LIAT Update

Click image to sign the PETITION!

Click image to sign the PETITION!

The following was circulated to those who signed the petition by James Lynch, PETITION FROM THE TRAVELLING PUBLIC TO THE OWNERS OF THE CARIBBEAN AIRLINE LIAT.

You need to know that LIAT are about to have another huge meltdown. Yes, it’s probably going to happen again, and maybe even worse.

All the ATR Pilots trained at the beginning before the aircraft were delivered are now due for re-currency training, and many of the senior pilots are going on their usual booked holiday in December. That’s the start of it.

So, unless somebody comes up with a small (large?) miracle, LIAT are going to have to park many of their planes and cancel/reschedule/ delay many of their flights.

LIAT management were warned by both the ECCAA (the Civil Aviation Authority) and the LIAT Pilots Association LIALPA that this was going to happen unless they made alternate plans (LIALPA also warned Brunton before the first meltdown), so the many shortages which came to a head in August are going to be dwarfed by what is about to happen again at LIAT approaching and during the Christmas Season.

Certainly LIAT seems to be a half-empty bathtub with someone already pulling on the plug. And most top Caribbean politicians are well known for their disdain of the common man. But the fact remains that unless and until the top Caribbean politicians – shareholders and non-shareholders alike – get off their duffs and take action LIAT will EITHER fold on or before the end of this year OR LIAT will stagger into 2014 and fall on its face next year.

You are receiving this because you made your mark on asking for change at LIAT… if you value LIAT at all, now is the time to gather all of your resources and contacts and start hammering the politicians of the eastern Caribbean about 1. the extremely poor Board and management LIAT has been given over the last six decades, 2. the extremely slack attitude they have towards supporting LIAT, and 3. the excessive and punishing travel taxes they impose which effectively limit the ability of people to travel between the islands.


  • LIAT management advised this week that with the arrival of another ATR the public will see an improve in service over the holiday period.



    We will be watching , fly more better prices , more people on planes


  • And on and on and on it goes when does it stop NOBODY KNOWS. but one day soon come.


  • Where is the leadership going to come from. With Barbados investing 65 million in a lease/buy option for a new fleet of ATR planes one would expect it should come from the majority shareholder.


  • As I listened yesterday to brass tacks I marveled at the price quoted by a very impassioned caller who said that the cost of a flight from Barbados to Trinidad was almost $800.00. To fly into Barbados from JFK at the end of this December I paid $453.00. Can ya say rip off? Change will not be effected since those who hold the power so to do are not affected by this nonsense. In these the hardest of times how do you just give away your money and say nothing?


  • A few weeks ago on the aforementioned brass tacks Peter Wickham went to town on PM Stuart about his commitment to CARICOM and the now popular accusation of xenophobia was made. What I would like to know is exactly where does every leader in this Caribbean region stand in relation to this concept of regional integration? If we are all under the same umbrella how does big brother CAL continue to choke the shit out of his little sister,to the detriment of the most vulnerable of his offspring? CSME, it what you will,but just tell us unequivocally where do all leaders stand on the subject, so that pessimists like me would stop seeing the concept of Caribbean integration as still a fleeting illusion.


  • David
    Once more I will say it loud.This administration continues to drop the ball on everything thats important to Barbados.The downright laziness of one George Hutson on the International Business portfolio leading to severe losses in that important sector.The inept approach to resolving the Redjet challenges and its subsequent closure.Chalk up another failure to George Hutson with hands being held by Richard Sealy,another failure, bigtime,in the important Tourism portfolio.The absence of critical management skills in overseeing these and everything else except all the summer camps,the football tournaments,the sinjon polyclinic,the unused housing stock all over the country,the poor bus service,the lack of funding to critical institutions like the QEH,the Geriatric and Psychiatric hospitals.The problem with this LIAT thing is misguided short,medium and long term objectives.Barbados do not have the financial nor human resources to effectively deal with the LIAT matter.Unless you remove Antigua from the equation,you spinning top in mud.When Argyle comes on stream in St Vincent,Gonsalves will run from LIAT.Meanwhile he has a fool in Barbados,supporting LIAT with money which is in short supply in the Barbados economy.If its one country which can take on LIAT its Trinidad which possess both the expertise and financial capital to put into a steamlined LIAT product and even then Trinidad is so corrupt and cavalier,its equivalent to 6 of 1,half dozen of the other.EWB who fancied himself an air carrier expert of sorts,got stung with Caribbean Airways and JMGMA tried and got stung twice with the same airline plus the Caricargo experience.OSA got stung with LIAT and so has Freundel Stuart.Its a never ending well of costs and heartache.
    I’m afraid we are going to have to resort to ferries/interisland sea transport to get commerce among our people up and running again.CAL and LIAT have become too expensive and a waste of our time and money.


