Dominica on course to become shareholder of LIAT

Skerrit

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said Wednesday that a recent strike by LIAT pilots will not change Dominica’s decision to become a shareholder of the regional airline.

The arrangements will be formalized in 2012 and the move is a strategic one, Skerrit said.

“We believe that this situation which is confronting LIAT, in respect to the absence of the pilots, is even more reason to maintain our resolve to become shareholders of LIAT,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

He has described the carrier as very important to Dominica and nationals must recognize its contribution. “One cannot set aside the importance of the service which LIAT provides to Dominica. LIAT is the carrier that brings in the most passengers into the country,” Skerrit said.

As a shareholder of LIAT, Dominica will have some involvement in decision-making processes regarding the company. “If we have to play our part in securing the service of LIAT to Dominica, we have to become shareholders to sit around the table of decision-making,” the Prime Minister expounded.

He said it is on those grounds that Dominicans should welcome the decision that Dominica will become a shareholder of LIAT in 2012.

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60 Comments

  1. Kalik Crick
    December 31, 2011

    Imagine in the year 2011 that government are still trying to run airlines. I can’t ever recall any government around the world that runs any business effectively. While other countries around the world are trying to privatize their economies, those in the English speaking Caribbean are trying to do the opposite. If the government can run airlines, what is stopping them from running the means of communication (televisions, radios, internet, and mobile/telephones companies). Government is NEVER looking to make a profit and service, they’re just trying to control the means of what the people do.

  2. GraamB
    December 18, 2011

    I am a tourist who visits the Carib frequently, mainly to sail, and so use LIAT a lot. For an airline which is by no means cheap and has a very high occupancy rate per flight the state of some of the planes and their tardiness amazes me. The pilots are fantastic, they show great skill in difficult conditions. State owned/run businesses never run well (let alone multi state) too many conflicts of interest. what the Carib needs is a private airline free of state involvement (that includes financial demands by states or politicians)

  3. AGeorge
    December 16, 2011

    The problem with LIAT is the problem with the Caribbean – it’s the attitude of people. Once Caribbean people serve each other, they have attitudes. Once it’s foreing tourists or companies, our attitudes take a 360 degree turn. We need to respect each other and treat each other with the respect and courtesy that we all deserve. The lackadaisical attitudes of LIAT employees cause the airline to to suffer from all these plagues. It’s island people, so why do they have to arrive on time… or why do they have to get your baggage? So unless this attitude change in how we do business with our own people, the best business ideas will never flourish in the Caribbean.

  4. Is so then?
    December 16, 2011

    Remember investments in CLICO and British American? Is it true that about $194,000,000.00 invested in serious trouble?WHAT DID WE HEAR ABOUT CLICO FROM Wikileaks? Was that revelation on DNO for all to be informed? Was it reported in the newspapers? Has anybody refuted those allegations? Pretend that you do not know what I’m talking about. Forget already?

    My fellow right-thinking Dominicans, where is the wisdom in purchasing shares in a failing airline? Come on, what specifics were mentioned – % of shares, dividends, amount involved to purchase shares. Who going to pay for that, the people who do not know exactly what is going on? Any consultations with the Dominican public?

    Is so then? There is a popular saying, “Ten people in a room. One person FARTS and the whole room SMELLS.” Is so Dominica come, then? Too many times the people have to foot the bill, but they have no say in the decision-making process?

  5. Nathaniel Peltier
    December 16, 2011

    Another one beating the dead horse.

  6. TJ
    December 15, 2011

    Prior to investing in LI let us vet thjis issue. Dominicans should have a say.This not a one man show and the poor service this LI have given DA. We get poor sevice from because we make excuses for LI. They should be giving DA good service since they have a monopoly almost. Before investing Mr. PM DEMAND BETTER SERVICE.

