Shameless UWP left Dominica peniless with a loan for an airport and no money to show for it. The money the DFP left to build the 5 star Layou river hotel vanished without a trace and Edison and his UWP is yet to tell what happened, we yet to see this hotel, you bunch of jokers.

    • April 23, 2019

      The saviour is rebranding and making a few changes to the name, let every Caribbean or west Indian government buy shares in Liat, that should help to solve the problems, a restructure of the airline as a properly run company, changes should be made, just adding L&WIAT, it can be LWIAT, leeward and winward islands air transport, name and investment, organization is the key to success with proper training and shrewed business people and hard working efficient friendly staff,taking care of one staff is of vital importance,that means paying them a decent wage and treating them with respect.

    • RandyX
      April 23, 2019

      I’m sure your master Skerrit has the answers. After all he is such a capable leader…?! I managed to ruin DA in a very short 19 years! BUT there are the passport sales. I’m certain he’ll pull a rabbit out of the hat and here is 2.5 million of course in exchange for more shares. It doesn’t matter that the shares will be totally worthless in half a year. Our chief mathematician has not figured that out yet! Mediocrity rules Dominica!!!

  11. Locs Girl
    April 22, 2019

    All ‘good’ things must come to an end.🤷🏽‍♀️

  12. LaPlaine Observer
    April 22, 2019

    Let them shut down! When Skerritt gave them the $8 million, he said it would secure Dominica’s investment in tourism. Since then, there have been a steady decline every year in tourism as stated by Dominica economic statistics report. In addition, Dominican travelers have not benefited from this when traveling to and from Dominica. We cannot allow Liat and Skerrit to continue fooling us.

  13. Curtis Davis
    April 22, 2019

    Yeah, but they only throwing money at the issue. Something is wrong with the management of the Airline. Financial leakage everywhere; paying hotels to overnight, paying for lost luggage, refunding tickets, awarding vouchers because they have to cancel, and what the hell ever else. It’s Management’s responsibility to find the leakage and find creative ways to plug the leak!

    • Pinches
      April 22, 2019

      I agree 100%. Governments cannot continue to bail out LIAT every few years. Find out what is wrong with the operations and fix it. If a change of management is required, do it.

    • Pinches
      April 22, 2019

      And one more thing… reduce the cost of the tickets. so more people can buy them. small profit is better than no profit.

  14. Mike
    April 22, 2019

    These Caribbean islands have taxed and fee Liat and Liat passengers to death so they should happily inject the funds to keep the golden goose alive so they can continue to receive half the price of a ticket in taxes and fees.

  15. Haitian Tourism Vision
    April 22, 2019

    Just replace LIAT the Red Haitian flight since is on Haitian tourism we seem to be depending on. So like the Red ‘Dominica Strong trucks’ that replaced Public works let the already RED Haitian Plane replace LIAT.

  16. Christopher Columbus ⛵
    April 22, 2019

    Crap that you talking gason @ Giving. How could the Caribbean be in trouble without List? Tell me Dominica is already in trouble with so few flights a week and, we will be in deeper trouble without Liat simply because that visionless government we have there refused to build an international airport. Stop making very weak excuses and instead, call it by name

  17. Ibo France
    April 22, 2019

    Unless LIAT can be made economically viable, it will failed to exist much longer. The question is, how can an airline that has had virtually a monopoly on island to island air travel, for so long, find itself in such financial disarray? No sensible person nor fiscally responsible government would invest in a perennially failing business entity. Sad to say, serious decisions have to be made and very difficult times lie ahead for regional intra-island air travel. Our vulnerable economies will take a hit initially also. Let’s all hope that something better is worked out for the good of the region.

    • zandoli
      April 22, 2019

      LIAT has to take part of the blame for its demise. That airline has been plagued by bad management for years. However, these good for nothing Caribbean governments would kill even the best run airline.

      Caribbean Star had a go at it and they were bleeding money. Several other airlines have tried and failed. These governments are like a rock around the neck of a drowning person. They make doing business in the Caribbean more difficult than is necessary.

