Dominica to become part owner of LIAT

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has indicated that Dominica will own part of regional carrier LIAT as of 2012 subject to the approval of the company’s shareholders.

“I have indicated that Dominica will become, subject to the approval of the shareholders and the board, a member of LIAT in 2012 and make a financial contribution to LIAT’s operations,” he said.

The move signals a bold step for the Government of Dominica as the feud between management at LIAT and the unions continues. But the PM believes that the weight of the carrier, which serves the entire region, must not be borne by Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines alone.

“We believe that LIAT has served us very well. From time to time our citizens and governments criticize LIAT but one has to appreciate the contribution LIAT has made and continues to make in terms of regional integration and, of course air transportation. We believe it has come to a point where we cannot allow St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda to carry the entire load of LIAT. We all benefit from LIAT and therefore we have a very important responsibility to ensure that LIAT can continue to get all of our support in a tangible way,” Skerrit stated.

LIAT celebrated 55 years of service to the Eastern Caribbean on October 16, 2011

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65 Comments

  1. Son of God
    November 11, 2011

    That’s a dumb move. Liat is going bankrupt and I see this as throwing money down a bottomless hole. Also, Liat treat ppl like crap.

  2. time for truth
    November 10, 2011

    I know the Prime Minister is the political leader of the country and he is expected to make the final call. However, is he being advised by anyone? Better yet, since Dominica belongs to us, woudn’t it be necessary to get the public involved before taking such a big dicision? In fact, based on this article, I am left to wonder if he discussed it with the cabinet and got there blessing on it.

    My point is, when you become the owner/part owner of something, you share the profit as well as the loss. In the case of Liat it’s more than a loss.

    Liat has been running show in the Caribbean for 25 yrs now and after 25 yrs they still cannot stand? We talking about 55yrs ago when they did not have competition in most of the islands. So is they could not stand alone back then, why should we expect them to stand alone now when almost all of the islands except Dominica have their International Airport and can accomodate other planes like RedJet.

    In the business world, not too many investors want to put money on a 55 year old person. In fact it’s even hard to get life insurance when you are 55. If you get it, it will be expensive because it’s a high risk investment. I don’t understand why Skeritt would want to become part owner of liat after 55 years, when almost all the other islands are running away.

    I wonder if it really is about trying to keep Liat afloat or if it not a political cover up. The PM realized that his government dumped a lot of money on the Melvile hall airport for night landing, and he did not get the commitment he expected from other major air carrier except liat that land an hour later than before. So in an effort to ensure that Liat does not go uot of business, the PM found himself in a position where he must act and act now, so liat will still be able to fly to Dominica and maybe put himself in a position where he can ask Liat to fly here until 8pm.

    Skeritt cannot fool me again and only time will tell. He just trying to cover up his sin just like David tried to cover his sin.

    • The truth
      November 11, 2011

      I didn’t realise that when you join a company, a ltd company at that, that you share all the losses. The only losses there will be in liat will be the loss of what Dominica invests into the company. Liat is a ltd company no? Or maybe I am wrong, by if I am right! How on earth can you share he losses of a ltd company? It would be up to Dominica if liat continue making losses to sell it’s shares and pull out to cut it’s losses or to invest more into liat to keep afloat. Lesson for you, Ltd companies do not have unlimited liability, hence why they are limited. Thank you

  3. chupes
    November 10, 2011

    What is it that some of you Dominicans really want?

    All you want everything but have issues with everything and do absolutely nothing.

    Too many brains and yet so much BS.

    By now some of you need to stop talking utopia and start doing utopia. smfh

  4. beholder
    November 10, 2011

    Perhaps, as one writer on this thread observed LIAT, which has a monopoly in this region, is blackmailing DA. The old pay to play. If the PM doesn’t pony up, then our schedule gets even worse than it is right now—which is to say the least very inconvenient. I mean they have a real hammer over the heads of the tourist industry in Dominica. You can’t fill rooms, serve meals, sell crafts if the tourists can’t get here without difficulty and at reasonable high cost.

  5. oops
    November 10, 2011

    How could any right-thinking leader of a country come up with those decisions without the inputs of and consultation with the people? Is Skerritt’s decision based on the inspirations and concerns of the people or is it a unilateral one? How could Dominica be part owner of LIAT by 2012 and Dominicans have not been given any access to information on the issue, neither to read any proposal, discuss, approve anything.

    In fact, Dominicans are only getting to know about Dominica’s decision through DNO’s article. Skerrittt mentions about being a member and contributing to LIAT’s financial operations. Are the operations in serious crisis presently? What kind of effect will $$$$$$ from Dominica have in making LIAT’s operations more efficient? How much $$$$$ is that?