  7. Rabbit Ears
    December 15, 2011

    Wait til the next election. Skerrit will say is was only because of him we OWN an airline. He will continue that HE was the one who brought all these additional flight to Dominica and how HE got direct flights from St. Lucia to Domininca.

    Just wait.

    • 1979 MILLION OVRNITE
      December 16, 2011

      well I WILL BE PUTTING IN MY VOTE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE!!!!!! I DIDNT HELP TO PUT HIM IN….BUT MY VOTE WILL BE ONE OF THOSE THAT WILL TAKE HIM OOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!

  8. 21 century
    December 15, 2011

    Sometimes I wonder whether we are still leaving the era of the 60’s. How can 21 century people still allow politicians who are not even smart to fligh over like a crow and dump over the citizenry. One man decides to spend 27 million dollars on a building to house a ceremonial figure. The people are not the beneficiaries of this project during construction and post construction. Now the people must pay to support an airline that has spited us for all these years ; In fact we had to pay LIAT a large sum of US dollars to get mock night landing flight in Dominica. One man decided to spend 120 million dollars to put putty and paint on an airport and LIAT wouldn’t even consider the effort.

    Why the rash and sudden move to prop up LIAT. We have no real data to show that LIAT is worth investing in. Are we just sitting by and allowing these things to befall us. ALICO, CLICO is yet to refund us and the government is mute on the issue. How can 21 century people be so docile and sheepish.

  9. Irie
    December 15, 2011

    Dear PM, you can invest in LIAT, but as my tax money is contributing to that investment, I would like to put a limit on what you are allowed to invest on behalf of myself and my fellow citizens, NOT MORE THAN ECD 800, ENOUGH FOR YOU AND YOUR EXCESS BAGGAGE TO TAKE A ONE WAY FLIGHT TO GWADA. Thanks for your consideration….wait whats that? You give up your french passport? TONNEH!

  10. Truthhurt
    December 15, 2011

    Bad decision,LIAT is dying, maybe in the next 3 years!

  11. Anonymous
    December 15, 2011

    Sorry, but this is a waste of investment. It is not going to solve the problem. Maybe the Government should check with American Airlines to give them some insight.

  12. Eggleston
    December 15, 2011

    The PM is simply investing and this is a risk, now what is the percentage of shares that Dominica will hold in LIAT? 0.05%, .45% etc. what is it? How often LIAT pays out dividends does to its shareholders, how is LIAT balance sheet and income statement for the last 3 years? What is the type of stock that we are holding does the stock have voting rights? Etc. It is not just investing, LIAT looks like are troubled company and if LIAT goes down, all what we invest will be evaporated. I read this part of the news, and honestly this is just to flat for me as an educated individual. Dominicans need to know more in regards to this investment in LIAT, plain and simple!

  13. UPTOWN REBEL!!!.
    December 15, 2011

    The important questions that I, as Dominican, would like to know, are; how many shares Dominica is going to purchase,and at what cost…What will it cost us per share…..How much if any, will we get back on our money….Is it feasible for Dominica to invest in LIAT at this time. Will it be sustainable and beneficial to Dominica…

    How will this help,or address the dire economic situation that Dominica is facing at present.
    After all, one of the fundamental principles of investment,is to get a return on your money.
    No one wants to invest their money with no possibility of making a profitable return; substantial,or marginal…Not for a loss..

    Who wants to purchase shares just to have a say in the decision making only… if you are a minor share holder, you simple won’t have a major say in any decision,or policy making..We must consider a much bigger picture.

    These are some of the things we must take into consideration, and we must discuss,and make the necessary and rational assessments…Where is the money going to come from to buy those shares….

    Will we be much better off,if that money is invested in Dominica to help alleviate our high unemployment rate; especially among our young people,who have graduated,and can’t find employment…remember,an idle mind,is the devil’s workshop…How is that going to create jobs for the masses,and help our economy.

    It is the People’s money you know, not the Govt.’s… The Government just cannot do as it please without informing the People adequately and accurately. There must be some transparency and accountability, to the People…..