      I had a discussion with a relative who holds a senior position in one of the regional bodies and he is as frustrated as hell with the regional governments who take positions and make joint declarations only to do nothing when they return to their respective islands.

      LIAT is just a symptom of the dysfunction that plagues the Caribbean.

      • Ibo France
        April 22, 2019

        Right on point my brother. Everything said is like gospel truth. Check the records of these Caribbean governments. These countries are saddled with high indebtedness like LIAT. Can eternal debtors get another debtor out of debt?

    • L
      April 23, 2019

      Sorry ticked the wrong dislike, I liked what was said. You need to establish how economically viable Liar is and check where the money being displaced in order to make the necessary changes, so becomes more viable and competitive. Maybe all the islands using list should buy it under a charitable foundation trust, that way it belongs to the people and no one can squander the money/ profits so easily.

  18. Ti Garcon
    April 22, 2019

    LIAT needs to be privatised with tax concessions.
    You mean to tell me the average man in the street knows LIAT’s high ticket cost, due to taxes is the reasons it isn’t financially viable, but those big wigs dont know that? Or is this information being withheld.

  19. Mjg
    April 22, 2019

    The time has come for governments to stop pouring money into Liat. Liat should be sold and ran as a private company.

  20. Man bites dogs
    April 22, 2019

    @Francisco, Man stop talking crap with your Dodgy Edison James government building a international airport with what? UWP could not even afford to pay back loans it borrowed from other countries is airport that crocodiles party could of afford to build. Francisco shut your cake hole please.

  21. TJ
    April 22, 2019

    Time for us to retire LIAT! ‘

    • Shane
      April 23, 2019

      Am not a expert in air travel but it’s about time this so called regional airline close expensive tickets always late I had enough. Bad management I feel like they structure liat knowing that don’t matter the situation Caribbean governments will bail them. Out

  22. Shaka zulu
    April 21, 2019

    Liat failure is a product of the region political disfunction. The Caribbean region including Bahamas and greater Antilles has over 40 million people yet only about 700 000 travelers. This is a regional airline and most of travelers within the islands come from NA and Europe. All the islands have built international airports as a result travelers fly direct and not using interisland flight. Liat needs to get a few jetliners fly from Caribbean to eirope and NA so they can capture bulk of international traffic. Secondly the socio-economic situation in Caribbean needs to improve so Caribbean people can travel as tourist to other island. Inter island commerce and joint venture employment and tourism must increase to improve travel volume. We need an intellectual Revolution in the islands.

  23. Bwa-Banday
    April 21, 2019

    RIP Liat. Time for real change in Caribbean aviation that will be privately run. LIAT will forever remain the poster child for mismanagement and government interference. What a shame after all these years!

    • Man bites dogs
      April 22, 2019

      Time for a change someone said and let a private company run Liat.. God above must be having a great laugh, especially at those blue bellys boomboom flies. Now back to my point. If Iiat company goes into the hands of private ownership most of us in the Caribbean would not able to buy an air ticket price wise these guys only care for the shareholders and not about the paying customers, that’s the way it is.

  24. The Crab boy
    April 21, 2019

    My name is questions and answers, where I ask the questions and you give the answer. So here is my question:
    How did Aleireza Monfared come to Dominica by boat or by air? Better yet, in case he came by air did he come on LIAT? What about when they escaped him to Dominican Republic; did he use LIAT? I await your response to these important questions. You may feel free to call Manno or Skerro or even Millo for help, if need be

    • Pipo
      April 22, 2019

      Maybe he use the same plane Skerrit use to go to the U.S.?

    • Tobby
      April 22, 2019

      Best it close down for true, liat want suck people dry. Since I know myself liat flying with very high air fair. It way cheaper to fly in other countries, than in the Caribbean and these companies are not crying like liat. Liat always crying Robb they robbing us. Even though u give them a million they will accept it and cry again later. Look their pilots agreed on a salary cut, they accept it and look the saying it not enough and they want the pilots give them more like they want them fly the plane for free. I fedup with that airline best the shut down man. Stuppssss.

