LIAT Staff Expresses Lack of Confidence in Executive Management

Submitted by a concerned party

Just over, two weeks ago LIAT came to its staff seeking a 10% wage reduction to bridge a gap in funding left by Barbados not meeting its funding obligation to the restructuring program.

The unions and staff present laid out several cost cutting and revenue generating programs that the company could use to fill the gap. Many of these recommendations were not new and in fact had been laid out in a CDB report handed to the company since February 2018. To date despite being in a self declared state of emergency the company has implemented none of these measures.

The position of the staff expressed at that meeting and reiterated since is that they do not have any confidence in the present management to manage any recovery and any sacrifices made would be squandered by the same people that put the company in this position in the first place.

The staff collectively made their position known that if there was a replacement of the management team, they would be willing to entertain giving concessions.

This sentiment has been echoed not just by the staff but by the several governments who have indicated publicly and behind the scenes that they would be willing to contribute to the airline if the current management were replaced.

Thus far, the politicians of Antigua and St. Vincent specifically seem inclined to protect the political hacks that they put in place that cow tow to their every demand and that ran the airline into the ground instead of saving what is arguably the only tangible provider of regional connectivity.

Yesterday, after having consulted with its members the Pilots union sent the attached correspondence to the CEO and to the head of the LIAT shareholder governments the Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

The Caribbean Development Bank was, in its report of 2018, pellucidly clear as to the devastating effect that a LIAT shutdown would have not just on the tax income of the region and its airports but its wider economies. In the case of Barbados for example, airport user fees on LIAT tickets account for 15% of the airports TOTAL revenue and the situation is worse in many other islands.

Aside from the measurable economic impact, such a shut down would precipitate an unprecedented technical brain drain across the entire region. Pilots, highly trained engineers & mechanics will all scatter and likely not return.

Given that the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority and to some extend the Barbados Department of Civil Aviation has always been staffed traditionally by ex LIAT employees (be it pilot or engineer) and its ability to show it is performing compliance inspections and audits is almost entirely tied to its oversight of LIAT, even the future ability of the governments to regulate Aviation in the region is at stake. At a minimum, the OECS’s CAT1 status would be at risk going forward.

The fate of regional air travel is now in the hands of the shareholder governments and they have a choice to make. Should they choose to protect a failed management and demand that staff subsidize incompetence then this will undoubtedly trigger a shut down. Should that occur, they will be forever known as the ones that finally killed LIAT, marring their own legacies as LIAT’s tombstone will forever read;

Here lies LIAT
Facilitator of regional travel
Transporter of generations of West Indians
First on Island in time of natural disaster
Safety Record envied by all
Founded by one man with a vision
Killed by Mia, Ralph and Gaston

98 thoughts on “LIAT Staff Expresses Lack of Confidence in Executive Management

  1. When I travel say I go to Guyana the price was once $89.00uds then $149 .00usd then now $243 .00 usd ONEWAY , then they tell you must have a return ticket? and we to be CC? If you dont have a stamp in your passport ever for overstaying what is the Problem? You have 6 months? Yet the government of Barbados want all your money to hold so you can change a ticket to $take 50 usd, for a ticket that was 259usd one way!

    Use to go to SVG for 80bds one way then went to 80 uds now you looking at 162 to 180 usd , and the Crime Minister say sometimes they take off with one or two people? i already cut my flying down to 1 time a years and not 4 times, Cheaper to fly to the USA and fly right to Guyana and Bypass Barbados for in and out you get hit, cheaper flying from Guyana to Barbados .

  2. LIAT is essential for travel across the eastern caribbean but is clearly not manged properly. Fares are exorbitant and a change is needed. There is no point throwing good money after bad. Caribbean governments need to take the taxes off LIAT so fares can come down significantly and also phase out subsidising the airline. Let LIAT operate as a low cost airline which has to finance itself. Too mant LIAT flights are half empty or worse. Lowering fares will increase passenger numbers and empty seats can be sold on a first come, first served basis. Every LIAT flight should aim to be full. We need LIAT in the eastern Caribbean but it needs to be reorganised.

  3. Why do we make simple things seem so complex. If LIAT is unprofitable, sell it. In any case the IMF should insist on Barbados selling its 49 per cent share holding. Invite international bidders.

