Why Is It That Our Minister Of Tourism Has Stayed So Silent On The Ongoing Problems And Region-wide Criticism Of LIAT?

With the Barbadian taxpayer being the single largest shareholder in LIAT and Barbados being the largest source of passengers, it’s difficult to understand why we have not heard from the Minister. Following the outspoken comments made recently by the Prime Minister of Grenada after hundreds of passengers were left stranded across the Caribbean, the Minister of Tourism for St. Lucia, Allan Chastenet, yesterday also joined the fray.

Among, the remarks made were ‘urgent changes (have) to be made to the operations of the regional airline LIAT, even if tough staff decisions have to be made’. He told reporters ‘that until certain fundamental changes are made to the structure of the airline these inconveniences and threats to intra-regional travel will continue to occur’.

Adding ‘If you keep it the same way which is what has happened then you are not going to see any different results’.

And ‘it was amazing that the shareholder governments have not realised that they have to take a tough stance with the staff’.

‘There have (been) numerous complaints in government circles that the airline is overstaffed and its operations, particularly at the airlines headquarters in Antigua and Barbuda, need to be streamlined’.

What is perhaps, most remarkable is that Mr.Chastenet sits on the board of LIAT and yet seems powerless to affect the changes he is calling for.

According to LIAT’s website Barbados is represented on the board by Mr. Grantley Smith and Mr. Irvine Best. Considering, the massive ‘investment the Barbadian taxpayer has made in LIAT, its difficult to understand why our Minister of Tourism does not represent ‘our’ interests on the board.

Maybe he also feels that he does not have either the expertise needed or the influence to bring about management changes.

Adrian Loveridge

25 thoughts on “Why Is It That Our Minister Of Tourism Has Stayed So Silent On The Ongoing Problems And Region-wide Criticism Of LIAT?

  1. Well St. KittsNevis owned SKN Express Airlines is coming to Guyana with jets in January, so I say Good Bye LIAT and Hello SKN Express Airlines.

  2. Loveridge,

    When are we going to hear from you about the repeated food-poisoning incidents at your Peach and Quiet hotel?

    Aren’t you risking the lives of your guests, all for the love of money?

  3. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Issues with LIAT

  4. I must first say that sadly if Noeless Blarney Lynch were to have a second brain he would still be a half twit.

    This man must rate as the most stupid , arrogant, bombastic person to ever be awarded a position in cabinet.

    More importantly is what has he managed to do while in the role of Minister?

    There really is not much on record about which he can boast, his dreaming and his lying are his biggest downfalls.

  5. ANY article by Adrian Loveridge ive learned to ignore this title smacked of him and i scrolled dowm comfirmed it was indeed him , therefore im not even going to read it nor after this will i reply to anything that WASTE OF SPACE RIGHTS ABOUT ,,i just wish he would leave barbados and barbadians in piece and go bck wherever he came from thats all

  6. Only Me

    By your argument all Bajans sojourning in all parts of the globe should leave those countries and go back where they come from. You have no idea how it feels to have good bread taken from your mouth because someone determines that you should not have a work permit because you were better than they at what you did, and they envied you.

    I dont know Adrian Loveridge, but I do know that he has no power to take bread out of the mouth of trained professionals in Bim who went to school with the tax payers money.

  7. Allen Chastanet is quoted in the news as calling for radical changes to be made to the structure of LIAT. His comments come in the aftermath of a recent strike action by LIAT employees which crippled regional travel last week. It seems that Minister Chastanet himself was stranded while he was trying to attend a LIAT directors meeting.

  8. Chastanet should still be at his airport waiting to travel. We talk about Caricom unity, but here we have the St. Lucia Tourism minister constantly criticising LIAT and even going as far as to invite American Airlines to service the St. Lucian run. St. Lucia is just talking and refuse to finance LIAT.

  9. Are you all mad? Muscle mary Lynch only comments when he believes it makes him look good. From everything I have read and heard Liat is sick joke much like Lynch. Dont expect to hear from dishonest Barney on Liat anytime soon. He never says a pang when the airlines he brags about arriving curtail their operations and that occurs often. As Sandi liked to say Lynch is loudmouth windbag.