  • Agree that Wickham et al are quick to beat up on Barbados regarding its commitment to Caricom but hardly a word about hope Barbados continues to carry LIAT on its back like Atlas. What happens when the St.Vincent airport opens? Are we forward thinking?


  • Andy Stevens Boulogne

    Sometime i wonder if persons understand logic when they complain about certain things. There is a difference between running an airline and running a taxi service. If liat were run under a rational business model, that is providing service at only peak times, then those persons who need to travel off peak would have to charter and understand the REAL cost of air travel. I have been flying liat for many years , many may have never flown into Blackbeard Airport in Montserrat and the other remote locations which I have had the chance to over the past 20 years of flying with them. Many who have run a business for one month or one year and one can just extrapolate to 20 years and multiple markets especially when just one person is getting off in a distination where logic alone dictates that it is unnecessary to fly. One only has to look at the actions of american eagle to any sneeze of unprofitability to understand the business model which should be adopted by liat. The company to me has been a bastion of success and that is not, contrary to the economists and CPAs and other pundits of RATIONAL thought just about the bottom line. It is about provision of consistent service albeit in challenging times. The best anology that I can make it this, As caribbean people we know they have made mistakes……blah blah……cast the first stone…etc. …but any one with a family knows that we dont like every one in our family but we try over time to look at the best ideals. From 1956 the airline has been there 57 years, through birthdays and death,weddings,christenings, graduations, vacations, hurricances,earthquakes, revolutions, coups, endless elections,new governments, hotel projects, love affairs etc. Think about it . Which member of your family has come close to being relatively as reliable in the last 57 years. EXACTLY. The cost of that is high but lets remove them and see if the AMERICAN EAGLES will put up with the 5 breadfruits at the bottom of the bag and the bottle of jelly that simply has to go or the allowed small bag that weighs 200 lbs.LOL. we have all seen it. The issue is as caribbean people we are easy to critic and complain but would run if we had to run an airline for one day or invest our capital to maintaining a network such as LIAT has for almost two generations. I know the ECONOMIST on the board would say well only fly the most profitable routes many in the caribbean would guess the result of that. The economic impact of LIAT can be seen regionally for those who understand. Its not palpable but its like a University degree, just a sheet of paper but explaining its intrinsic value would spring tears. So as the GROUP prepares again in true caribbean style to LYNCH the airline, note that the same can be achieved with the same group starting their own and advertising,buying planes,hiring pilots, dealing with unions, paying landing fees, buying fuel, maintaining aircraft so that ALL lives are protected, maintaining ground crew and UPGRADing fleets. I am looking forward to hearing that LYNCH and CO are opening their airline or purchasing LIAT so they can run it THE RIGHT WAY. LOL I am sure you have visions like I do of the result of that forray. I look to hear with great anticipation, what becomes of the LYNCHING of LIAT



  • Ever try leading a pack of discobobalated egomanical animals. that is LIÁT.This kind of road show or spectacle would only be entertain in poor countries.


  • TO – Andy Stevens Boulogne

    You are stuck in the same old thinking that it can’t be done – you must work in Government! I am sure there are many people out there who would rush in and setup airlines in the Caribbean – I know a few who would simply expand. Some of them have small operations already. But the fact is the Governments of the Caribbean protect LIAT and make it difficult for the others with various airline agreements etc.

    If the market was allowed to work by itself it would find a way. lets face it. In St. Vincent there are already small airlines that operate between the smaller islands that LIAT does not fly to. So if LIAT did cut out those routes you spoke of they would get filled by small carriers that would provide a service – it will happen naturally because people would demand the service and it would get filled. Regarding the transporting of small 200 pound bags and the like – why should we be able to transport them on a plane? They should be shipped like most people do and pay extra for it – that is the right way to operate – I think it is a basic concept called cargo. I guess what I am saying is if we are really serious about running an airline then it should be run like a real airline.

