Antigua & Barbuda PM brushes aside talk of LIAT move to Barbados

 Browne said there is no discussion of a LIAT move to Barbados
Browne said there is no discussion of a LIAT move to Barbados

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has once again scoffed at suggestions that regional airline LIAT would be better off financially with its headquarters based in Barbados.

Last week the Minister of Tourism and International Transport in Barbados, Richard Sealy, was reported as saying that such a move would be a sensible one which would redound to LIAT’s financial health.

“What is more relevant where LIAT is based in terms of its overall performance is where you have your hubs located. One of the things that we have discovered, is that because of the level of airlift that comes into Barbados, particularly from the UK [and the rest of] Europe, it makes more sense to have more LIAT aircraft based here,” Sealy said.

“The point is, having a large element of your flight operations at the VC Bird [International] Airport in Antigua, didn’t necessarily make as much sense as having some of the flights here . . . and we have an increase in the number of aircraft that are based in Barbados.”

But Browne, LIAT’s second largest shareholder Prime Minister told Caribbean News Service (CNS) that there is absolutely no discussion about moving the headquarters of LIAT to Barbados.

“In any event, Antigua and Barbuda enjoys Category One status and if you were to move LIAT to Barbados then clearly LIAT will then have problems flying into US territories including the Virgin Islands,” Browne said.

“The Minister misspoke. It is true that last year a decision was taken by the Board that there should be some redeployment of assets, particularly the number of airplanes that would be stationed in Barbados. That is distinct from moving the headquarters from Antigua and Barbuda. So the Minister may be comingling the issues.”

LIAT’s major shareholders are Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Dominica.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of Inc. All comments are approved by before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


  1. Dominican
    April 26, 2016

    Liat will go to Barbados, no question about that. Mr. Browne of Antigua knows that too but he has to show his people that at least he put up a good fight to try and keep the airline in Antigua. That is politics.

  2. smh
    April 25, 2016

    This in-fighting is what is killing us. Antigua clearly cannot handle the damn job!!! Try something new..all they do is sit in their asses in Antigua with stinking attitude an couldnt care any less for the financial and psychological well-being of west indians. Move to Bdos!!!

  3. jungle
    April 25, 2016

    The respective government owners of Leave Island Any Time may ultimately destroy the bungling organization they have created. This chronic bungling results more from government interference (as exemplified in this present conflict) than from the daily efforts of LIAT employees, many of whom are so very competent but have ended up in an inferior organization. Privatize LIAT!

  4. Malatete
    April 25, 2016

    Mr. Browne has to take this stance in public because such a move would be detrimental to his public appeal and cost him votes. However, although a significant shareholder, Antigua is not a majority holder in its own rights. The others could vote to dissolve the company (it has happened before, when it went bankrupt under Courts in 1974) and reconstitute it under another name in another jurisdiction i.e Barbados.
    The comments about Barbados not being of the same standard as Antigua is a red herring. As far as I’m aware Grantley Adams airport (BGI) meets the required standards under ICAO ( International Civil Aviation Organisation) regulations for operating flights to- & from U.S. territories (the ICAO coding for Grantley Adams isTBPB in case you want to check).

    • Nemo
      May 5, 2016

      You are partially correct. Barbados in fact does not have the required status (Category 1) that would allow it to be home to an airline. So hypothetically, by headquartering LIAT in Barbados, BGI would have to make adjustments to move up to that category, or possibly be faced with discontinuing U.S. bound flights on LIAT. You should be able to find information about that and GAIA’s last audit as this was an issue that also impacted ‘RedJet’s’ ability to expand its flights into U.S. territories.

  5. lightbulb
    April 25, 2016


    LIAT’s major shareholders are Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Dominica.

    • Me
      April 26, 2016

      You really are a lightbulb.

  6. Not a herd follower
    April 25, 2016

    The Government of Antigua must understand that Antigua is not the sole owner of LIAT.

  7. Unknown
    April 25, 2016

    And the tug of war begins. Sound like a fight for sumpremacy to me. And Mr. Brown should know that moving the head quarters will have no effect on liats ability to fly to the US territories. All they have to do is schedule the planes properly.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available