  4. When it is cheaper to fly 3+ hours to MIA or FLL than to an island half 30-45 minutes away – and ostensibly part of the same geo-political entity – you know that there must something absolutely awry.

    • @Dullard

      The airports have to be funded I.e. generate revenue and or be subsidized.

      At the heart of this problem is bad management.

  5. Waste a time talking about Liat.
    Notice that the same shareholders cant even manage their countries but thought it best to get involved in Aviation
    Now that is a belly laugh

  6. @ Blogmaster
    I agree with you.

    Now since the mgmt is so poor, why not just bring in some from overseas? We do it with everything else.

    I am no aviation expert but surely given its market dominance, LIAT should be able to at least break even??

  7. The airport has yo generate income

    Taking that to mean that no matter how many times Liat is mismanaged
    Liat has a right to fleece the customers and taxpayers as well
    That in my mind is highway robbery
    A company that cannot and for the lo many years that have undergo many administrative changes and still cannot get out of the red should file bankruptcy
    Liat is not doing the public or tax payers any favour .
    Never have and never will.

    • LIAT problem is complex. You should try to understand the issues before jumping to a simplistic conclusion. First, regional governments accept that a regional airline is important to ensure travel between the islands. It means therefore all the members of Caricom should be made to contribute, especially those islands no capable of generating the traffic to support profit. Second, LIAT has a large debt burden that has increased over the years. Who will buy LIAT and assume that debt? Nobody!

      A few years ago Barbados was exploring starting a new Arline, the issue for Barbados is that we are not a CAT 1 jurisdiction. This is an issue the technocrats need to make their voices heard.

  8. David

    LIAT is a prime example of an organization which must be owned by a workers’ cooperative, not unlike Mondragon.

  9. A few islands contribute to the expense of LIAT. There needs to be a surtax imposed on ticketed passengers disembarking and boarding into and out of islands that have chosen not to carry some of the load but are enjoying the privilege of LIAT service.

    Based on how Barbadians, from as far north as St Lucy, are called upon to contribute to a Sewage Tax enjoyed by only those in the south, maybe our tax bandits can think of a suitably named tax to impose on us under the pretext of a LIAT levy as they will show that all Barbadians benefit from LIAT. Isn’t that the way it is done?

  10. LIAT should only fly to the islands that pay for it.

    We don’t care about the miserable rest. Let them rot and be eaten by cockroaches.

    • @Tron

      Is it that simple? Suppose those island stop buying goods and services from Barbados in a retaliatory move? The EC is reported to be our third largest trade partner.

  11. Look everything about Liat organisation and adminstration has been going down hill for years
    One would belived that if a company is not making a substantial profit to be capable of self support after many years
    Then the best way forward would be to file bankruptcy
    Many airlines over the years has used such an alternative and reorganized and began with a new page
    It is not fair for govts to be expecting tax payers moneies ( in a time of economic duress) to be paying to prop up an unprofitable airline
    Liat would not be the first or last airline to go under

    • How would LIAT go about filing for bankruptcy given the ramifications of the decision added to the commitment of key members of CARICOM to the airline that it is an important cog in the regional integration wheel?

  12. @ David March 22, 2019 9:53 AM

    We’re at the long end of the lever. The islands will rot once they have been cut off from the outside world for a month. Then they will come to us on their knees and beg for mercy at the court of our distinguished Prime Minister.

    I fully appreciate our Prime Minister’s reluctance to continue subsidising LIAT under these circumstances.

    Barbados First!

  13. Caricom laws does not supersedes democractic rights
    A company can file bankruptcy if it no longer have the abilty to support itself financially or profitable enough to fulfill its financial obligations

  14. LIAT ,like the Transport Board, has considerations other than economic. Obviously those responsible consider interegional travel more important than the economic cost of subsidization. The only meaningful question is subsidization by how much and by whom. There must be equity in allocating each nation’s contribution. Owning and managing an airline is neither easy or cheap.

  15. “Bad management” may be PART of the problem, but I don’t believe it’s the “heart” of the problem.
    Surely you can’t blame “bad management” for high airfares.

    Let me give BU an example. The cheapest airfare available travelling to St. Lucia on Saturday, April 6 and returning Friday, April 12, 2019, is BD$661.78.