    But the Governments won’t make the tough decisions. Less staff / people working harder / more profitable routes / less flexibility on non profitable routes (maybe 2 flights a week instead of 1 a day) / open the skies so there is no protectionism from the major airlines (like LIAT and Caribbean Airlines – and all the rest (airlines) that can block carriers from other islands with the stroke of a pen) / and finally a government that does not understand the meaning of getting business done in most cases.

    It’s the Caribbean Way and it will not change until we get leadership who will make the tough decisions.

    Stephen Hawkings


  • @ Andy Stevens Boulogne…Then perhaps the time has come for the airline to service those countries that contribute to its existence at a fee significantly lower than that charged to patrons of the parasitic countries. Big brother CAL could pick up the slack. Bajans may not understand the nuances of running an airline,but one thing is for sure. They know when they are being taken for a ride.


  • While you break broomsticks and axe handles on this messenger’s back, bear in mind that he has merely warned you that if you travel on LIAT for the foreseeable future you should beware of the rumblings below the earth. He has not suggested that he knows how to run LIAT.

    As for Caribbean Airlines, they are not and have never been owned by the rest of us, and regardless of the name it is and always will be The National Airline Of Trinidad and Tobago. Period.

    You have ALL just been burned by a Canadian company buying the Barbados Light & Power thinking they would provide some kind of a charity – now the wake-up horn is heard. Did you really believe they came here and spent millions of dollars just to carry on as before?

    And are Bajans really so INSIPIDLY FOOLISH as to believe that Trinidad would operate LIAT as a continuing charity for the rest of us? You should also remember that politicians in Trinidad and managers at CAL have both stated publicly that if LIAT comes under their control they will happily chop routes that are not profitable.

    Face facts, Trinidad belongs to CARICOM for PROFIT, not good neighbours, and we should stop thinking they are our friends. Nobody seems to remember the barriers they erect whenever the rest of us try to export our goods to Trinidad under the same regional Treaties they signed

    Barbados does not need LIAT, yet we are the majority shareholder – and now wants to move the Head Office to Barbados. Antigua is no shining star, but Barbados does not have the competence to house and operate an efficient airline either – even with help, we can’t even get an ICAO Category One rating going because we are so incompetent at aviation – have you ever seen for yourself the musty rat-hole that serves as our Directorate of Civil Aviation?? In fact the staggering bureaucracy in Barbados will probably kill the airline altogether.

    One of these days Bajan politicians will come to their senses and start making intelligent decisions. I pray that Barbados does not have to hit rock bottom before that happens.


  • Andy Stevens Boulogne

    Stephen, I agree with you that tough decisions need to be made by governments regionally. However those decisions must be made with the level of sobriety which any leader , either in private or public sector must. I have flown on almost every airline in the caribbean from the defunct RedJet to Carib Express which Ken Boyea et al worked on and I can say was a frequent flyer on all of them. My approach is for the efficiency of the business model and I am quite aware of the fat which most public/private sector organisations have to deal with and many cases the reasons for that.

    Like many I have heard the STORIES of Market FORCES and the Invisible HAND.

    I will give you some examples……SVG arrowroot, St.Lucia Coconut Oils, Dominica Soap etc. These were industries which I watched for almost 25 years contribute DIRECTLY to the advancement of the poor and working class in these islands. We now IMPORT these Items and rely only on one industry to advance social and economic programmes.

    REMEMBER GDP which is used to indicate economic wealth as per per capita income is the some of all ECONOMIC Activity of the citizens. If an economic activity which absorbs 80 Percent of a work force is eliminated in favor of one which employs 20% then its clear that our GDP will DROP and our percapita income will follow.

    The basis of a currency is the capacity of a country to produce goods and services. So its clear that if we dont produce goods and services then we are nothing but SLAVES to those that do. SIMPLE and CLEAR.

    On the issue of LIAT lets first look at it solely on first priniclple. What is the contribution of LIAT to regional GDP in the 57 years to establish its contribution to regional growth and development. Let us just say that in 57 years that LIAT moved 1000 persons a month generating 10000 per 10% of passengers to GDP.

    This means that conservatively you can say that LIAT has generated in contribution to GDP almost 700 M US in 57 years. Name one or two other companies which you can say are regionally owned and have done the same. This is very conservative and I would guesstimate that it would be closer to 5 to 10 times that figure at current prices.

    It would not be prudent to eliminate this entity without some consequences.

