Regional Turbulence!

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to understand the logic behind the collection of decisions made by the Board and senior management of LIAT (1974) Ltd, the consequences of which has been to create an unprecedented operational debacle. Even the CEO was describing the situation with emotive words like the ‘perfect storm’ and ‘meltdown’. While I admire Captain Brunton’s attempts to explain the circumstances behind the cause of what can only be called a state of chaos, there are still many questions that remain unanswered.

First, let us go back to the choice of the new replacement aircraft. Why the ATR’s?

When the Bombardier Q400 is faster, offering quicker turnarounds (more flights per day), has a substantially greater range, which would allow the carrier to operate to some of the new routes mentioned and perhaps even more relevant, required limited pilot retraining. There may have been overwhelming reasons why the ATR planes where chosen over the Q400’s, but surely we are owed an explanation? If LIAT had a history of profitability and that for a large part of it’s lifetime had not relied on the grace and favour of the Caribbean taxpayers, it might be different. But with a quoted ‘accumulated deficit of EC$344 million (around US$127 million) at the end of 2012’, any hope of achieving stand-alone viability, in the foreseeable future, appears an almost impossible dream. Yet elected administrations have been persuaded to guarantee loans and leases, amounting to tens of millions of dollars. If these cannot be repaid, then we will be the ones saddled with the debts.

The next questionable decision is why did an almost brand new aircraft, in service for around four weeks, need a new engine? I understand from Pratt and Witney, the manufacturers, that this is highly unusual. Again, perhaps this is a partial penalty for changing aircraft type. Would LIAT not be compensated financially for the week the equipment was out of service, allowing the ticket holder to receive some recompense?

Thirdly, knowing the challenges there already was with existing pilots not being able to fly the ATR’s, until extensive retraining, why charter one of the new planes to ferry the President of Taiwan around the region? What is most remarkable is that the single largest shareholder (Barbados) of LIAT does not even diplomatically recognise the Republic of China (ROC).

The Government of Taiwan indirectly owns China Airlines and it’s subsidiary Mandarin Airlines, who collectively operate over 80 aircraft. These include eight, ERJ 190 regional jets, each with a seating capacity of 104 seats. Any one of these could have performed the functions required by President Ma Ying-jeou, with maybe the only doubt being the current SVD airport (E. T. Joshua), and it’s limited runway length.

In the very unlikely event, China Airlines could not have supplied a suitable aircraft, then one of the three privately owned Taiwan carriers (Eva Air, Uni-Air or TransAsia Airways with a combined fleet of another 85 planes, including ATR’s and Dash 8’s, could have stepped forward.

Our Government has also announced that ‘we’ will be relying on the People’s Republic of China to finance and engineer the re-opening of our largest hotel to hopefully reinstate at least 500 jobs. Knowing the decades of animosity that has existed between the ROC and mainland China, was it a wise move to risk possible alienation ,by giving the President of Taiwan, preferential treatment?

As the Taiwanese funded terminal building at Arygle airport nears completion, we have yet to witness any movement at the former Almond Beach Village.

51 thoughts on “Regional Turbulence!


  1. Rumour has it CEO of LIAT Ian Brunton has tendered his resignation. Hopefully our good Corporate Communication Specialist Lisa Parris of Richard Branson fame will confirm soon.


  2. “First, let us go back to the choice of the new replacement aircraft. Why the ATR’s?
    When the Bombardier Q400 is faster, offering quicker turnarounds (more flights per day), has a substantially greater range, which would allow the carrier to operate to some of the new routes mentioned and perhaps even more relevant, required limited pilot retraining. There may have been overwhelming reasons why the ATR planes where chosen over the Q400’s, but surely we are owed an explanation?”

    Maybe the answer to the above query can be found in Jimny Cricket’s comment on a related thread:

    “Jimny Cricket | September 6, 2013 at 1:46 PM |
    Reason for Choice of Aircraft
    THE FRENCH PAY THE BIGGEST BRIBES.”

    It would be most interesting to find out who was/were the chief promoter(s) of the push to get the Board and by extension the politicians’ representatives to go for the ATR option.
    Was the Barbadian government’s representative(s) presumably in the form of Jean H in favour of the ATR proposal?