    The following is a breakdown of the airfare:

    Airfare to SLU = $120.00
    Taxes & fees = $215.64

    Airfare to BGI = $120.00
    Taxes & fees = $206.14

    Notice the actual airfare is $240.00 and taxes & fees = $421.78.

    And against the background of St. Lucia charging LIAT taxes of US$103.07, PM Chastenet recently repeated his decision that he does not have any immediate intention of St. Lucia investing in LIAT.

    I agree LIAT’s operations and its management should be restructured. But the airline is obviously not in a financial position to undertake such a venture. Hence, restructuring would have to be financed off the backs of the shareholder islands’ taxpayers, while the economies of the non-contributing islands will continue to benefit in the process.

    Yes, I agree that it’s much cheaper to travel to MIA or FLL than it is to travel inter-regionally. But let’s examine the situation rationally. What variables we’re not considering or are unaware of that makes such travel cheaper? American Eagle, for example, services a diverse market. That airline operates 3,400 flights daily to 240 destinations in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. When combined with the daily flights offered by parent company AA and other subsidiaries, they offer approximately 14,250 flights per day, to 1,000 destinations in 150 countries. LIAT, on the other hand, services 16 destinations, some of which are unprofitable……. and coupled with the burden of high operating expenses and taxes.

    I heard people talk about opening the market to allow other airlines to compete with LIAT. Allan Chastenet has also been making this suggestion, even before he became PM of St. Lucia. Both the former and present St. Lucian administrations expressed they did not have any immediate intention of investing in LIAT.

    How many in this forum remember CARIB EXPRESS? This regional airline was conceptualized by a group of former LIAT employees and subsequently established in 1995 to operate a regional service from Barbados. 70% of the shareholdings were held by local investors trading as Trident Holdings; BA 20% and five Caribbean islands held 10%.
    I also recall when CE first experienced financial difficulties, then PM Arthur offered them assistance. He was admonished by regional leaders, who said Barbados was not interested in regional integration, because those funds should have been invested in LIAT. Continuing financial difficulties saw the demise of CE.

    Then how about REDjet? This airline began its operations by offering “dirt cheap” airfares, albeit difficulties in obtaining licenses from certain regional governments. REDjet was a brilliant idea, but when one considers high taxes and operating expenses, offering fares at US$50 was unsustainable.

    Caribbean Star and Caribbean Sun, which were owned by Allen Stanford, gave LIAT “stiff” competition in their “early stages” of operations. I remember Caribbean Star offering low airfares, causing LIAT to reduce their fares. Eventually, Stanford “sold” both airlines to LIAT.

    Supposed LIAT is sold. What would prevent its new owners from allowing the market to determine airfares, unless regional governments are prepared to reduce taxes and offer subsidies?

    • How about bad management by shareholders to make it clearer. The word management is used with the generic meaning.

  16. Mariposa

    It is obvious your comments about LIAT are not based on any formal knowledge or understanding of the topic….. but because you think you should comment on everything.

    Your comment re: “Caricom laws does not supersedes democractic rights. A company can file bankruptcy if it no longer have the abilty to support itself financially or profitable enough to fulfill its financial obligations,”………

    …….. proves you are “punching above your weight.”

    Sometimes TheOGazerts “says” some topics are above his knowledge (which I don’t believe) and he would decide not offer any comments.

    I believe you should take example from him and “sit this one out.”

  17. Yes, “bad management by shareholders makes your opinion much clearer. Add insularity of Antiguan governments who seem to believe LIAT should benefit Antigua ALONE.

    …………majority employees should be Antiguans…….

    …………LIAT’s headquarters should be based in Antigua……

    …………..and Gaston Browne, whose first priority on being elected PM of Antigua, was to promising he will make sure Antigua becomes the controlling shareholder in the airline.

  18. Employee having no confidence
    Flying public having no confidence
    Cant get other Caricom members to become shareholders
    That is enough to tell that Shareholders govts are dabbling in shite which has grown to fowl shite leaving a stinking odor all over the places and a mess which should be cleaned up and got rid of.

  19. “That is enough to tell that Shareholders govts are dabbling in shite which has grown to fowl shite leaving a stinking odor all over the places and a mess which should be cleaned up and got rid of.”


    Interesting comment….. and I agree.

    But….. I know how you duz operate…….. yuh know yuh can’t absolve Freundel and Richard Sealy of any blame.

