UPDATE: LIAT returns to the skies Nov 1, with inaugural flight to Dominica

A LIAT aircraft at Dominica’s main airport. Photo credit: Lennox Honychurch

An inaugural LIAT flight on November 01,  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.

The inaugural flight will leave VC Bird International Airport in Antigua and arrive at the Douglas Charles Airport in Dominica on November 1.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Information Minister, Melford Nicholas, told the media that the undertaking is a fitting gesture between the two shareholder countries that have long since shared close ties.

“That is welcome news and it should coincide with independence as well. It is a symbolic importance,” Nicholas said.

LIAT has also indicated that beyond the first flight, the regular schedule of operations will commence on November 8th.

“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.

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 Browne was adamant that the airline could be restructured into a more economic viable carrier instead of being liquidated and widening the unemployment gap.

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 Dominica and Barbados write-offs will amount to.

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16 Comments

  1. Neverson St jean
    October 27, 2020

    I will give a proper response when u are brave enough to use your real name. Coward

  2. Neverson St jean
    October 25, 2020

    Mr Brown do not let your airline make its inaugural flight to no rinky dinky airport. Show the big boys u are back with a splash, go to Barbados, St Kitts, St lucia, St Vincent or Grenada. Don’t go to rinky dinky Melville Hall.

  3. RR
    October 25, 2020

    I wish you guys plenty of luck because your going to need it I’m giving Liat one too three months before it’s grounded again you think outside of Antigua and Dominica that Barbados st Vincent st Lucia is going to let Liat run-up landing fees again and the over 27000 ticket holders going to be booking tickets with liat anytime soon like i said at the beginning GOOD LUCK.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Cromite
      October 27, 2020

      I hope people won’t be booking to long in advance…

  4. I want to know
    October 25, 2020

    So are they going to change their name to RS & GB covid-19 limited? Roosevelt Skerrit and Gaston Brown? I am asking because I was to know

  5. dfr
    October 25, 2020

    I also that with the proposed schedule of flights , regardless of rthe number that we get 1. decent pricing 2. Punctuality 3. Reliability . .

  6. Ibo France
    October 24, 2020

    I’m really hoping that LIAT is going to return stronger than ever. This will be great for intra regional travel. However, it must be better managed and the airfare more reasonable. Despite all its problems, and they are too numerous, LIAT’s safety record was unparalleled to most other airlines. I wish the new management well.

    LIAT means Love Is Always There

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5
  7. Neverson St jean
    October 24, 2020

    Gaston Brown, if u want to make a splash, don’t make your inaugural flight to a rinky dinky airport. Go show the big boys that u are back. Go to Barbados, St Kitts, St lucia, St Vincent or Grenada, don’t go to no rinky dinky Melville Hall. First impression counts.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
    • Topofthegame
      October 26, 2020

      What message is that sending to the bulk of the ticket holders just remember it’s impossible to make a first impression a second time

  8. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    October 23, 2020

    Dominicans should get free flights for one year from all the tax money millions their PM gave to the airline. Flights to and from Antigua should be free.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
  9. Waiting For Airport
    October 23, 2020

    Skerrit I hope you didnt give LIAT even MORE of Dominica’s money!!! We fed up of LIAT for decades now, we don’t want them back, tell them stay Antigua!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4
    • RandyX
      October 25, 2020

      Of course he did. He just ‘forgot’ to tell the country he’s supposed to serve that he did!!!

  10. Channel 1
    October 23, 2020

    Yiiiiiiippppppppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

    Now I’m reading between the words in the following sentence taken from the article above:

    “Nicholas told the media that the undertaking is a fitting gesture between the two shareholder countries that have long since shared close ties.”

    I’m wondering if Dominica is going to eventually serve as a sort of ‘hub’ or staging base for some LIAT flights?

  11. derp
    October 23, 2020

    I hope that means that the huge backlog of mail from Dominica Post Office will be delivered…. since Liat alone they using

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1
    • Toto
      October 23, 2020

      Maybe that’s what they are bringing because is not a regular passenger flight. In any case they have to be very careful with Covid.

    • Amino
      October 23, 2020

      That’s the first thing I though too, I am waiting for post and I have loads of post to send as well, this better be the start of a regular reliable postal service.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

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