    It reminds me of a spirited conversation which I had with a distant cousin who is at the helm of a state currently we argue for almost an hour on the merits and demerits of moving the ship of state with great haste from an agrobased economy to service based without consideration of the GDP loss and substitution effect.

    So you have an industry like bananas which contributed almost 200 million to the economy per annum which minimum imputs. then another which pays 200 million a year in wages but 80% of imported inputs. In real terms the effective economic contribution is 40 Million and even if inputs are 30% the net benefit to the economy is almost four times.

    Also the trickle down effect of the imcome and funds to the last old lady with 10 banana trees or 10 coconut tress for production of copra or coconut oil are crucial.

    Governments are now saddled with a social system which they have to maintain by payments directly to communities rather than just collecting TAXES. These farmers couldnt escape the tax net now all hotel need 30 years no taxes…….you do the math.

    We are in a terrible position I agree but the solution is not destroying a working entity but either competing with it by setting up your own airline.

    You must understand there are also various regional and international entities which would like to see the back of LIAT. If you have 10% of the intelligence I glean from your writing then you know where I am coming from.

    Remember the time we were told that coconut oil was bad and at the same time soybean oil came in and our industries were crushed.
    Do you think that was the invisible hand>>>??

    Remember its the small things which count.



  • Andy Stevens Boulogne

    CAL just had fuel subsidies removed and a LOAN of 400 Million from the TT GOVT and they still made a LOSS with the SUBSIDY. I would put my money on LIAT. I know that they are seasoned and dealt with competition from CARIB EXPRESS to CARIBBEAN STAR. I dont know about you but to keep a company functioning in that war zone which the airline industry is laudible. Look at the financials of CAL and compare to LIAT and you will understand what I mean.



  • The issue is not whether it is laudable to keep LIAT in the air BUT finding the most efficient way to do so.


  • Andy Stevens Boulogne

    Yes I agree david but there are some industries which necessitate government activity and transportation is one. BIMJIM is correct about the L&P but you must understand its a different position for the canadian company. I have looked aredut their financials and their focus as per business and share prices. They need to perform for their share holders. Youre looking the efficiency of the airline the wrong way. Its like expecting a profit from QEH. I have paid 2 dollars from grantley adams to Bridgetown by bus and 100 Barbados by taxi. This is the simple difference. The contribution of the public sector organization to the ecomomy is not profit but the facilitative effect. So the bus service transports 100000 bajans a day at 2 BDS round trip. They force the private buses to be competitive.

    I will give an example if Barbados Light and power was full in the control of government. Cabinet could take a decision to reduce the price of electricity for 6 months for all hotels and industry. This will seem like suicide for the company but the net result of increased economic activity and healthier books for all businesses as well as the reduction in the cost of production of goods and services means that government would now collect the losses in the firm in increase VAT revenues. This is a component which contributes to all sectors so its manipulation is as effective as a reduction of interest rates from the central bank.

    The reduction of LIAT fares would be simply more income from DEPARTURE and AIRPORT taxes landing fees hotel head taxes etc.

    So dont look at LIATS books in the red as a loss. I agree for the normal view it is losing money but look at your ticket structure and you will see where the money is really going.

    You will find that it is spent by the governments so I can travel by bus all around BIM for 2 dollars LOL. Seriously though the funds are returned to the social programmes and fund the activity which no logical BUSINESS mind would invest in ,,,,but which is a necessary component of social development and protects defenceless citizens from the harsh economic reality which market forces would dole out were it not for this/.

    minima MAXIMA sunt


  • @Andy Stevens Boulogne

    Surely you have not negated the point made by the Lynch petition that the training for the ATRs was inefficiently implemented and if the recurrency training required is supported then we are confronting inept management in Antigua which has been the perennial criticism of LIAT.


  • Andy Stevens Boulogne

    I understand the issue clearly but in a 57 year old company not critical. I were in management at LIAT i would not be daunted by that issue. It is a temporary one. I would just wet lease a 727 for my heavy routes from georgetown to antigua via trinidad and barbados to handle the slack and assure the company of 80 to 90 % load factor and use the other equipment for lighter routes allowing the company to 1) Release pilots for retraining 2)Meet load requirements efficiently.3) Optimize capital for period of need thus using JUST IN TIME system… forecasting will allow for that. 4) ensuring profitabilty. This is basic MBA problem solving and not rocket science. I dont see the issue.

    minima MAXIMA sunt


  • It is not that it is a temporary issue, it is more the decisionmaking process which led to the issue in the first place which seems to be inefficient and endemic to how LIAT operates.