  20. If LIAT were a private enterprise it would have been sold or wound up long ago…. And its planes scrapped for parts…
    Could probably extract more value that way.

    My thing is this. If the purpose of LIAT is more than to make money – and it clearly is – then stop moaning about the financial demands on the shareholders and pay up. Otherwise do what needs to be done to make it work.

    LIAT is just another dysfunctional Caribbean project where insularity and incompetence complicate an otherwise straightforward endeavor.

    See recent West Indies Cricket team, any number of regional trade bodies, etc.

    The only pan-regional organisation that seems to work as it should is UWI. But even that is more like 3 separate universities which share a common name and some other admin, strategic and governance functions.

  21. Look Liat was a good initiative which has gone wrong
    Nothing wrong with shareholder govts saying they gave their best shot but nothing seems to be working
    Maybe shareholder govts can hire financial advisors that handle investments who can show them the way forward in capatalising on Liat through outsider investors/ sharholders internationally or locally
    It is not fair that shareholder givts are relying on taxpayers money to help bail out Liat evertime they have an economic problem

  22. It simply is not a management problem. Management is doing the best it can with the financial resources at its disposal. Perhaps management need to share with the pilots and staff the difficulties they experience on a daily basis. The fact that LIAT is still flying to me is a miracle. Just take a look around the world at the rate of closures in the airline industry.
    I have no inside information. My views are based on the size of the inter -regional travel market and the cost structures of small plane operations.

    • @Vincent The use of the word management was explained. LIAT is flying because it has been able to make a call on shareholders in times of serious financial need. We can discuss the selection of the ATRs on another occasion.

  23. Mr. Codrington

    LIAT’s problems go beyond management.

    One contributor suggested “LIAT should be operated as a low coat carrier, which has to finance itself,” while “every LIAT flight should aim to be full.”

    Let’s be rational and realistic. As David BU correctly mentioned, LIAT’s problems are complex. The airline is not a mini bus or ZR that leaves the terminal when there’re full. If a passenger decides to get out of a ZR to board another one or for any other reason, another passenger takes his place.

    When a passenger books a flight and he/she miss the flight due to illness, lateness or for some other unforeseen circumstance, there isn’t anyone “fielding in slips” to take that passenger(s) place. So, the aircraft leaves without them. Then we must consider flights servicing four destinations. For example, a flight from Barbados to Antigua, via Dominica and Guadeloupe. There may be a situation where that flight leaves BGI to pick up passengers in DOM and PTP who are going to ANU. Or set down and pick up a specific amount of passengers in each island….. and that flight, although leaving BGI “half empty,” may arrive in ANU “full.”

    There are reasons why flights are “combined.” Insufficient aircrafts and the number of passenger bookings are two reasons I could think of at this time.

    Each time a LIAT flight delays, especially at night, the airline has to “foot” the overtime bill for Immigration, Customs, aircraft and luggage handlers etc. So, obviously, if there is a delay in a flight from SLU to SVG, on its way to BGI, then LIAT has to pay overtime in SVG and BGI.

  24. @ Artax at 2 :15 PM

    @ David BU at 1 :32 PM

    I think we are all three on all fours with this one. At least ,I think so. I am quite aware of the logistics of trying to reduce the costs of operations while aiming to keep on schedule. That is why I noted the difficulties of management.

  25. In 1974 during my first Christmas holidays as a student in Jamaica, I spent a few weeks in the home of a Canadian who was a member of the church I attended. He had been seconded to Air Jamaica by Air Canada to look into the affairs of Air Jamaica.

    Because Air Jamaica at the time had shares in Liat, he was sent down to the Carribean to investigate Liat, which was even at the time having financial problems secondary to the oil crisis of 1973, inter alia.

    He told me that the main problem with Liat was that because an aeroplane uses much of its fuel in taking off, he didnt think that Liat would be viable, because of its frequency of taking off in its island hoping.

    Perhaps that is what caused Air Jamaica to give up its interest in Liat at that time. I dont know.
    Perhaps Liat is punching above the weight for which it was initially designed- i.e for travel in the Leeward Islands.

  26. GP at 5:26 PM

    I concur.. There are economies of scale for long haul large airplanes that are not available to short haul Island hopping small planes.

  27. @ Tee White

    You said and I quote

    “…Let LIAT operate as a low cost airline which has to finance itself.