  3. My problem with Liat is that our Government is the majority share-holder in this airline, but seems to have little say in its operation, as we see with the airline being based in Antigua! Does anyone think that it could be the other way around? I don’t. SVG’s PM said. ” Barbados is the largest beneficiary” of Liat, with which our PM Freundel Stuart concurred, that is why Barbados is shouldering the largest part of the US$65million – with US$33.2million, more than half of the money being borrowed from the Caribbean Development Bank, whereas Antigua, where the airline is based putting up US$21.9million – more than US$11million less than what Barbados is putting up, although they are reaping all of the sweets! Our politicians must wake up and smell the coffee or whatever they feel like smelling! Their attitude that they can milk the tax payers of this country – see the Minister of Finance raiding the NIS Pensions Funds whenever he feels like – at will must be reined in!


  4. Regarding the ATR’s, that is water under the bridge and it just has to be lived-with. The problem is, where do LIAT go from here? How can governments who cannot provide proper accountability for their own actions, demand such from the management of LIAT? It has been aired already that the managment based in Antigua is totally out of its depth and has neither the intellect, nor experience to pull the fat out of the fire. Soem of theme have been in the job for so long that it is impossible for them to think of any different way of operating the airline. This nonsense of dumping passengers at an airport somewhere while the airctaft is used for a charter has been going on for years. It boggles the mind to think that any airline manager would think that this is good policy. Here’s news folks, nothing will change because there is no will between governments to risk upsetting other governments. Incompetence will not be punished, and any imported management team will encounter obstruction and obfuscation until they give up in despair. We are stuck with LIAT as it is and we can complain and write letters all we like, but it has passed the point of no return. Sorry.


    • @Peltdownman

      Yes the decision has been made on the ATRS but by understanding how the decision was made has implications for the present.


  5. let,s go back to how this all get started and who were the blockheads selling govt on thev idea that Liat woul be a profitable venture to embarked on. now all those voices seem to be silence. in the meanwhile taxpayers are being kicked in the arss with the tail end of this doomed airline. How de the hell was it so easy for three govts to buy a rotten pig in a bag one that was stinking to the high heavens.


  6. Govt keep pummping millions of dollars into a wreckage .alll the meanwhile asking the working public to tighten their belts and for what so that the cronnies in the tourism industry can fleece the taxpayer and live off the remains of the wreckage. .However the silence is deafeaning by the BLP yardfowls. however enough words and crticism can be heard from the BLP them when it comes for govt to abandon free bus fares for children


  7. Just drop by to see what ADRIAN is moaning and groaning about today.

    I hope that one day he will offer something positive and upbeat. His ideas are as old as he is.


    • BU understands that Paul Altman who sits on the board of Almond Beach Village indicated at a public meeting yesterday that he is clueless what the government has planned for ABV. Interesting.


  8. Barbados receives over NINETY T’OUSAND (90,000 I write it slow ’causen I know some a wunna can’ read to fast) tourises from the Caribbean every year … NINTETY T’OUSAND … simply because there is a US Embassy located in Wildey that they have no choice but to patronize, being desirous of visiting that country. Now that translates to millions of dollars… MILLIONS of dollars (I write dat slow too) being spent annually thanks to LIAT transporting these hapless people here. Does Barbados have a vested interest ..? Damned straight it does, and interests that also ensure that any amount or type of US politicking will be appropriately pitched to and accommodated by a Barbadian public with the greatest of ease …!


  9. @ ac | September 16, 2013 at 2:32 PM |

    Why don’t you shut your twisted two-way mouth and read what BAF wrote @ BAFBFP | September 16, 2013 at 3:20 PM | ?

    Even your PM appreciates the importance of LIAT to Bim and decided to back it 100%. If you are going to attack then attack the present PM and the DLP for not allowing LIAT to sink or swim on its own as you seem to be demanding It is the PM who recently signed for the LIAT lifeline? Why not be brave and call him an ass for doing so? Bet you dare not?
    What you should be calling for is the removal of the LIAT HQ from Antigua to deal with the cost inefficiencies and administrative incompetence. But is the DLP administration in a position to call a spade a spade or the kettle black?