    Dominicans, but how on God’s earth could Skerrittt make such an irresponsible statement in the abscence of consulting, informing the Dominican public on the merits and or demerits and seek their approval, since it is of national importance. But No. The attitude is, “Nobody could tell me what to do or say.”

    How could any Leader tell me that Dominica will be part owner of a company, but refuses to consult or inform me of the real deal, specifics and monetary contributions contemplated. In such cases, I am NOT Dominica?

    • The truth
      November 11, 2011

      People appoint governments to make decisions on their behalf. At the end of the day, some people didn’t vote for this government but this is the one Dominica has, and they make decisions for the population. I mean, if they have to vote or get public approval of everything, people will be at polls every two days. Dominica as much as I hate to say it needs liat. The only person who would see this move as a bad move, and not to be rude, are those who rarely travel. If you travel, how can we allow liat to go down the toilet when we have no other carrier coming into Dominica? The Dominican government is wrong if they do and wrong if they don’t. If we allow liat to go into administration, then people will say the government doing nothing, save liat and they at fault too

  6. steve
    November 10, 2011

    Come on PM be honest with the people. You are going to spend thousands of dollars of the poor tax payers to fulfill or attract Liat to give DOminica preferential treatment to accomodate night landing. I believe that an investment in RedJet would have better served Dominica in the long run than Liat. Cheaper fares….. come on PM !!!!

    • apples and oranges
      November 10, 2011

      Well said. Red Jet rising and LIAT dying bbut he putting money in Liat. Stupes. anybod who knows anything about corporate law or corporate management knows this is a Suicidal move

  7. beholder
    November 10, 2011

    I hope this investment gives DA some clout in scheduling. Since AA and AA express dropped its route through San Juan American travelers from the east coast have found connections increasingly difficult to make. It now takes two equipment changes on the Caribbean leg before you arrive in DA often without your luggage.

    • Cerberus
      November 10, 2011

      Why not travel via St. Maarten and BVI air, and from there use a discounter like “Spirit” to get you to the U.S.A. cheaply. B.V.I. land here at night and depart early enogh in the morning to give you ample connection time. Hope this works.

      • Disappointed spirit
        November 10, 2011

        Ohhhhh I see , clearly you only heard about spirit , you need to TRAVEL on spirit to have the experience . Did you know you have to PAY for your carry on luggage . Check it out . The tickets might be cheaper than other airlines yes but with tax and luggage fee you better off taking AA .

      • Anonymous
        November 10, 2011

        good idea. if you can catch a spirit sale definitely a good deal.

  8. waypapa
    November 10, 2011

    well well Dominicans…some of allu just too Dumb. Liat is the main and just call it the only carrier coming here, you all want night landing and you all dont want Liat. Some of you just to selfish. You all dont care about the employees who have their children and committments…is poverty allu like to see thats why this bloody place cannot move forward. People open your eyes..look at the other Caribbean islands..Dominica is the worst. A country with so much valuable resources..its a shame. Give the prime minister a chance..this is a good move!
    You all like receiving from ‘overseas’, love when family members can say’look what i bring for u’…yet allu dont want these family to come in…ungrateful, seflfish f***ing pple!!! WELL PUT TOGETHER ALL OF ALLU RIGHT NOW AND BUY ALL F***ING PLANE!!!!

  9. Cassandra
    November 10, 2011

    The words of mr. Skerrit are very revealing:”We cannot allow St.Vincent & the Grenadines, Barbados and and Antigua and Barbuda to carry the entire load of LIAT”. Note that “load” is another word for “burden” and I’m sorry that our leader has succumbed to comrade Ralph’s pressure to put our money into what is essentially “a pocket with a hole”. He further says:” we all benefit from LIAT”. Does this mean that LIAT is now a social instituation and I, as a paying passenger must be grateful to them? Governments are not there to run commercial enterprises. If they do it leads invariably to inefficiency and protectionism. It are governments that pass legislation and it is not realistic to expect them to allow, for instance, competition that threathens their investment.
    The previous state monopoly Aeroflot, the U.S.S.R. state airline, only became more competitive and finally profitable after 49% of the airline was privatised, and maybe that is an example we could follow. With our proposed investment we are moving towards giving LIAT a monopoly position with scant regard for customer service and competitive pricing. With the greatest respect mr. Skerrit, you made the wrong move here.