    Too many LIAT flights are half empty or worse.

    Lowering fares will increase passenger numbers and empty seats can be sold on a first come, first served basis…”

    You must be banned from Barbados Underground FOREVER!!

    Such intelligent conversation in fact, having simplified it so that the People and the Sheeple reading it can understand this IS PLAIN OUT TREASON!!

    To think that you would recomment a self sustaining business!!

    To think then that you would suggest that planes should not transport “ghost riders” ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT WE ARE KILLING BAJANS EVERY DAY TO FILL THOSE PLANES!!

    To even suggest that the costs of the tickets are too high and that the damn airline should think volume as opposed to big price to pay de Software company running de sales in Australia IS PLAIN SEDITION

    You have to be related to Sydney Burnett Alleyne as evidenced by these gun unning ideas about self sufficiency

    Your citizenship has been immediately revoked and you are to submit your passport to the nearest Police Station preferably the same one where Charles Herbert is supposed to be reporting every Wednesday

    If you are unsue of that station please check with our British Colleague Mr Hal Austin

  28. @ Dullard

    You also need to be banned as is Hal

    Imagine saying “…Now since the mgmt is so poor, why not just bring in some from overseas? We do it with everything else….”

    You would be well advised to check with LIAT management about such an attempt.

    The one that I knew about went decidedly south and at one point the imported manager had to flee for his life.

  29. As a regular user of LIAT who has seen an improvement in punctuality over the last 18 months or so, I am absolutely convinced that we need an airline for travel in the eastern Caribbean.

    However, given the real complexities of making such an airline effective, which have been so clearly outlined by Artax in particular, we are still left with the challenge of what to do. I think that those who think that some private operator is the answer may be grasping at straws. Private operators will not run routes that they don’t see as profitable, regardless of how socially necessary they might be. That is why, there are so many buses on the Bridgetown-Speightstown route but you will struggle to get transport outside of peak hours if you live in a more remote area. And on top of that, if the region wants private operators to run such routes because they are socially needed, the private operators will demand that the governments subsidise them just like the big international airlines currently do under the minimum revenue guarantee schemes that are running throughout the Caribbean. By the way, it seems impossible to find out from any governmemt which airlines are being given taxpayers’ money under these schemes and how much they are receiving each year.

    I still don’t see the logic in taxing LIAT so heavily, then to turn round and give the money back to the airline in subsidies. Maybe, we need to hear from workers within LIAT, administrators, technical staff, pilots, cabin crew and all the others so that we can better get our heads around this problem.

  30. LIAT? we know about its troubles and what it doesn’t do and what it does do. I want to look at transportation within the Caricom or Eastern Caribbean area as a whole in the region.

    If we have an effective sea service between some of these island will that make LIAT aircraft services less essential.

    I know not everyone likes the sea. I was in Martinique a few years back and was told i can visit St. Lucia or Guadeloupe quite easily and the least expensive way to get there was via the ferry. The fast ferry service was available and allowed for larger luggage etc.

    Right now its almost most impossible to travel from islands to island quickly via the sea. Thus LIAT is about the only way to get to these islands in a quickish manner. Let us separate the travelling public into the necessary categories. The business traveller, the vacation traveller; etc. Now we can see if the correct balance between the air and sea travel can be arranged. If this works well the size of LIATs air(fleet) for regional transport scheme should be smaller and more likely to be less costily or even profitable.

    I am suggesting that the transport solution for travellers in the EC regional should be a combination of aircraft and sea craft. The optimal number of each craft will work itself out as the travellers movement profiles settle down and the air and sea fleet and their respective schedules are arrived at.

    Just suggesting

  31. The ferry idea is an excellent idea

    As long as you can determine (i) immigration protocols (ii) the type of vessel to be used, where it can land i.e. the points of egress and embarcation (iii) Customs and Immigration regulations and (iv) if it will permit vehicle transportation (insurance and licensing issues) that idea would facilitate major intra island activity

    It may even create the catalyst for a really functioning CARICOM

    I going ask the New Honourable Blogmaster to Ban You because you are submitting good ideas, even though purported to be a DLP?, and such undermines the smooth running of the Barbados Underground Website

    And if you submit any followup commentary that is equally useful you shall receive the parting words of Foopabasti You-um Causum you-um too Brightum

  32. i dont see why the gov of barbados has to own any of liat to subsidize it. get out of ownership. decide how much we are willing to pay towards any passenger flying into barbados. ownership has an unlimited downside, subsidy is limited and easily adjusted, maybe by the time of day, or day of the week etc. in business the fewer partners generally the better, any partnership with a govt generally ends badly, a partnership with several governments is destined to fail.