  10. @ David
    “BU understands that Paul Altman who sits on the board of Almond Beach Village indicated at a public meeting yesterday that he is clueless what the government has planned for ABV. Interesting.”

    if the Government don’t know, and I mean really know, as opposed to talking BS, you really expect Altman or anyone else for that matter to know? The Government is as clueless as anyone else. Hopefully they will not put any taxpayers money into it, just facilitate and regulate whoever wants to buy it. There is a willing seller and as always at the right price there will be a willing buyer.


  11. Can some body tell the taxpyers who id going to pay gih dem spanking new airplanes that have altready shown signs of wear and fatigue without barely lifting off the ground, sumbody tells me about the millions opf dollars spent here by the hapless tourist from throughout the carribbean ,but that does not coincide with the recent articles about lIats decline in passengers because of all the various problems plaguing the airline not to mention the substantial loss each and every year by LIAT,


  12. Fellows
    After reading Adrian on this topic I decided to check for myself. He is correct. Somebody has misled LIAT again. The Bombardier Q400 makes mince meat of the ATR. The Q400 climbs faster,(mountainous terrain) has a higher cruising speed, longer range, carries more load, is related to the Dash 8 and so requires little retraining and is highly responsive to pilot demands. I actually read a lot of stuff from pilots who currently operate the Q400. The only draw back is the bigger engines which means more fuel. But that is offset by faster turnarounds and more passengers per day. There is some more technical stuff on cabin noise due to placement of wheel house on fuselage on the ATR and air condition services when on tarmac if there is no ground service. This causes one engine to be operated for AC services resulting in higher fuel burn. Some pilots turn off the engines and the cabin is hot. As a layman I prefer the Q400. Check for yourselves. Barbados has too much to loose here.


  13. somebody or sombodies have been misleading LIaT from day one. Nothimg gonna change because of new management or new airlines, LIAT is a LOST cause sucking the life blood out of govts economy. with balooning and out of control debt, Sell it or close, putting good money after bad does not make sense.A Reality CHEck is NEEDED HERE . Govts need to swallow their pride and say enough is enough HINT :. IAN BURTON the best of the Best saw that that there is no light at the end of the tunnel for LIAT and has moved on .


    • Some of the top airlines in the USA and the world have had to file for bankruptcy. CAL is heavily subsidized by he government. Air Jamaica has gone the way of the merger with CAL. Running an airline to satisfy Caricom will not be easy. We have several small islands with disparate infrastructure. To dismantle the only regional airline to the greed of private enterprise will be fraught with risk. We should try not to simplify this issue.


  14. Risk , UM let me count the Risk that has plagued this airline over the years notably at taxpayers at expense, where does it end,,,,,a risk to high to bear and counting the cost is unbearable,,,,,,


    • @ac

      Another topic which you appear clueless. A good example is the Transport Board of Barbados which successive governments, including your DLP, have dumped tax dollars. Try to figure out the similarity in the two and our inability to have it resolved. The LIAT mess will not be solved by simply privatizing, there are many other issues at play here. What is calls for to begin with is a meeting of the minds of regional leaders that we all need LIAT and therefore the proper infrastructure needs to be agreed to by all. For example, one airspace, common pricing policy where price points are protected (subsidized) on unprofitable routes in a way which does not compromise the P&L. Then there is the big piece of the puzzle, integrating CAL etc.


  15. All that u David has stated not going to happen as govts and board members continue to look like the dog trying to catch its tail. and headless chickens. a entity cost of 8.5million dollar loss at a cost to the taxpayers. yet sumbody says the loss is all worth the price the taxpayers are paying. nothing clueless about that. Someday soon Reality would sink in but at what a cost. Every article from A-Z has been negative about this flying Ghost called LIAT.it is time to stop the madness.


  16. @ David | September 17, 2013 at 5:55 AM |
    “For example, one airspace, common pricing policy where price points are protected (subsidized) on unprofitable routes in a way which does not compromise the P&L. Then there is the big piece of the puzzle, integrating CAL etc.”

    Good proposal especially about the “one air space” and pricing .
    Bu this would require more territories like St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Grenada to play a more meaning role and make a greater contribution to the airline.