  10. “LIAT: Our Airline”

    These Creole frenchy’s are nothing but trouble. Because St. Lucia is a backward mess, this idiot wants to turn back the clock on the rest of the WI to the good old days of the white or coloured Herronvolk when black workers were forced to fight for the crumbs from massa’s table. The workers of LIAT have a god given right to a living wage and to take industrial action if required. Anybody who has a problem with that will have to get over it!

  11. frankology

    St. Lucia is lookig after “their” tourism industry first and foremost and saying and doing what it takes to get to the top spot. Their is a time when Barbados and Jamaica were the 2 most know places. St. Lucia has not SERIOUSLY intered the fray of things, they are building serious room space not only hotels but also apts, we are LOSING guests and room space rapidly.

    I think they are correct by not investing in liat that is money that could be building the industry/country.

  12. To build on Undertaker’s point the problem with LIAT is historical and because of political malfeasance and irrelevant structure investing in LIAT can be likened to pouring water in the sea. Frankology it is one thing to offer an alternate position but it is another if you appear to be doing it for doing sake.

  13. Georgie Porgie // December 28, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Only Me

    By your argument all Bajans sojourning in all parts of the globe should leave those countries and go back where they come from. You have no idea how it feels to have good bread taken from your mouth because someone determines that you should not have a work permit because you were better than they at what you did, and they envied you.

    I dont know Adrian Loveridge, but I do know that he has no power to take bread out of the mouth of trained professionals in Bim who went to school with the tax payers money
    idiot i didnt even say all the furryners here should leave but adrian loveridge should be deported cause he is a troube maker a liar and an idiot ..he talks all sorts of rubbish like keeping foolish noise bout opera interactive ..who cares if they have winners or not if people r so stupid as to play those stupid games then they deserve to lose money …i dont wish adrian bad but i just wish he would keep his stupid mouth shut cause all he does is spout rubbish constantly ……you really think he could behave like this in England ??? like you r an idiot too

  14. An interesting letter appeared in Antigua Sun yesterday (31st December 2007) under the heading ‘Open questions to LIAT’s shareholders’.

    written by someone calling themselves :
    The taxpayer’s eye

    Perhaps David could do the link?

  15. Adrian L i wonder what your detractors are saying in response to this opinion coming out of Antigua. There is a problem with LIAT and we need to stop being partisan on the issue and work to address it!

  16. David, thank you for the link.

    You of course are right.
    Its a pan-Caribbean problem, but which politician on Antigua is ever going to agree to relocate LIAT to the only logical place, Barbados.
    I have emailed Senator Allan Chastenet for his comments on the letter and hope to get a reply.
    I still cannot see a proper business plan for LIAT and that worries me. Even after getting the loan from CDB, there still arises problems with the Provident Fund and finalising arrangements with the Caribbean Star aircraft at at time when they are going into peak season.
    I also wonder about the composition of the board to oversee and direct the executive members of management.
    By the way, I did offer my services (free) to LIAT sometime ago and went up to Antigua as their guest to discuss issues.
    What is the saying, horses to water?

  17. Adrian L we cannot accept that the most recent restructure/merger i.e. Caribbean Star would have been done with some semblance of a business plan. We cannot accept that at ALL!

    So it means that there must be a plan just that it has not been made public. We remember well Dr. Jean Holder Chairman of LIAT talking down to Indar Weir on a call-in program with David Ellis a few months ago. All of his promises seem to be empty at this stage or are we not giving enough time for the experiment to work. We respect Chastenet and he would have insider knowledge but yet he has decided to lead LIAT away from LIAT. What is it that the public doesn’t know about the LIAT deal.

  18. David….a Suggestion.

    The role of the blogs in uncovering for the public the real ‘goings-on’ behind the scene at the political level has been mind blowing -and good for the country.

    However, that letter referred to by Adrian, as well as some feedback from Water works Department and more recently the Fire Service leads me to believe that there is an even greater role for the blogs to play, in exposing the gross inefficiencies, graft and complete lack of integrity in most of our businesses and institutions.

    This would also enable us to see those organisations that are well run and that operate with high levels of integrity.