    • Barbados may have been driven to take up the greatest equity stake in the past because of the value of LIAT to intransit service to EC sites. This was before many of those islands upgraded their airports.

  33. The single government with the largest ferry and the largest economy IS CHINA

    Undertake a harmonization of seaport embarcations and disembarcations AND rationalize cross border insurance and driver licenses in the designated ports AND DEAL WITH THE DRUGLORD TRANSHIPPING OF DRUGS IN VEHICLES and this LIAT PROBLEM IS SOLVED

  34. Let’s backup a few years and re-visit when LIAT was purchasing a new fleet of aircraft. I recall numerous comments, mine included, that were of the opinion that the purchase of the present fleet was not appropriate for LIATS operations, frequency, passenger loads, distances etc. Comments by Piece and others noting LIAT flying between destination half empty, well if you fly an Airbus A380 between two closely located airports and the total population at said airports is less than the A380 seats available this is forecast loads. I remember the days when LIAT flew Twin Otters and passenger loads were always 80% per flight.

    Upper LIAT MANAGEMENT SHAREHOLDERS wanted a brand new prestigious aircraft for bragging rights, well if you buy gold someone has got to pay. Willy however is not prepared to help pay for local political gloating.

    Let the F___’n airline collapse, private enterprise will step in with an appropriate service if there is money to be made. If money cannot be made then the viability of such a service must be questioned.

  35. Look govt can put their shares on the open stock market for sale. They are private investors who would bite
    Liat managment problems would not go away until politics is removed

  36. The problem with u is that u havent got the abilty to think outside the box and go to the heart of reality
    Your mind is stuck in a sandbox of antiquated impossibilities triggered by politics of an era gone by beliving you are so f..king smart
    Are u trying to imply that govt hands are tied to using tax payers money to a problem that is costing tax payers million of dollars with no end in sight
    Is that what u are implying

  37. @David

    “Do you understand or even try how LIAT the company is setup?”

    This is an excellent question, you might want to ask yourself this question and fully evaluate. This is the fundamental issue, how and why. Please report when you’ve fully evaluated and PLEASE CUT OUT ALL THE SOCIAL RETORIC issues as this only clouds the BLACK BEGGER problem.

    The majority of the supposed independent states need to understand that thier SOCIAL experiments of governance are non-functional, PETER IS FEED UP FEEDING PAUL.

  38. @ Sir Fuzzy,

    The ferry between Grenada and Carriacou is controlled by Filipinos. Further, at the formation of the Federation the British gave them three ships to facilitate inter-island trading. What happened to those? How about the schooners that traded between the islands? What abut the 15 shrimp fishing trawlers we had at independence? Are we going backwards?

  39. PUDRYR

    Yes, I agree a ferry service is an excellent idea.

    But……. is your definition of this excellent idea based on the fact that ferries travel between St. Kitts and Nevis; Antigua and Montserrat; Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique; St. Lucia and Martinique; St. Maarten to Saba, St. Eustatius and Anguilla or St. Vincent and Bequia?

    Note, these islands are in “close proximity” to each other. For example, the distance from St. Lucia to Martinique is 36 nautical miles; St. Kitts to Nevis is 11nmi; Dominica to Guadeloupe is 46nmi and Antigua to Montserrat is 32.62nmi.

    From Barbados to Antigua is 273.06nmi; Guadeloupe = 212.11nmi; Dominica = 167.28nmi; Martinique = 123.28nmi. Even if we converted nmi to miles or km, what would you say is the viability/feasibility of operating a ferry service between Barbados and these islands? What do you believe would be the ROI?

  40. All i understand that the economic problems of these small islands nations does not bodes well for govt to be throwing money into an airline which does not show a profitable margin
    An airline that is always in the Red
    An airline whose management is always being retooled or reinvented with no end in sight
    An airline by all accounts is draining the living daylights out of taxpayers pockets
    If u David can not understand the pitfall of beating a dead 🐎 then u are living in a land where reality defies logic

  41. “All i understand that the economic problems of these small islands nations does not bodes well for govt to be throwing money into an airline which does not show a profitable margin….”