    CAL cannot continue to operate in the region without some closer relationship with LIAT and the T&T government involvement in the LIAT project.
    If LIAT fails then Caricom (and certainly CSME) is doomed to failure and would soon go the way of the Federation.
    Both LIAT and the CCJ are litmus tests of the socio-economic development and political maturity of the people of the region since “Independence”.


  17. @ ac | September 17, 2013 at 8:05 AM |

    At whom are you directing your venomous forked tongue in your recent bout of sark raving madness?
    The people on the blog who support LIAT in principle and wish to see it succeed because of its strategic importance to the region especially Barbados?
    Or is it directed at those who “manage” airline? We notice you fail to identify the specific people or positions who have the say in following your advice about LIAT. But we all know why. It would be like mashing your own corns, wouldn’t it ac?
    Why don’t you recommend a solution to the LIAT problem similar to the one being worked on for the Barbados Transport Board?


  18. ac have already recommended a solution to this starkmadness open the skies and stop asking the public and customer to rescue this down airline. in the end it would save the govt millions. Let private enterprise do what it does best in this area compete. The Govt is in no position to keep up this charade to please a few . millions going out and nothing coming in. Does that make sense.


  19. @ ac | September 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM |
    “The Govt is in no position to keep up this charade to please a few . millions going out and nothing coming in. Does that make sense.”

    No, not coming from an intellectual jerk like you. You fail to accept the similarity between the TB given the government social goal of subsidizing public or mass transport because of its wider economic ramifications and the need to keep LIAT in the skies because of similar economic ramifications.

    You should also be exposed as a lying hypocrite since you refuse to criticize the DLP administration for pursuing a policy of fully supporting the same LIAT that is anathema to the very philosophy and line of argument you are pursuing here.
    If you are not prepared to focus your argument in a way that would show dissent to the current administration’s policy on LIAT but still dishonestly keen to uphold the financial hemorrhaging taking place at the TB then please get off LIAT’s back and let it serve its purpose the same way the TB is serving yours.


  20. And what might that pupose be miller . for so far LUAT has missed the mark and failed miserably in every dept leaving the battle to govts and taxpayer getting it off the ground and being burnt. the conceot which might have been a good one to hellp the tourism industry has been a dismal failure other carribbean islands have recognized such failures and have refused to come on board .. Clueless


  21. @ ac | September 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM |
    “And what might that pupose be miller.”

    We shall never forget the little old lady in the DLP electoral gimmick on the State-owned Transport Board bus arrogantly commandeered by the DLP henchmen to perpetrate the most heinous lie on the people of Barbados and illegal use of State assets flagrantly and conspicuously abused on the State-owned TV station.

    Imagine you the biggest viciously aggressive opponent to privatization is the now the chief purveyor. What a shame! What a bold-faced lying hypocrite!

    But the miller is well pleased to see the events being playing being out since the DLP return to power is within the grand design as foreseen by the prophet of doom and gloom.
    Your meaty asses are still tough and requires further heat before the stew is ready.


  22. In the grand scheme considering all the negatives and the positives of this dooned airline. the negativcrs havr far outreached the positives .three poor uslabnds have been suckered punch and rossed around by severe turbulence inside the industry us it as necessary ton continue to drain what liltte financial resources these islands have .even as they cried out about vital loss to the country reserves another 10million has already been loss because of this LIAT where are these tourist to refill the coffers


  23. TOURISM RELATED

    “First aerial photos reveal how doomed Costa Concordia has been rolled upright as divers begin grim task of hunting for the missing two bodies

    Salvage officials think Russel Rebello and Maria Grazia Trecarichi’s bodies could be found in lifeboat under hull

    Engineers confirmed they reached 25 degrees just before midnight and vessel was finally upright by 4am today

    The 114,000 tonne ship has been marooned outside Giglio harbour off the coast of Tuscany, Italy, for 20 months
    Some 32 people lost their lives on January 13, 2012 when the vessel hit rocks and sank with 4,200 people aboard

    Liner was rotated with pulleys and lifted up in the largest and most expensive maritime salvage operation ever
    Engineers expect a ‘burp’ of noxious gases as the ship is lifted and trapped air bubbles are released
    Raised the ship by 65 degrees – without it breaking in two – and it’s vertical so it can be towed away next spring
    Ship’s captain Francesco Schettino, aka ‘Captain Coward’, at home in Naples preparing to face trial over disaster”

    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2421734/Costa-Concordia-emerges-sea-19-hour-salvage-battle.html

    A 500 million pound salvage operation.