  25. April 21, 2019

    You are so right DA gyal. I am so glad that I am not the only one who thinks that way.

  26. Christopher Columbus ⛵
    April 21, 2019

    Even with LIAT more people are coming to Dominica by boat than by air. So we should not put a penny more on LIAT until a better qualified government comes in office so they could analize the predicament Skerrit put our country under and, then let the knew government take necessary steps to recover our country from the ashes of Skerrit. Right now we like when Christopher Columbus came to Dominica

  27. %
    April 21, 2019

    Remember Gonzales fooled the Caribbean most stupid PM, Roosevelt Skerrit, by telling the no brainier that we don’t need an international airport..
    Now that Skerrit is about to be kicked out of office, he also has to be blamed for his idiocy as PM for 15years, and he still has the country so dependent on Liat! Dominica has the money,but it is being used to buy votes,in an election Skerrit cannot win .The evil soul will be soundly defeated!!!
    This man Skerrit has embarrassed Dominica as PM,and he has to go!!!
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

  28. April 21, 2019

    LIAT has long pass it shelf life; it has passed it expiration date. Complacency became the norm and productivity fell off greatly. When one can buy a round trip ticket to Miami, FL or Fort Lauderdale, FL for a few dollars more, or sometimes for less than a round trip between two Caribbean islands on LIAT, why not just come to Florida where prices are lower. Even round trip tickets to New York are sometimes lower. I am not sure if it is mal-management or blatant abuse of resources that brought LIAT to this point, but I think it will be better to deploy the money somewhere else. It does not make sense to continue to throw good money after bad.

  29. Giving
    April 21, 2019

    LIAT NEEDS OUR HELP. Without LIAT the Caribbean is in Trouble

  30. Giving
    April 21, 2019

    LIAT NEEDS OUR HELP

    • Me
      April 22, 2019

      Stuff Liat! Its burial would be less expensive than its burial.

  31. It's My damn Business
    April 21, 2019

    So we come boy? Liat only has 25 schedule flights to Dominica? So we seem to have an international airport and as such, other airlines taking LIAT’s passengers man? I mean I can understand the other islands because they all have international airport and they don’t care a damn about LIAT. But Dominica to the best of my knowledge has no international airport and, we don’t see an increase of other airlines coming in or going out; so we almost don’t need the Douglas / Charles airport, or no damn airport man? You think Skerrit is not on a mission to completely shut down our airport so that more small boats could transport people here illegally, so we don’t have an account of who coming in and who going out? Now I start to wonder if that’s not the reason he closed down the Marigot hospital hoping that the Caribbean Aviation would close the airport but so far they haven’t. I don’t give that Skerrit no benefit of the doubt because the man does not care a damn about Dominica

    • April 22, 2019

      Yes I think its time to let LIAT go and try to contract an outside airline like jet blue or even delta they have small plains like American eagle that can fly out of Puerto Rico or Miami and stop that LIAT B.S. LIAT always come up with a shut down when is creole festival or carnival in DA. So why if we put so much in it we don’t even have a say .

  32. DA gyal
    April 21, 2019

    Liat has been providing horrible service for way too long. Perhaps their time is up. Give them the funding and the BS continues. The majorbproblem would be lack of more jobs for quite a few people. Sigh!!!

    • BX
      April 22, 2019

      FET,
      Lets purchase LIAT, and fire all 600 workers and rehire, and people are going to be evaluate on a performance base merit.
      BX

  33. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 21, 2019

    “Dominica, is being asked to contribute US$347,938 in light of its 25 weekly flights.”

    The alternative is to shut LIAT  down; teach Roosevelt a lesson, allow his stupidity to backfire in his face; let it backfire in the face of the Labor Party.

    We see the amount Roosevelt is obligated to pay if LIAT is to remain in business. 

    Note: the amount requested from the people of Dominica to sink into something which was none profitable from its inception more than sixty (60) years ago in unconscionable! 

    The amount we see in demand amounts to just about what Edison James and the UWP was spending  to build an International Airport twenty years ago; and unless I error; I believe the amount was quoted in EC Currency.