    Clearly, this Government, has already displayed its lack of interest to the People’s needs, and lack of accountability and transparency, when it went full speed ahead in building a 27 million dollars State House, instead of addressing more urgent and pressing needs of the People…Clearly,that was putting the Interest of Party and Govt. before the People’s….And you can see how that is paying off big time today…just look at the state of affairs and the crime situation in the Country.

    The last time I checked, We are a Parliamentary Democracy…Was there any discussions in Parliament concerning this matter?…..

    Who is really purchasing those shares; is it The Labor Party, Roosevelt Skerrit, or the People of Dominica?….If it is the People of Dominica, then the People ought to know much more than just saying;…well, Dominica is going to purchase shares from LIAT….
    I am not saying that I am against, all I am saying is, the People need to know more. They need to be adequately informed.

    There seems to be an ineptitude in the way this Govt. has gone about conducting the People’s business…Dominica belongs to the People of Dominica…not the PM or any other politician or political party…. Governments and Political Parties need to serve the interest of the People. That is why they exist. That should be their sole purpose.

    We need to start taking a more serious look at jobs creation,investment and economic development in Dominica….We need to start producing the means of our subsistence….You cannot claim to be Sovereign,while you are looking to someone else for your subsistence.

    Thank you very much…and…All the best to you.

    REBEL!!!.

    • 1979 MILLION OVRNITE
      December 15, 2011

      rebel!!! hows everything??? the facilitator for my enrollment made mention of you when I inquired about the availability of Political Science to be added to my curriculum…HAHAHAHAH. She asked whether I was thinking of going into politics…….LOL. I am actually considering it unno, I fed up of the disrespectful way these JOKERS are conducting my country’s affairs…. and whats even more disturbing is that the people dont even care about their countrys managment. they could not care less.
      im telling you, I am wondering if it is even worth pursuing the cause of “MY PEOPLE” well we will catch up…till then peace love and respect to you and yours!!!

      • UPTOWN REBEL!!!.
        December 15, 2011

        Hey my Friend…How are you?….Hope all is well.
        I am keeping well,thank you..

        Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha..That is actually pretty good 79…Continue to give ’em hell…continue to take a stand on issues effecting your Country. Continue to defend the Rights of your People…continue to speak your mind…And continue to defend sound principles and what is just and right…Stand up and speak out against corrupt practices…..This is your Country!.

        You must demand transparency and accountability from your Government. It’s all part of the Democratic Process…

        One Love,Peace and all the very best to you and yours.

        Nuff Respect…

        REBEL!!!.

  14. My2Sense
    December 15, 2011

    Please note that the article does not quote the amount of the investment. As far as “sit around the table of decision-making”, the ownership share is directly related to the weight of that investor’s opinion.

    So unless Dominica is going to buy 51% of LIAT, or plans on partnering with another significant shareholder, there is only so much on investor can do for the decision-making process.

    The real LIAT issues such as tardiness, poor customer service, high ticket prices, and no passenger compensation are felt and echoed by passengers from other ownership countries. So why should I believe that things will be better as an investor?

    Customers and Eastern Caribbean constituents will continue to suffer under LIAT…

    The Dominica government will now begin to profit from our hardships.

  15. December 15, 2011

    ALLL What i saying is we need to put light around the fence on the comercial airport in canefield. right in the midle of town have an airport with no lights around it to say this is an airport……..

  16. esprit
    December 15, 2011

    where is liat registered, and then you could find who are the shareholders. and what dominica(s)from the las meeting…

  17. Porssie Radical
    December 15, 2011

    The idea is worthy of consideration however I do hope that this government put some serious effort into evaluating this idea before making a decision. From what I read it seem like a decision is already made. Lamentation In Aiport Terminals (LIAT) is washed out and the other islands are not willing to subsidize LIAT because LIAT is no longer the critical link to these island because they have all built international airport facilities and targeting other avenues. We are really looking to buy a dying horse. With the expanding reach of the Caribbean airline I am afraid that the LIAT is utilizing it’s 9 th life line.