    On 2 November 2013 20:12, Barbados Underground


  • I see LIAT as necessary infrastructure, it is the bridge between our countries and I see us as a single people with different leaders, One Caribbean.

    With all due respect, as far as I am concerned our leaders for the last 40 years have left LIAT out in the rain to fend for itself, have just thrown any old political hacks to “try a thing” and what they have tried has not worked.

    For instance, they sent Dr. Warren Smith fresh out of an Agricultural Degree to run LIAT as CEO… and as expected with zero aviation knowledge or experience he failed miserably. But that was all right, he was on his way up the Caribbean political ladder and LIAT would just have to pull itself together and deal with the hammering.

    The fact is that the problems with LIAT start at the very top – the politicians who think they can stuff the Board with their incompetent friends as rewards for favours given. Then with that incompetent Chairman and Board who appoint hacks and incompetents with impressive paperwork who are not suited to the challenge. Then with the incompetent management who refuse to do the hard work necessary to clean up the airline and make it efficient.

    But keep talking… one of these days – maybe soon – LIAT will be gone and many of us will wonder what the heck happened. As I said before, Bajans don’t need LIAT, do we?


  • WE NEED A FERRY SERVICE ASAP ! What happened to the Ferry Kamala was bragging about ? Another lying politician flapping dem gums as usual.


  • Bravo, islandgal… when you right you right… abandon LIAT, mek T&T gih we a ferry (when dem Trinis does feel like um), den complain bout seasickness pon de 12-hour journey to St. Vincent (nearest island) or 1-1/2 day to Trinidad or a 2-day trip to Antigua. You right girl, we don’t need LIAT to get anywhere so fast, we can tek schooner or ferry. After all, who gots more time than we?


  • @bimjim

    This is part of the problem, we discuss/debate these issues from an emotional view, too much so.


  • Yeah, I agree.

    Practicalities doh mean nuttn, just get on an buse LIAT all bout de place and tell ebrybody we want we hero Trickidad gih we a ferry. We want all de charity, remembuh? Damn de Light and Powah, we cud nuse candles too… we doan need noah lectricity agen.

    Emotional? No, man, leff out de emotions, bettah we stan pon a dock an wait tree days fuh Trickidad sen a nasty rollin ferry – and den tek two days reach somewhere pukin all over dan wait a hour fuh LIAT tuh arrive. LIAT too damn disgusting, ent? When qwe travel we does wants tuh get dey NOW NOW NOW!!!

    Like I seh, after all, who gots more time than we?

    LIAT kin do de job, but keep mekkin de pollytrickians jukk de yard fowls ebrywhere and see how fast dem does get it do.

    Yuh too right… I does agree wid ebryting yuh seh… now guh long and bring two bredfruit fuh muh, do…


  • BIMJOHNNY… obviously haven’t heard of the hydrofoil boats that would cut the journey time in half like the regular ferry service they have between Martinique Guadeloupe and Dominica? While there is frequent air service between Martinique and Guadeloupe many people opt to use the ferries as well. Since you cannot read very well, I never said to drop LIAT. All I am saying is that we need a ferry service that will encourage trade between the islands and for those of us who would like an alternative service. YUh igrunt Jonny!


  • Andy Stevens Boulogne

    I took sometime to have a hard look at LIAT and realised that LIAT is possibly the most profitable business for SOME of its owners in the caribbean and its paper losses have nothing to do with its profitability. about 93% is state owned and ticket taxes is an EXPENSE on the Balance sheet…….and an income on another balance sheet…..guess whose….so until the LYNCH collect 200 Million US to buy LIAT the company is doing EXACTLY what is meant to do.. Generate funds for majority shareholders…..who I must say from looking at the business model are brilliant..

    minima MAXIMA Sunt


  • @Andy

    You agree we have only four shareholders? Is it fair non shareholders have the same pricing model?


  • Andy Stevens Boulogne

    Click on link to get a better perspective.

    minima Maxima Sunt


  • As in all commercial ventures, Barbados has majority shareholding and Barbados calls the shots. Barbados also has majority seats on the Board and, as long as that is the case, Barbados will have the Chairmanship unless the Three Amigos decide otherwise.