    Who’s paying?

    Tourism ran amok?


  24. ADRIAN LOVERIDGE

    Don’t worry too much about Liat. You are in no position to offer Liat any advice. You have been running a little tiny place for years now. Why don’t you improve your place before telling Liat what to do.

    People might get the mistaken impression that you know what you are talking about.


  25. Ummmm…AC, CCC…

    Is your party not running this country? Stop playing the blame game and FIX THINGS!

    You want to stay in power, or you just want to leech the country dry and bail? It looks like you want the latter to happen!

    Obviously not patriotic, are you? Stop squabbling among yourselves and RUN THE COUNTRY PROPERLY!


  26. In the grand scheme considering all the negatives and the positives of this domed airline. the negatives have far outweighed the positives .three poor islands have been suckered punch and rossed around by severe turbulence is it necessary to continue to drain what liltte financial resources these islands have .even as they cry out about vital loss to the country reserves another 10million has already been loss because of LIAT; where are these tourist to refill the coffers


  27. I love the prison farm idea now being floated around by government, they could have their yardfowls working side by side with the prisoners, then we will know for sure the taxpayers money is being well spent.


  28. “While government spends millions, hotels in St Lucia block wedding photographers

    Published on September 20, 2013

    CASTRIES, St Lucia — Saint Lucia, over the past few years, has been boasted as one of the premier wedding destinations in the Caribbean, if not the world. However, not everyone is enjoying the fruits that come with this accolade and members of the Saint Lucia Association of Professional Photographers (SLAPP) have called on Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus to address what the association cites as an illegal practice being surreptitiously perpetrated just out of sight of both the government and the public at large.

    In a letter send to the minister, SLAPP said local hotels are denying its members access to couples who have directly contracted their photography services, or charging exorbitant fees for photographers to enter their premises to shoot wedding photography.

    The situation is so grave that, rather than pay the extortionate fee of US$500 that one all-inclusive resort in the south of Saint Lucia is demanding for a local photographer to photograph a wedding there, the photographer has invited the couple to marry on a neighbouring island, as it costs less to fly him there than to pay the local fee.

    The trouble is though that Saint Lucia then loses out on the much needed revenue that couple and their guests would otherwise have injected into the island’s economy.

    “And as if this were not bad enough a popular all-inclusive hotel chain on the north of the island point blank refuses to allow local photographers onto its properties to shoot weddings,” cites SLAPP…………….”

    http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-While-government-spends-millions%2C-hotels-in-St-Lucia-block-wedding-photographers-17777.html

    I have always asked the question and it has never been answered by ADRIAN LOVERIDGE, if all the Tourists are going to St. Lucia as ADRIAN claims how come the St. Lucian economy is in such bad shape, and how much of the Tourist actually stays in St. Lucia anyway.

    The above article is a tiny example of why. The Local St. Lucian is being block from making any meaningful money from the Tourist trade in St. Lucia not much is filtering to the man in the street in St. Lucia and Hotel officials in St. Lucia are making sure that it stays that way.

    What a pity, everyone from everywhere is making money from Tourists in St. Lucia except the average guy in St. Lucia.

    This photographer business is just the tip of the iceberg.


  29. “… What a pity, everyone from everywhere is making money from Tourists in St. Lucia except the average guy in St. Lucia….”
    ==========================================================
    The thousands of taxi drivers who benefit from tourism in St.Lucia are all average guys; so are the hundreds of vendors in and around the castries market; don’t forget the 1,000’s of hotel workers; All average guys.


  30. Caribbean Lover

    According to you everything appear to be honky dory in St. Lucia then Explain to me why the St. Lucian economy is in such poor shape.