  10. Shan
    November 10, 2011

    Dominica is not investing in a bankrupt or failing company by becoming a shareholder of Liat. The decision to do so is a very wise one. There are only three Caribbean countries investing in Liat. If all the countries become part of the company, we the passengers are the ones to benefit. Think about it, we are screaming about ticket prices right now, but it’s simple as this, more governments involved in financing, the cheaper the ticket prices. Isn’t that what we all want? hence the reason for the Prime minister taking that decision. I have seen it work before.

    • Cerberus
      November 10, 2011

      Shan, you are talking about “state subsidy” here. In what way would that benefit the tax payer? is it right to ask all of us to contribute in order that those, who wish to travel by air can do so at a lower cost? LIAT needs sanitizing, not pampering.

      • real talk
        November 10, 2011

        umm… u acting as if the government subsidy coming out of thin air or your PM pocket. is your tax money thats gona fund it. so technically you still gona be paying more for tickets.

        alu should hav listen to UWP 10 years ago when they were planning to build an international airport. Now we are the ONLY dependent on one airline, and WHEN Liat shuts down, we will be the first to feel it.

        So all along the argument was ‘dominica dont need an international airport’.

        So allu wil wait until you actualy need it to build it.

  11. Mashup
    November 10, 2011

    Finally Liat to actually move on Night Landing

  12. sandw
    November 10, 2011

    Liat needs to continue to operate. If the CEO is not up to the job, then a competent replacement needs to be found.
    Dominica benefits greatly from the operation of Liat – therefore it is only right that the Country contributes.

    An airline serving practically the whole of the Caribbean, with most flights full should be making a good profit. So what is going wrong?

  13. hardworker
    November 10, 2011

    With that money dominica government can buy 3 fast 19passenger planes and hire dominica pilots and employ the dominican public and make use of dominica airports. Instead of paying fees and expences for liat…

  14. Abu Sulayman
    November 10, 2011

    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

    Firstly, I believe the purchase of shares will lead the government into subsidizing LIAT rather than acquiring revenue. The first reason is that LIAT has been struggling to pay as well as to compensate workers it released. Secondly, “We believe it has come to a point where we cannot allow St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda to carry the entire LOAD of LIAT.” Load is the key word which tells us it is more of a burden rather than a profitable investment.

    Secondly, it seems that our Caribbean countries are doing their best to keep LIAT afloat. One reason is LIAT track record of safety in air transport. Second, its long service of 55 years in the Caribbean. Third which is very important; what are the economic implications if LIAT shuts down.

    In closing, I wish the article had some details regarding the share that Dominica wants to buy. Also, Dominica wants to share the load in subsidizing to keep LIAT in business.

  15. Way Out There
    November 10, 2011

    I like the move, because of the many obvious positives that it brings. Also with failing European market affecting the global markets, an international airport is definately not the way to go. I would like to believe the share prices were good and the restructured business model was even better. LIAT is in need of a major revamping with newer more efficient planes and even aircraft capable of travel to north Amercia.

  16. wisdom tooth
    November 10, 2011

    Buying shares in a dying company.

    bravo, skerrit. such a bright young thing.

    • Homeboy
      November 10, 2011

      I am total agreement with your statement. For a who think this is a strategic move, take a detailed look at the company’s financial record. Before Dominica becomes part share holder in this morbid company, First there should be privatization and a complete overhaul to e sure that it is a viable enterprise. The. Dominica should invest the people’s resources. And yes the PM should not take it upon himself to make such a move but should consults with Dominicans and Government ( opposition and his party) before a final decision is made.

  17. RC
    November 9, 2011

    I too am concerned that we are investing in a company that is lioterally bankrupt. But what choice do we have? When LIAT comes to trip its staff, it will consider the least profitable routes and non-shareholders routes, such as Dominica first. For us in Dominica if LIAT goes under. What next for Dominica? Nature has limited our capacity to offer a bigger landing facility just yet. If we have our money invested, then we can make demands. It is like investing in the WCMF. The gates never seem to make money to justify the expenditure. But the wider economy seem to be doing very well around the time of the WCMF. Let see what happens after we put our money. After all wewant more flights into Dominica, especially now that we can come into Dominica after sunset. A tremendous achievement indeed. Boy, Skerro smart weee! He is forever thinking about new ideas. Unlike the one (shiny head, maggie from Bawie) who aimlessly walks around Roseau with sugar free watermelons in his brief case

  18. Arab
    November 9, 2011

    Great investment by our country. If the paper work is signed i hope that we can later expand on the airline company and provide a cheaper and better service for the eastern Caribbean also providing more jobs.