    While running the final laps will Dominica use it’s influence get LIAT to yield to the night landing request? After all this night landing issue remains an embarrassment to our government. If betting on a dying horse can eliminate the night landing embarrassments then Maybe the effort is worth consideration. After all we have already wasted 120 million dollars so a few more millions could miraculously right the wrong. I do hope that safety remains paramount- the life of passengers are worth more than the need to save the face of politicians. During his private moments Timothy must be shaking his head in disbelief and if he is reading that he knows exactly what that means. PM Gonzales also must be thinking that “ What a gullible people”

    Someone ask a very good question- how is this move going to help Dominica and passengers coming to Dominica ? If we get the night landing obstacle worked out then that could bring some level of comfort to travelers who dread the idea of overnighting in B’dos or Antigua. Will we see an economic benefit ? It would be transparent to tell us what the expected returns on this investment. Telling us it is a good idea without supporting data is merely a repeat of the state house decision. LIAT has not been making money and in the face of the expanding Caribbean Airline LIAT will be met with considerable competition. If I’m not mistaken I’m sure I’ve seen the Caribbean Airline planes on the ground in Antigua.
    Just some food for thought !!!!

    We have invested in LIAT in the past, when LIAT had a clean bill of health iand we got nothing out of that investment. Now that LIAT has Arthritis, Knee problems, broken bones and asthma our government still remain optimistic that LIAT is going to come out the gate like Lightening Bolt. I wish I could share the optimism but remain hopeful that miracles can happen.

  18. 1979 MILLION OVRNITE
    December 15, 2011

    Oh boy he he goes again, making decisions that will affect us all….SMDH..what can I say again, he is a Dominican, and Dominicans never learn.

    • Just Saying ...
      December 15, 2011

      ,,,, “making decisions that will affect us all”

      He is the PM. He was elected to just that, was he not?

      • 1979 MILLION OVRNITE
        December 15, 2011

        whatever floats your boat, float away into oblivion, once I am not in it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….some dominicans will be lucky to get a glass of water from me on a hot day, Believe me buddy, I AM WELL OFF, moreso than you I bet….I have my own house, No mortgage and I am living la vie dou….It just hurts me that my former teacher can treat his people who u so rightly mentioned “ELECTED HIM” and treat them worse than DOG….I never saw that in mister when he was teaching me eh… close your eyes and try to see the day when poor people will get and MRI in the PMH…Im sure if the KING is ill THE PMH is the LAST place he will come to rest his head. but IMHO he do right, boomboom fly will die always as boomboomfly…….LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO Im jus saying

  19. CIA on the watch
    December 15, 2011

    There needs to be some serious oversight of that operations of LIAT, since Dominica is about to become a share holder, my reasons are that LIAT general Manager in Dominica is a card bearing member of the labor party, and we are well aware of all these corrupt practices pegged to this regime

  20. Peciousc
    December 15, 2011

    Why spend all that money towards liat, than make the runway longer for other airlines.I don’t think that’s the right move.Sorry PM am not on your side for that one at all:-(

  21. Natural Living
    December 15, 2011

    Before you make such a move Mr Skerrit, please explain to us how us being at the table of decisions will improve this situation….if buying into a company is not going to make any difference to our people and our country this makes no sense…or is it just another way to keep your Liat Local Manager employed?

  22. Marigotian
    December 15, 2011

    Yea Skerro i adont support you but on this case i will stand with you PM.

    Mek sense

  23. ?????????
    December 15, 2011

    ebeh skerro, u iz a brave man….is now Dcans will bite out your head, when liat greedy pilots decide to strike and automatically suspending all flights…..i hope you ready for d mapwee….
    uncle cool-lartigue, i hope iz not u encouraging our PM to make that decision.

