UPDATE: First LIAT flight since suspension of airline’s services arrives in Dominica today

LIAT Landing. LH

The first LIAT flight since the airline suspended its services, is expected to arrive in Dominica this afternoon.

A release from the company states that the flight will depart Antigua at 4.p.m for Dominica. The aircraft, which is expected to arrive in Dominica at about 4:45 pm, will be met on arrival by officials including the Minister of Tourism, Denise Charles.

The release adds that the aircraft will depart Dominica at 5.p.m for Antigua. It will be greeted by the traditional water salute at the V. C. Bird International Airport and will be met by the Minister of Aviation Hon. Sir Robin Yearwood.

In announcing the resumption of the airline’s operations in October, Antigua and Barbuda’s Information Minister, Melford Nicholas indicated that the regular commercial schedule of operations will begin on November 8th.

The airline will operate a limited schedule of flights which will return connectivity to its network which was impacted by the shutdown.

The airline is currently completing all the training and regulatory requirements for the territories it will be flying to.

Later this week, it is expected to announce its limited schedule as well as the destinations it will be flying to.

Also, several new procedures will be implemented to ensure the safety of passengers as well as reduce the risk of transmission of COVID. These include the mandatory wearing of masks at check-in and onboard, enhancement in its cleaning and sanitization protocols and new boarding procedures.

LIAT suspended its commercial traffic in March after many Caribbean islands shut down their airports as part of the measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19, forcing major shareholders to call for a liquidation of the airline.

But Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister, Gaston Browne insisted that the airline could be restructured into economic viability instead of being liquidated and after heated negotiations, the Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines governments – former shareholders – in July agreed to sell their shares, to accommodate the new reorganization plan outlined by Antigua and Barbuda.

Dominica is the other major shareholder of LIAT.

In July, a high court in Antigua and Barbuda granted a petition allowing for the reorganization of the airline, the appointment of an administrator as well as staying all proceedings relating to the liquidation of the company.

Antigua and Barbuda then proceeded with efforts to reorganize the airline which owes creditors in excess of EC$100 million.

A number of regional leaders have given their commitment to write of debts owed to them by LIAT – the Administrator is also speaking with other creditors, adding that the whole idea is to get to a significant write down in the liabilities so that there could be some level of severance paid to the staff.

The current operating costs of LIAT have not yet been disclosed, nor how much the airline will save from the debt write-offs.

In the case of St Vincent and the Grenadines, its debt write-off will amount to 14 million dollars.

No information has been forthcoming on how much is owed to Dominica and Barbados.

The Antigua Information Minister told the media in October that the undertaking is a fitting gesture between the two current shareholder countries that have long since shared close ties.

“This is welcome news for the economies, not only of Antigua, but the OECS as well for persons to begin to travel. We are delighted because there is in existence a travel bubble between member states,” he said.

The inaugural LIAT flight today, the same day of Antigua and Barbuda’s Independence, is that country’s way of celebrating moves by its Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, to save the airline.

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  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    November 3, 2020

    This is nothing more than a useless chorea: LIAT is not new, it’s the same old mess going no place of significance!

    I don’t see the point of this chorea; of some Dominica political minister welcoming LIAT which has been flying to Dominica for almost seventy (70) years.

    But here is the joke or pappy-show!

     Yearwood lives in Antigua, LIAT flew from Antigua to Dominica, leaving Yearwood  in Antigua, he must have seen LIAT left Antigua; nevertheless, the political show must go on; hence, it is arrange for him to be the clown of the century to greet and welcome LIAT on what they pretend is an inaugural flight.

      Apart from welcome the therm chorea have other meanings, such as prevention of symptoms of sydenham’s.

    LIAT is a sick entity, with one foot in the grave, and the other outside!

    How long shall it be before the foot outside of the grave slip into the grave, and plunge this heap of scrap iron into oblivion?

  2. Armagnac
    November 2, 2020

    … I give it 6 month and then they’ll fall out of the sky again. This airline in particular with its ‘new’ shareholder is just not sustainable.

  3. dissident
    November 2, 2020

    De incompetent pm and finance minister gives no details on our financial responsibility to that new Liat structure.
    In de future he going to come and tell us he had to use so much millions in our airport development account to repay our debt.

    I think this whole act serves to prop up a dismal leadership failure…..he should have tied in the inaugural flight with the coming soon international airport.

    Tired failure!!!
    Please somebody, give this man a lollipop…..hooray!!

  4. Jeule Kabwit
    November 2, 2020

    Dominicans always get the rough end of the stick. Cau u believe while negotiating one way with the Antiguans, Liat has the audacity to offer staff from the Roseau area 50percent pay cut, no allowances no insurance and still had to make their way to work magway sa. It’s just saying I don’t need u any more.

  5. Nadia Buke
    November 2, 2020

    Liat is bragging that they are now back in the skies, fine we appreciate but they have to stop treating their employees like dogs. Granted they cud not reemploy everyone especially those in the south of the island but pay them off. They have not received a dime from March and still no redundancy package. Is that being humane after 30yrs to go home empty handed and not even a thank you.

  6. Nudibranch
    November 2, 2020

    Be competitive with costs and bring our #$$&+@#! Mail

  7. WeNiceMan
    November 1, 2020

    Welcome News!!

    Wishing LIAT much success on this “re-start.”

    A successful LIAT can only be a good thing for the region.

    Plus we in Dominica will take all the carriers we can get to service us as a destination.

    All the talk of wanting to see LIAT “die” is just dumb; perpetuated by stupid Caribbean politics. Nobody thinks objectively/rationally anymore.

  8. RR
    November 1, 2020

    Just a political stunt I wonder how much it costs to fly from Antigua to Dominica and back browne just playing to his base.

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