    In any event had it not for the stupidity of the Labor Party our people would not have to face this dilemma: Roosevelt spent five hundred million on Douglas-Charles! 

    Are we talking about US or EC dollars?

    • Here we go again
      April 22, 2019

      Sick old complaining man… :) :) :)

    • April 22, 2019

      @ Francisco Etienne- Dods Telemaque, as usual you are excercising your lying ways. The UWP government had no resources to build an airport what they had was a loan of 140 million much of it was used to pay civil servants and other government debts. The UWP government was dead they could not even pay their debt to local merchants far less build international airport. Next time you write nonsense about UWP building airport, tell us also the cost and when the contract was signed.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        April 22, 2019

        Guy my name, my family name is synonymous, Google “Telemaque” and see what you find, it is international, we are out of Senegal in Africa, I do not have a slave name, nor do I live like a slave we were not taken to any place out of Africa as slaves, but rather professionals who knew our biological name.

        If you do not believe that Google “The insurrection of Vessy Denmark Telemaque,” read our history.

        I am not in your class intellectually or in any other way you see!

        The Airport the UWP was building cost a little over $300,000,000.00.

        Of that amount, the Edison James agreed with the government of Trinidad to build the Airport, while Trinidad government loan Dominica eight (80%) of the total cost.

        Taiwan government gave to Dominica ten million US dollars in the form of a grant, and and ten million in the form of a loan with an interest rate of 4%.

        The People’s Republic of China contribute ten million.

        Ask labor …..! 

      • derp
        April 23, 2019

        @ Francisco Etienne- Dods Telemaque
        “I am not in your class intellectually or in any other way you see!”
        Then I’ll quote this:
        “The Airport the UWP was building cost a little over $300,000,000.00.”
        Anyways smh smh…

    • kermit
      April 22, 2019

      Francisco so damn upsetting eh Trust me. Everything is a Skerrit that not finishing. What happen you wish you was a woman for you to be his wife man. Man get a grip is not people fault all you living mal in America playing heavy.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        April 22, 2019

        The one who gave birth to you, ask her ask her between my father, and me; which one of us is your father?

        Had you not been the one sleeping in Roosevelt bed, rather than Melisa you would not know I am Skerrit wife when the night come!

        You see you have to sleep with Roosevelt, because without you indulging in the filth you cannot survive.

        If the one who birth you, told me or my father one of us was your father, perhaps one of us might have given you our name, and feed you!

        Admin: read the persons comments; I believe I a entitled to respond accordingly!

        I don’t see it fit to respond to every insult, however; I need to put people like that and Anon in their place!

      • I agree
        April 22, 2019

        I honestly think Mister in love with Skerrit. I never see a man given another man mapwe like that online. You never know what his inner self saying. The mapwe may be a cover up of a deep attraction.

      • Kermit
        April 23, 2019

        Francisco your comment was so lame and corny hahahahahaha. It absolutely makes no sense bahahaha. And @Iagree i definitely agree with your comment trust me he have some attraction for skerrit a person cannot be obsessed with another man like that.

  34. Bringback the kidnapped Dominican parrots
    April 21, 2019

    Dominica should buy its own fleet of small 50 passenger jet aircraft to fly direct from Miami and Tampa Florida on a daily basis. They should start by using the money asked for from LIAT. LIAT is a lost cause makes no sens to keep giving them money. Even if they start with just one jet making two trips per day. A small jet can easily land at Melville Hall airport and they fly above the weather.

    • Zandoli
      April 22, 2019

      Yes because as we speak, there is a long line of people waiting to fly from Tampa and they cannot get on a plane. How many aircrafts should the government order? 10? 40?.

    • OpenMind
      April 22, 2019

      That’s the kind of thinking and comments I like to see in here. Too many of DNO readers are simply party politicking on every single damn issue. Never anything sensible to add. I concur with you sir, and suggested likewise years ago.

  35. DO IT RIGHT
    April 21, 2019

    Do not put a penny more in this airline enough a ready

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