    I understand your point. However, let’s look at LIAT similarly to how you would view the Transport Board.

    Judging from your contributions, especially those posted prior to the 2013 general elections and recently, you are against the privatization of the Transport Board and an increase in bus fare.

    Do you agree it “bodes well for govt to be throwing money into TB which does not show a profitable margin,”

    ……….”A (TB) that is always in the Red….”

    ……….”A (TB) by all accounts is draining the living daylights out of taxpayers pockets.”

    Should we be more concerned with the social or economical benefits to be derived from LIAT?
    Would you agree if this BLP administration decides to sell it’s shares in LIAT and cease subsidizing the airline?

  42. The same dam policies that have kept Liat in economic stagnation are those which are being repeated by different formulas a tweak here or there as the bottom line becomes uncontrollable and a bunch of shareholdergovts keep eyes wide shut to the reality that beating a dead horse over and over does not make it come alive

  43. @ Artaxeres the Archiver.

    Your skills extend beyond those records, and the accounting books, to the practical issues of this travel connundrum.

    I can get on a JetBlue Flight to most anywhere here in the continental US for about US$46.

    Why is that? their planes cost more to maintain dont they? than a LIAT airplane?

    So one subsidizes the Liat aircraft to permit one person to embark on an aircraft right?

    The ferry concept IS NOT SOLELY FOR PASSENGERS and anticipates the transport of cars and vessels, FOR WHICH A DIFFERENT FEE CAN AND WILL BE LEVIED.

    The ecosystem anticipates people and vehicles and commensurately A HIGHER PREMIUM TO BE LEVIED on the ferry travelling public.

    I could provide the numbers but de BLP pun de blog waiting for all de computations and ting and I ent fattening cockroach for fowl heheheheh doah dem dun got ***

  44. How many in this forum remember the “leaked document” which detailed proposed plans for Barbados to divest its majority share in LIAT and to take several of the new ATR aircrafts from its fleet to form a new airline named “Newco” to compete with LIAT?

    According to the proposal, Barbados would have acquired the aircrafts through a reassignment of title by the Caribbean Development Bank, which funded the purchase of the new fleet, or a shareholder decision.

    As was expected Antigua’s PM Gaston Browne was furious, calling the proposal a “treasonous act.” He was also reported to have said Barbados was “literally seeking to collapse LIAT,” and that any such moves would run “contrary to the spirit of Caribbean integration.”

    “We buy flour from St Vincent, we buy juices from Barbados, vegetables from Dominica and all I am saying to them, leave us with LIAT,” Browne said. “We have every right to defend what’s in the best interest of Antigua and Barbuda.”

    “Browne also took a swipe at other shareholder governments, telling a local radio station that there needed to be a change even at the level of LIAT’s political directorate. “I don’t see why one Prime Minister should control the chairmanship of LIAT, it should be rotated”, the Prime Minister said.”

    “Even in terms of the share holding positions of the various governments, I believe the shares of Barbados should be DILUTED because they believe that because they have the majority shares, that everything must move to Barbados.”

    This was the type of rhetoric that came from Gaston Browne who seems to believe LIAT belongs to Antigua. And against this background, we would want to discuss the benefits of regional integration, when it’s clear Caribbean governments will ultimately act in their individual self interest.

  45. “The ferry concept IS NOT SOLELY FOR PASSENGERS and anticipates the transport of cars and vessels, FOR WHICH A DIFFERENT FEE CAN AND WILL BE LEVIED.”


    I have travelled on the ferry from St. Vincent to Bequia and the ferry that sails between St. Kitts and Nevis. I noticed that, going to Bequia, for example, Vincentians can take their cars on the ferry to drive around the island until they are ready to return to the mainland.

    By mentioning “the transport of cars,” is this the type of arrangement you’re referring to?

    Or do you mean, for example, Simpson Motors exporting vehicles to St. Lucia?

    • Is there a demand for a ferry service to the Northern Caribbean that will take one to two days to arrive at the destination?

      Are governments receptive to harmonizing legislation to support sea travel given the different their public utterances?

  46. “Is there a demand for a ferry service to the Northern Caribbean that will take one to two days to arrive at the destination?” is a valid question that needs to be considered.