  19. hmmmmmmmm
    November 9, 2011

    i do not get the logic behind this move…. liat is a failing airline recording constant loses. i would really like to know how much money we putting in there and what is our expected return. i dont understand why in times where liat future is in peril that the government of dominica would seek to invest there. please explain!

  20. Born Free
    November 9, 2011

    Good move for many reasons and it would be truly helpful to see the financial position and staffing structure of LIAT.

  21. Keeping them honest
    November 9, 2011

    Subject to the approval of Liat’s shareholders and the board? What about the approval of the Dominican people…isn’t that important with such a bold and expensive move on behalf of the people of Dominica. I thought you didn’t want to make all the decisions on your own.
    This is the first we are hearing of this…yet the decision seem to be made and ready to be implemented in a few months. Consulting with THE PEOPLE would have been smart. Listen to our opinion Skerro, despite our limited knowledge, you owe us that much respect. You’re bent on this tourist industry but I hope it would not be too late when you realize the need for a cargo boat for our agriculture industry…the basis for the revival of Dominica’s economy.

  22. postage
    November 9, 2011

    We must understand that Liat is our major air traffic carrier transporting us to and from Dominica. The truth is, what if Liat goes bankrupt? It Would be a real strain for us as a nation and visitors alike cant get out the country nor travel to the country. this strain would not only affect the traveling public but would also have a domino effect on various sectors of our society not only in Dominica but within the entire Caribbean region with MAYBE excluding of T&T. so it in the best interest of the Gov’t and people of DCA. I support the initiative in protecting our main carrier Liat. vivan Liat

  23. LMAO
    November 9, 2011

    The PM is not responsible for this. The PM of ST. Vincent pushed it down their throat stating in a meeting in Barbados earlier this year that they should pay up or shut up…meaning that they were not contributing to LIAT. They (Gonzales & Baldwin) went as far as threating to kick out / abandon non profitable routes of which Dominica was rumored to be one.

  24. Anonymous
    November 9, 2011

    no fan of the PM but this is indeed a wise move. say what we will about liat but they are the only caribbean airline that has consistently provided service throughout the caribbean so they have and will continue to stay in business

  25. AMBROSE 4 PM
    November 9, 2011

    BRILIANT IDEA COMING FROM ROSO SOUTH

    I HOPE THIS GIVES US AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT UNDER PM AMBROSE GEORGE

    WE PREPARING FOR OUR NEXT DLP LEADER

    LIAT WILL TAKE US THERE

    WAWAWAWAWAWAW

  26. me
    November 9, 2011

    Liat can and does make money, get rid of the money sucking managers and CEO and you will see how profitable liat really is. Too many people want too much and some dumb contract got liat hand tied….. Good move – bad move…..hummmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Christiana
    November 9, 2011

    that’s good!

  28. Anonymous
    November 9, 2011

    AS I SEE IT

    THAT WOULD BE VERY NICE THAT DOMINICA BOUGHT BACK THE SHARES THEY SOLD BACK TO LIAT WHEN
    DFP WAS IN OFFICE.
    NOW TO GET LIAT BACK ON ITS FEET THEY HAVE TO RECONSTRUCK THE AIRLINES .
    FIRST THE HAVE TO LET GO THE CEO OF LIAT
    THIS GUY IS A JOKE.AND GET SOMONE FROM OUT OF THE ISLAND TO BRING BACK LIAT THEY EMPLOYED TOO MANY ANTIGUANS DOING NOTHING
    AND GETTING PAID THATS WHY THEY HAVE MONEY PROBLEMS AS A FORMA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE I WOULD;REALLY LIKE TO HELP IN THAT RECONSTRUCTING OF BRINGING LIAT BACK TO THE PEOPLE.

  29. Jane Messam
    November 9, 2011

    Well done PM Skerritt. It is about time Dominica started to invest in bigger things and became a lead player in more businessea. This is a perfect example of the sky is the limit. God Bless Always

    • hmmmmmmmm
      November 9, 2011

      wheres the logic in your comment?????

  30. giving
    November 9, 2011

    LIAT has been a faithful carrier to the people of Caribbean, imagine us without LIAT others have come and gone and it is still here . well to all Dominicans i don’t think we should worry to much , LIAT for many many years have been having financial issues and it is still operating and just to add in the financial world no investment is secure but indeed there are bad investments. LIAT needs the help and our government is helping with the hope of our interest at heart.

  31. TJ
    November 9, 2011

    If it mean that DA will get better service then go for it. I am not conviced.

  32. Voice from the North
    November 9, 2011

    Do we have much of a choice? We cannot have RedJet, we have no night landing in spite of all the talk about airport improvement and we don’t have an international airport so we can’t attract other airlines. So until we can attract other airlines we are stuck with LIAT.That’s not our destiny but our doom.