    I completely understand the concept of LIAT being a money-loser in order to provide profits, taxes and economic benefits to its shareholder governments. BUT LIAT is able to make a profit and if that can they should, regardless of the external political and economic benefits. At the very least, LIAT should break even.

    I will repeat, LIAT has always and will always lose money because of political ineptitude and interference, incompetent political appointees to the Board, and inept and incompetent appointees to upper management.

    And no argument will ever counter the fact that LIAT should not be ruining so many travel plans… if they decide LIAT will lose money anyway then they should at least make it a reliable service.

    This thread started with a warning to all travellers on LIAT over the next three or four months… have alternate plans, take a charter with a bunch of other people, or make sure you have travel insurance that will pay you for your lost money if LIAT destroys your travel plans – LIAT certainly will not because there is no obligation to do so.

    Forget about your personal and vacation time, nobody will ever insure you for that.


  • Carson C. Cadogan

    BREAKING NEWS: LIAT pilots strike, flights disrupted
    SNO – Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    Regional airline LIAT has announced that due to action taken by its airline pilots’ trade union LIALPA, pilots who were scheduled to fly this morning, Tuesday, November 5, 2013, have not reported for duty.

    The company said in a press release that it has not been provided with the required notification of industrial action as required under its agreement with the pilots.


  • The frequent LIAT upheavals hurt Barbados in more ways than one most crucially in tourism. Barbados must find a way to wrestle the LIAT albatross to the ground. Observers are afraid given the dodgy track record of the untrustworthy Gonzalves of St. Vincent who acts as if he owns LIAT much more pain is in store for BIM.

    Gonzalves talks a roll of shoite he gives the impression he runs LIAT and orders about Barbados and Antigua the real financiers of the airline. Gonzalves is on record saying LIAT would close without him and St. Vincent. Insiders on the other hand are of the view if Gonzalves vanishes LIAT would operate better with less disruptions .


  • LIke it start a lickle early, children…


    ST. JOHN’S, Antigua

    LIAT wishes to advise its passengers that due to action taken by its airline pilots’ trade union LIALPA, pilots who were scheduled to fly this morning, Tuesday, November 5, 2013, have not reported for duty. The company has not been provided with the required notification of industrial action as required under its agreement with the pilots.

    As a result of the action, some of the company’s morning flights have been disrupted. This is also likely to affect service for the remainder of the day.

    Customers affected by the disruptions who wish to re-book will be allowed to do so without charge for a period of one week from the date of their originally scheduled travel.

    Following the one-week grace period, passengers will be required to pay applicable fare and change fees when re-booking. Passengers who are unable to travel as planned due to the work stoppage, will be issued a full credit for future travel at their request. Terms and conditions apply.

    When services resume, affected passengers are advised to contact LIAT Reservations to re-book before proceeding to the airport.

    LIAT also wishes to advise that passengers who decide to travel but are unable to complete their journey due to the disruption, will not be provided with meals, transportation, hotel accommodation, etc. Passengers with onward connections are advised to contact their respective carriers.


  • And bear in ind the Engineers also have an unresolved beef with management!! Will Ms. Julie Riefer-Jones (CFO – Acting CEO) be up to this task??


  • At least some LIAT pilots are on strike

    LIAT flights disrupted after pilots stay away
    LIAT pilots on strike
    LIAT pilots strike
    LIAT pilots on strike


  • These disruptions by LIAT simply cannot continue. We are seeing an impact upon the lifes of Caribbean people in a way which has gone passed being unacceptable. Surely the Chairman can do better than the pompous and arrogant mouthings which he offered yesterday by way of an apology. Next time he should encourage his Communication Specialist to give him a script.

    Enough is enough, will the real shareholders please stand up!


  • David
    You have made a very good point.One of the many problems of LIAT is this chairman whom the press in Barbados think is Mr Knowall.The guy is a complete dud and out of his realm.To be sure LIAT has in its employ a communications specialist whom we hear from from time to time.Let him get his brief from the board and speak truthfully without the bul…t of the goodly doctor booby.If LIAT suspends the pilots’ union representative without consulting with the other members of the pilots’ representatives of their union,you are asking for trouble.There is a procedure to follow.LIAT management and board need an in house cleansing.In this industry like in a hospital setting,one must tread cautiously when dealing with the trained,and professional staff.In the air transport business,you get all your ducks in a row before you employ sanctions on pilots,flight attendants and engineers.They can individually ground an airplane in a flash.Airlines tend to be profitable only if their aeroplanes are in the air and seats and cargo holds are filled with commercial uplift.
    Btw what exactly is the area of specialty of the goodly doctor?Or was it awarded honoris causa?Do you know the facts David?