    • Anonymous
      December 15, 2011

      …of course he did, he wants to keep his job!

  24. God's Property
    December 15, 2011

    Skerro is a good move…but doh try to fool us. Say u buying LIAT for your own good don’t put it on DOMINICA…. We are not foolish!

  25. Hmm
    December 15, 2011

    How does that move affect the service that Dominicans enjoy from LIAT. The fares that we pay to travel from as close as St.Lucia to Dominica is ridiculous and we still suffer by having to go to Antigua and spend hours before getting to Dominica. One can get to New York almost at the same price and faster than Dominicans travelling on LIAT from one island to the other.

    I am thinking that the PM means well and is trying to fix that situation. But I am afraid that it will take a lot more to change the way Dominica is viewed as a destination by this airline. Will we get more flights flying directly to Dominica..We need to know……how much value we expect to recieve as a people from this “strategic move”

  26. Young
    December 15, 2011

    It’s a risk and I’m not sure if it’s one worth taking. Are we going to lose money on a sinking ship or are we going to help secure air access into DA?…………Hm

  27. investigate
    December 15, 2011

    PM dont you think dat money could be invested into our children studying overseas? so many of our children at universities overseas crying for funds and the ministry saying they doh have money to assit but we have money to buy liat? please PM rethink that move, am a Labourite but……….. awa our children need dat money papa

    • 1979 MILLION OVRNITE
      December 15, 2011

      the man worry with you??? zor pah mem mele avec cor zor…..

  28. Ron
    December 15, 2011

    Initially i thought it was a bad move but if thoroughly researched that could be a good strategic move for Dominica. I think we must trust the PM because he is thinking “outside of the box”. Dominica will have a bigger say in the operations and scheduling of flights into DA by becoming a share holder. We need to stand united on that one.

    • Eggleston
      December 15, 2011

      how will Dominica have a bigger saying, do you know is he percentage of shares that Dominica will hold in LIAT? Honestly, do you?

    • Asterix
      December 15, 2011

      Bigger is relative. To have any say in such entities you have to be a majority shareholder. Is Dominica going to be a major shareholder? If we are going to be a minority shareholder then we will have very little say

    • forkit
      June 20, 2012

      you not putting your trust in god you want us to put our trust in skerrit.. ou toe sort

  29. angel
    December 15, 2011

    Skerro i love you.

    • blame game
      December 15, 2011

      me too lol

  30. hmmmm
    December 15, 2011

    PM you need to stop acting on IMPULSE…Geez Man

  31. 767
    December 15, 2011

    You are on course to become a shareholder of LIAT Skerrit… not Dominica.

    • CIA on the watch
      December 15, 2011

      767, and we will see the issuing of tickets like hot bread for the next election, we go see, ask Karasa

  32. Cerberus.
    December 15, 2011

    The natural tendency of any investor is to protect his investment.In this case this is likeley to lead to stifle competition, or at least restrict it and so reinforce LIAT’s monopoly position. Experience shows that this does not lead to improved efficiency or service. On the other hand protection makes it more difficult to compete in a free market and be self-suffient Mr. Skerrit’s motives maybe well be driven by his desire to safeguard the continuation of an airline service to Dominica but this does not necessarily stave off an eventual failure of LIAT and the consequent loss of our investment. I just hope the day will not arrive we will rue this decision

  33. truly
    December 15, 2011

    this decision is not a very wise one right now the st.vincent government trying to get out we trying to get in. the only airline that runs in st.vincent now is liat do we really want to waste time on such an airline? i really don’t think so.
    JUST NOT A SMART MOVE :(

  34. My2Sense
    December 15, 2011

    This sounds like a crazy move to me.

    Regional governments should be looking to create avenues for other private companies to enter the airline industry. New competition will keep LIAT in line and cause them to think of customers first (better customer service and better prices). In the end, this approach will serve regional constituents best.