  33. Sout Man
    November 9, 2011

    Part ownership of LIAT is a good move Mr Prime Minister, but we shouldn’t just make a “financial contribution to LIAT’s operation”. It has to be a sound investment. We have to insist that LIAT becomes efficient and profitable. I pray that we get a financial return on our investment in addition to the service LIAT provides.

  34. Sam
    November 9, 2011

    The PM don’t fly on liat he use private aircraft especially when he was in the U.S.V.I recently . He is afraid of criticism while on board

    • serious times
      November 10, 2011

      That is not entirely correct !!!

  35. cry die
    November 9, 2011

    After 55 years if a big airline like LIAT has nothing to show and stand on i believe they are not worth to spend a cent on..let them die a slow miserable death..traveller going south have to go north to seat in a damn airport.. shit that..

  36. hard core dominican
    November 9, 2011

    mr pm i think we should invest in our own national airline.

    • only
      November 9, 2011

      Unfortunately the money isn’t there.

  37. NoLeaksAtWIKILEAKS
    November 9, 2011

    What’s the price we’re buying these shares at? What the volume we are buy? Then let’s determine what percentage of the company we own before we start making political mileage on this. The article is lacking these key details.

    Anyone can buy shares…you can buy 1 share at 10cents and you can consider yourself part owner. I’m not indicating that the government bought 1 share; but a simple matter of asking for details in this article.

    • RAS B
      November 10, 2011

      My sentiments exactly. The article is lacking in important details and before jumping forward with support these details should be provided. The caption alone suggest the intent of the article – to obtain maximum political milleage. A caption like: ‘Dominica agrees to assist LIAT’ or ‘Dominica joins Antigua, St Vincent and Barbados in supporting LIAT’, would not have the same political effect.

      So please let us lobby for more details, specifically, how many shares were bought and what percentage of LIAT do we, Dominicans, own!!!!

    • GrammarGod
      November 10, 2011

      I’m sure we all read the line, “subject to the approval of the company’s shareholders”……Don’t we then understand that by next year more information will be forthcoming? I’m as skeptical as the next guy….but one of the virtues skepticism affords is patience before one ends up looking like an A$$!

  38. Anonymous
    November 9, 2011

    If LIAT goes bust, then there would be no air-traffic to and from Dominica in the region—liat, it is true, is the main airline traveling to and from Dominica. Liat going out of business means Dominica goes out of business as well; because which other airline other than liat travel to Dominica regionally, which we all know doesn’t have an international airport? exactly! none.

    It makes, of course, no finical sense to acquire shares in an ailing cooperation such as liat, But Dominica has no other choice. provided that liat was to fold, then it would’ve dangerous economical repercussion here in Dominica in several areas,not least in it’s economy, therefore.

  39. yout
    November 9, 2011

    betting on a losing horse

    • Food For Thought...
      November 10, 2011

      That horse has lost long ago…it’s more a dying horse right now!!!!

  40. Nathaniel Peltier
    November 9, 2011

    If it brings more access to DOminica. I say why not.
    On the other hand at what price.
    The company is not making money. Is it that another government has to come in to help cover the losses?

    Really hope it helps access to the island and BRING down the extortionist prices that liat are charging out and in to Dominica.

  41. We the People
    November 9, 2011

    I think this is a good move. Now, when you get to the table start demanding better scheduled for our traveller to Dominica. You have to put your money where your mouth is.

  42. Concerned
    November 9, 2011

    So now the PM and his buddies can fly for free. Yaaaaaaaay!

    • DOITRIGHT
      November 9, 2011

      idiot.

      • Sewo
        November 9, 2011

        You know when its not a supporter, if not a fanatic like me – Man U, but one feeding directly from the trough. Or like guzzlers……

    • Dominican 2 de bone
      November 9, 2011

      Then u would not have to complain that he uses ur money to travel. Dam if u do dam if u don’t…Peace!

  43. mouth of the south
    November 9, 2011

    oh my… hope our investment is fruitful… the letting us in now that the future of the company is gloomy… i think that’s a wrong investment… what the should have invested in is a ferry service for the lesser antilles… trust this will be the next initiative

  44. Satelite
    November 9, 2011

    Ok, Mr Prime Minister, I guess you know what you are doing. Does that mean Dominica will have a well planted foot in the day today decision making of Liat?

    I wont say anything more, I’ll just wait to see where this will lead us, just hope that with one more government on the board, which will be “two more ears” Liat will be urged to listen to the public cries much more.

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