  • Can anyone explain how LIAT can be legislated an essential service? This is the plea from PM of Dominica.


  • @ David
    This is the plea from PM of Dominica.
    …clear proof that being a bowl of brass is not restricted to Bajans..


  • What Bushie finds REALLY amazing, is that we NEVER seem to see these problems as being related to the piss poor quality of MANAGERS and LEADERS that we have in place…..

    LIAT clearly needs intelligent LEADERSHIP. Picking on the pilots, who are hired, trained, dispatched and rewarded by the leadership, is asinine.

    If we can do no better than Holder, then what can we expect?
    …and perhaps Julie has changed over the years….. 🙂


  • Pingback: Pilots’ Strike Leaves Caribbean Travelers Grounded · Global Voices

  • @Bushie

    The classic coming out off this recent mess is that the pilot’s association expected an early morning meeting with the acting CEO who was in Barbados at the time. They never factored that with LIAT planes grounded she would have been challenged to make it :-).


  • @ David
    ….you could not make this stuff up…. LOL


  • David
    On the basis that anything is possible in a Parliament,the proof of the pudding is in the eating.Pilots,flight attendants and engineers are professionally trained to carry out their duties in accordance with the LAW.They can skillfully use the law to frustrate Management anytime.Skerritt and any of the others can only legislate within their territories.Skerritt cannot demand a pilot to fly an aeroplane if the pilot has a “no go” item.And if he passed a law stating LIAT is an essential service,he cannot enforce it in St Kitts.
    I rather like the idea of a Federal Law however which licenses a pilot.Then you can talk of enforcement within the the Federal Union.


  • @Gabriel

    Of concern created by Skerritt’s outburst is the fact he is a Prime Minister of a country which is a shareholder.

    On 7 November 2013 22:20, Barbados Underground


  • David
    I have heard outbursts from Skerrit and Gonsalves both of whose political fortunes are tied up in LIAT feeding their territories from hubs at Barbados and Antigua.Nary a word from Spencer who must be concentrating on proving the latest poll which show the ALP ahead of his party,nor from the PM of Barbados who put millions at the disposal of LIAT.The irony of it all is that a bajan Financial Controller is now the acting CEO.The lady is so out of her depth it isn’t a joke anymore.Airlines are specialised entities.You cannot enter like a gravedigger ,at the top and expect to know the myriad intricacies of running such a leviathan.


  • bimjim | November 3, 2013 at 9:02 PM |
    As in all commercial ventures, Barbados has majority shareholding and Barbados calls the shots. Barbados also has majority seats on the Board and, as long as that is the case, Barbados will have the Chairmanship unless the Three Amigos decide otherwise.
    Make one wonders with all of this clout that Barbados holds, why was LIAT relocated to Antigua, making many redundant, yet some years later, when it was proposed that LIAT HQ be returned to Barbados , there was a resounding NO. Have we become a toothless bull dog?


  • “Have we become a toothless bull dog?”
    Even worse….toothless brass bowls.


  • LIAT HQ was NEVER in Barbados, was ALWAYS in Antigua. LIAT was formed in Montserrat by a Kittician, Sir Frank Delisle, and moved to Antigua when it became too large to operate off a hillside grass strip. Barbados has a crew base, nothing more (until recently).


  • So far as I can see, LIAT Board and management stay safely behind the walls of the Kremlin (staff name for Head Office) and throw out bits of blank paper. They really say nothing, just apologise in a standard format and tell us their latest guess how we will be displaced. Read any of their statements over the last 5 years, they are pretty much all the same, regardless of situation. They don’t really need a PR person, do they?

    LIALPA, on the other hand, put out a Press Release which stated clearly what the situation was and why they took such actions (safety considerations). They then returned to work as soon as the unfair suspensions had been lifted and action had been PROMISED (not yet implemented) by the Acting CEO.

    That the professionals in LIALPA should stand up to protect the safety of the travelling public is something to be respected, not reviled.


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ bimjim | November 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM |
    “That the professionals in LIALPA should stand up to protect the safety of the travelling public is something to be respected, not reviled.”