    Instead, here it is that another government is joining the “LIAT Bail-out Band Wagon”. No private company will dare venture into the Eastern Caribbean airline market with this many sovereign countries controlling LIAT. In fact, this move serves as a significant barrier to entry in that sector. The governments will protect their interests in LIAT no matter what, and evidence of this has been seen already.

    SMDH

  35. Debull
    December 15, 2011

    I agree 100%,we rely on Liat throughout the year.It makes sense to buy shares and be part of the decision making.Let’s hope for the best man,we’re living in some rough times but standing idle by and doing nothing seems pointless to me.This decision is definitely a step forward in terms of being proactive instead of reactive.

  36. Patat
    December 15, 2011

    Good move PM

    Some newspapers and owners just don’t understand how these moves work. These people have a retail shop mentality. One cannot just get shares from Liat like that even if you have the money or promise to pay later. I hope the newspapers get a copy of the memo and articles of association of Liat if there is one or better yet contact the corporate secretary of Liat

    • Malatete
      December 15, 2011

      Hey Patat, is you again? Is Ralph that is smart. He persuaded your friend to buy some shares form him before they become worthless. Before long St. Vincie no longer dependent on LIAT anymore but we are, especially since we’ll be holdiing them shares. You think our Govt. will not compel us to use LIAT every time? Is like a father buying shoes for you. You shall wear them because I buy them, you ungrateful child!!

      • Roz
        December 15, 2011

        You mean like how they did with Marpin and the price increase? The ad says, we own 1/2 of Marpin through Dominica Social Security. So if you dont pay higher price to stay with marpin, you hurting yourself indirectly. Daddy buy the shoe, is best to wear it.

    • Asterix
      December 15, 2011

      I thought you knew how these moves work, yet you asking for a copy of the memo and articles of association “if there is one”

  37. BJ
    December 15, 2011

    that incompetent Airline? at that time when St Vincent PM calling to dump Liat? Afterall PM. Rethink on that.

  38. ME
    December 15, 2011

    WE ARE GOING TO MOVE FROM LEAVE ISLAND ANY TIME TO LEAVING ISLAND AT DOMINICA TIME. “PLEASE GO TO THE AIRPORT WITH A COMFORTABLE CHAIR OR A PILLOW

  39. Pundit
    December 15, 2011

    Such a venture must be approached with the ought most caution in the best interest of the People of Dominica. By the way, you really do not look very happy these days. You have aged rather quickly. What happen to the dimples??

    • Critical
      December 15, 2011

      Hope you Pundit, wont age. Youth is just for a time. We all grow old and lose our youthfulness. So what is the issue with the PM dimples? He is still handsome. Stop the hate and personal attacks. Its a new Year.

  40. Me again
    December 15, 2011

    Good move, hopefully researched, to keep Liat servicing us.

    While you’re at it buy Domlec or nationalize it. Domlec’s rates have been killing foreign investment opportunities and all attempts at manufacturing in Dominica. What a shame!

    • Asterix
      December 15, 2011

      “Good move, hopefully researched” this is an oxymoron. How can you call it a good move then hope it was properly researched? What is your rational for calling it a good move?

    • Asterix
      December 15, 2011

      Tell that to the petro caribe excuse which was said would reduce the cost of electricity. If you do your research you will see what Domlecs’ payment to petro carib for diesel is and compare it to what Domlec use to pay Texaco and then you will understand what is the impediment to foreign investment. Oh don’t forget the VAT and the removal of concessions of the fuel too.

      • Malatete
        December 15, 2011

        Asterix, you hit the nail on the head. Ask Austrie where the profits are our Dominica National Petroleum Company is making on our backs? He is the boss of that company and I’m sure he does not work for nothing.

  41. Donald Tusk
    December 15, 2011

    Wow buying Liat that is strange, i wonder how much money dem fella get under the table, Personally for such a deal.

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