    This is important because it does not make sense to me, to expect that we will be able to produce top class leaders nationally when we allow a culture of dishonesty, graft and nepotism to bloom throughout the country.

    Here is my proposal.

    Every month, we select 6 organisations and invite specific analysis of their performance and operations.
    The CEO or whoever the organisation determines, would be invited to write the lead article (failing which we will invite anyone to do so) and the blog would be open to public inputs.

    Schools, Government Institutions, Public Utilities, Private Enterprises etc would be included. As comments phase out on a particular organisation, another one would be added.

    Special moderation approaches may need to be implemented to avoid persons using the opportunity for personal petty purposes – but this should be no problem.

    I think that this would provide a valuable national tool to promote excellence, deter mediocrity and ferret out dishonesty.

  19. Bush Tea…
    Great suggestion!


    I find it difficult to believe too.
    But some months ago, I had a meeting which included some of the highest level representatives of the BTA, BHTA, CTO and CHA, and posed the question, ‘have you seen a LIAT business plan’?

    They ALL replied NO!

    Would you not want to keep key decision making organisations that included your largest shareholder informed?

  20. “LIAT: in the line of fire”

    If the BTA and Loveridge are salivating for a peak at LIAT’s proprietary information, then they should come up with a few million to invest in the company. The management has been given their marching orders from the shareholder governments: operate LIAT as a free market commercial concern. There will be no more free lunches. If oil is $100 a barrel, then ticket prices will have to go up. The much ballyhooed bajan taxpayer will no longer be subsidizing the bloated parasites at the BTA. As for staff reductions, the militant A&BWU and the BWU will have a lot to say about that even more than the shareholder governments, but of course local politics will also play a role. The relocation of LIAT’s HQ is secondary to the staff reductions and a more politically opportune time for PM Arthur.

  21. degap…

    But I AM one of the shareholders.

    What did you think that Minister Noel Lynch was subsidising LIAT out of this own pocket?

    I, like other taxpayers who actually pay over substantial taxes to this Government help employ the 752 LIAT workers mention by their Chairman.

  22. “Whose Taxes?”

    I pay taxes too, but that doesn’t make me a shareholder. The subsidies have stopped, but you’re still complaining about high ticket prices while LIAT is only breaking even. It sounds like the BTA wants the Bajan taxpayer to continue to subsidize their private businesses. Instead of complaining about LIAT the BTA should be reducing their exorbitant prices to attract the regional market.

  23. The heck with harassing LIAT pilots and questioning their salaries – what about continuing bad management? How can ANY manager justify allowing ANY contract negotiations with ANY employee group to continue for 12 years?

    Thousands of PAID man-hours – on both sides – wasted in pursuit of “teaching the employee who is in charge”. For representation purposes it is reasonable for LIAT to pay managers and employees to be at a negotiating table… but NOT for 12 years!!!!

    I ask – and we should all ask – that the Board send in an independent auditor to assess what this major decade-long exercise in time-wasting has cost the airline, who ordered the on-going procrastination, terminate those in management who were responsible, and ensure that it does not happen again. We have paid the MINIMUM of the equivalent of the salaries of TWO pilots and TWO LIAT managers over TWELVE YEARS for this ridiculous inconvenience.

    The pilots went on a sick out, not because of salary, but because of being finally out of a contract after 12 years of negotiation.

    10 years would have been unreasonable… 5 years would have been unreasonable… heck, 2 years would have been unreasonable. What was LIAT management thinking?

    THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED!!! And _why_ is Mr. Brown “surprised”?? Does he represent a management team of idiots?

    Caribbean management as a whole encourage waste because they think they have to prove they have the upper hand in order to get savings. But in fact when industrial action becomes a reality because workers become fed up they do exactly the opposite.

    When you harass the pilots you are harassing the wrong group, people… see your MP or Prime Minister and DEMAND that LIAT management change their approach to industrial relations.

    That’s where the problem lies – remember, LIAT pilots patiently had restraint for the last 12 years to avoid this – and now you want to beat them up for having decided enough was enough?

    Not fair. And that’s not competent management by the Board or the top and middle management which has been running the company for the last 25 years!!!

    Time for a change in Board AND management, maybe??

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