    Well said! The management of LIAT have been running that airline like their own fiefdom while playing the political game with the temporary jokers passing off as West Indian politicians of the Mighty Gabby variety.
    Recently these misfits for managers have been shooting themselves in the foot but fortunately boring holes only in the floor of their office and not in the fuselage of the aircraft.

    What next do these blasted fools intend to do? Force the pilots to breach safety regulations and the engineers to skimp on maintenance to cut costs to ensure the administrative supernumeraries keep their cushy politically arranged jobs?

    God forbid but should any aircraft suffer a serious incident involving safety we would know where first to point our fingers.


  • Here’s the first card on the table…
    Winter crisis possible, LIAT’s Chairman says

    Next, after the CEO caused a meltdown and the Director of Flight Operations caused the pilot strike, we have at least TWO ministers of government (one a PM) publicly expressing outrage and being “fed up” at the disruptions – and demanding the the EMPLOYEES be downtrodden and controlled with Essential Services legislation across the eastern Caribbean.

    Above, the Chairman himself admits that there may be another crisis in December – again, caused by bad management, not by the employees.

    Is this whole scenario not back-asswards?? Does this not seem as though we really need a whole new Board – who are supposed to call the big shots – and upper management? HOW did the employees get to be the bad guys?

    Where does PM Gonsalves get these ideas? And PM Stuart is asleep again, as usual. Poor feller, he must be so tired with all those places he has to visit when the day comes he has no energy for Prime Ministerial duties.

    The Board is incompetent and does nothing of note – and the Chairman is the biggest comedian on the stage. Aviation expert? In what galaxy? Upper management – if there is any communication with the Board – just seem to do as they like without ANY consequences. The Director of Flight Operations was the closest advisor to the CEO, yet between them they caused a meltdown. But he is still there still big and bold to cause industrial unrest just a few weeks later.

    Wunnuh go ahead, yuh hear? And doan mek nuh noise at al at all when yuh taxes does go up agen nex year. It gine somewhere far-away long distance overseas abroad – in somebody else pocket.


  • Here are some numbers which may interest Bajans under pressure…


    Click to access Financial%20Year%202011-2012%20Annual%20Accountant%20General%20Report.pdf.pdf

    Page vi
    “The value of investments in LIAT was $109.9 (US$ 55) million compared to $103.9 (US$ 52) million in the prior year.”

    Page 36
    Support for Liat (1974) 6/SFR – OR – BAR
    Nominal value of loans raised US$ 33,631,879
    Net Proceeds of loans raised US$ 62,923,837
    Annual interest rate 3.81
    Date to be redeemed 1-Jan-28
    Amount outstanding US$ 56,948,883

    I picked out the two numbers for 2011 and 2012 and interpolated from there. bear in mind that there are NO other accounts I can find for a company whi9ch is fully supported by OUR tax dollars. Apparently the politicians have decided that we are all too stupid to have such numbers.

    My estimate of “investment” which BARBADOS (49% shareholding) will put into LIAT in the next five years – not for expansion, but JUST TO KEEP IT GOING…
    – – – – – – – – (2011-2012-2013)-2014-2015-2016-2017-2018 Total
    Barbados – (52+55+58+) 61 + 64 + 67 + 71 + 74 = US$ 337 million (49%)
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – or BD$ 674 million
    And add two years to reach over a Billion Barbados dollars “invested” into LIAT…
    6 7
    77 + 82 = US$ 546 million or BDS$ 1.1 Billion

    Note also that the reports states that Barbados had a loan of US$ 57 million out to LIAT which is due in 2028.

    In such times of austerity, WHERE is Barbados going to be getting all this money from?


  • @Bimjim
    Maybe we the taxpayers should be asking the question:what is the ROI on
    LIAT for these funds.Why have we invested in LIAT in the first place when all the shots are called by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
    Perhaps Barney Lynch can tell us on BU what prompted him to recommend this huge loss making investment in LIAT when he was the substantive MOT in the OSA administration.And while he is at it what prompted him to oppose with equal fervour the rise of Redjet.
    When PM Gonsalves’ airport at Argyle is finished and he doesn’t need Barbados as a hub for St Vincent destined passengers,we will see what the revised plans will be for LIAT probably minus the St Vincent investment.


  • Why did the CDB advance the recent loan? Was it pure;y on the basis of a sovereign guarantee?


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