  31. Everything is not honky dory in St.Lucia; St.Lucia, like the rest of the islands, has its share of problems. And you seem to get much satisfaction in highlighting those problems; even wishing for the US State Dept. to issue a travel ban against St.Lucia; and then you have the nerves to call St.Lucia a sister island. Yes! sister of Martinique and St.Vincent.


  32. Caribbean lover

    Let me answer you this way, I will use your words but with a few changes if you will permit me,

    “Everything is not honky dory in BARBADOS; BARBADOS, like the rest of the islands, has its share of problems. And ADRIAN LOVERIDGE seem to get much satisfaction in highlighting those problems”

    I am simply following in the footsteps of ADRIAN LOVERIDGE, who take every opportunity to try to mislead people that St. Lucia is on top of the World doing fabulously fine and stupid Bajans and Barbados under the Democratic Labour Party is the worst place in the World. Something that is simply not true at all . So your humble servant is just bringing fairness and balance to the debate.


  33. “I am simply following in the footsteps of ADRIAN LOVERIDGE….”
    =================================================
    Adrian Loveridge doesn’t even have to mention St.Lucia in his blogs for you to find a way to target St.Lucia negatively. If Adrian talks about lowering the VAT in Barbados, you respond by attacking St.Lucia. If he talks about September’s occupancy, you respond by attacking St.Lucia; regardless of the topic, you attack St.Lucia mercilessly and then blame Adrian. I cannot think of one St.Lucian who whises Barbados ill.


  34. Caribbean lover

    “I cannot think of one St.Lucian who whises Barbados ill.’

    I don’t wish them ill either, but facts are facts no matter how uncomfortable.


  35. Caribbean lover

    I will not join Barbados Labour Party members and supporters and put down Barbados for any other place in the World.

    My country will be defended by me to the hilt. So who ever gets in the way will get hurt.

    For your information Barbados Labour Party supporters don’t mind one bit about pulling down the country, tarnishing its reputation and they do it every opportunity they get under what ever guise. And THEY ENJOY IT!!!

    Unfortunately for you they use your country as the red herring to achieve their nefarious ends. So your country is being caught in the cross fire. It is suffering collateral damage.(not that the Barbados Labour Party care anything about St. Lucia or St. lucians)

    TOUGH.


  36. Caribbean lover

    Let me take you back a few years when the Barbados Labour Party(BLP) was in office, recall that they nearly locked up the wife of Kenny Anthony because she was part of a peaceful demonstration at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus.

    During the bye election here in Barbados in the parish of St. John, a woman by the name of Mara Thompson a St. Lucian by birth was vilified by the Barbados Labour Party(BLP) and Its members and supporters because the Democratic Labour Party ran her as their candidate. Of course the good people of St. John ignored the BLP and Mara Thompson was elected to the House of Assembly with one of the largest margins ever.

    That is just an example of how BLP supporters love St. Lucia and St. Lucians. They love them like how a cat loves a rat.


  37. Carson oh lord don’t kill them, man you does destroy these foolish people and their foolish arguments so easily its like taking candy from a baby. Every word in your last set of posts is true. Keep them honest CCC.


  38. @ Carson C. Cadogan | September 22, 2013 at 7:37 AM |
    “Everything is not honky dory in BARBADOS; BARBADOS, like the rest of the islands, has its share of problems.”

    “So your humble servant is just bringing fairness and balance to the debate.”

    @Carson C. Cadogan | September 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM |
    “I will not join Barbados Labour Party members and supporters and put down Barbados for any other place in the World.”

    Mrs.Carrion, (name used in its old Northern French linguistic association to a very bitter ugly old woman), would your dedication and commitment to the above assertions hold as firm if the BLP party were in power?
    It appears you were not so keen to be so loyally supportive of Barbados when the BLP was in office. Maybe a reproduction of some of your contributions prior to January 2008 might be of interest to current readers and BU contributors.

    Of course we don’t expect a response to the question posed in order to bring fairness and balance to enlighten “Caribbean Lover” or even Observer 2 or even plain old Observer himself.
    After all Carrion, Caribbean Lover is from what you would- in jingoistic and xenophobic terms- refer to as the “low islands” and just a silly foreigner like those from Guyana, right Bitch Lover?

    Your Caring, Loving and Loyal Uncle,
    Tommy Miller.


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