    I can understand a ferry service being essential for St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Grenada & the Grenadines; St. Kitts & Nevis; Trinidad & Tobago and Antigua & Montserrat. The ferry service between Antigua and Montserrat is subsidized by government.

    However, I am trying to contemplate the viability of operating a ferry between Barbados and Antigua, for example.

    Around 1994, there was a ship named the “Windward Lines” that provided a weekly passenger/cargo service from Barbados to St. Lucia and a bi-weekly service to St. Vincent.

    It was extremely popular because a passenger could have departed Barbados at 11pm Friday night to arrive in St. Lucia on Saturday morning at 7am, spend the day and leave Sunday evening around 6pm to return to Barbados at 6am on Monday morning……. for a minimum fare of $120, if you sat on the deck. A cabin fare was $194.

    I remember reading the ship’s owners were planning on purchasing a bigger ship. Unfortunately, service ended abruptly.

  47. @ Artax March 23, 2019 10:58 AM

    I believe the ferry service if well devised will not only carry human but some level of cargo. There needs to be an evaluation of the whole thing. Transport by sea is happening all now between the islands; just ask the BPI they see many toone of cargo been on and off loaded weekly.

    Also the the island hopping nature of LIAT may need to be reproduced in the ferry service and not offer a direct to island service if it cannot be feasible or viable.

    The cost of air travel between the islands some say is an impediment for intra regional travel(holiday travel). Its cheaper to go FLL or MIA than visit Tobago etc. If the market research is done and only a few sea ports are deemed viable then only serve those ; u may be surprised how creative West Indians become if they know that they can save some travel cost to visit another island but need to hop over to Island first in order to get the ferry service.

    • The elephant in the room is why would shareholder governments enable the market for a ferry to operate profitably if they are committed to LIAT? There would be cannibalization. Do not see this as pouring water on the feasibility of the idea.

  48. @ David March 24, 2019 2:28 PM

    You have a point. But are we not all under the fog that the Govts of caricom want inter island travel. They are two ways to do that; sea or air or by sea and air. If we the dumb stupid lot can see that it maybe a better outcome to pursue sea and air transport as the option; then maybe we need to fire the whole lot that running LIAt and replace them with wooden spoons.

    In 2017 the BDF proved without a shadow of doubt that removing or sending persons to Dominica after the hurricane by sea was a better way of getting aid to our fellow caricom brother/sister than via the air. Sea ports in the Caribbean are normally located near the city and are usually nearer the larger or largest population centre if aid needed to be sent. A Caricom ferry service will help out our sister caricom islands but we first need the capacity to help. A Liat aircraft can only deliver a certain amount if the airport is functional. Seaport are seldom put out of order by hurricanes and if so the ferry can still off load with the help of barges/smaller vessels etc.

    We battle over sea and air; but air is already there so sea is not considered. We have a lot invested in LIAT but it may not be the best option as demographics and the cost of travelling have change over the decades. In the 1970s it was the TNT carnival that rode head and shoulders above the other islands national festivals. today in 2019 even Guyana has a national festival and they are actively promoting it. We as East Caribbean ppls have more options and reasons to see the other islands/nation; and to get there should not be hijacked by the old thinking that formed LIAT. Mind you before LIAT how did we get around? In historical sense LIAT is the new kid on the block but should not be the only kid on the block.

    Just thinking and being prepared for whatever comes or way…

    • @sirFuzzy

      You have made a good case for a thorough analysis to be done about the best way to move passengers/cargo in the common market/Caribbean in normal and abnormal circumstances. The challenge we have to mount and overcome will require support from governments. A test case we can study is the Rise and Fall of Redjet. What the Redjet project would have told us is that we have a Caribbean which aspires to one common space but in reality that space is carved up into many sectors.

  49. @ David March 24, 2019 2:28 PM

    I or maybe we are often lead to believe that we elect leader to make hard decisions After all that is part of being a leader. You/we may have a vested interest in LiAT. The St Kitts govt and T’dad govt made tough decisions to end their involvement in the respective sugar industries. Today Sk Kitts does not produce sugar nor does Trinidad. Tdad Govt. is still on track to close the oil refinery. That is a big decision with nuff nuff recuperations.

    LIAT may have reached the point where we take tuff decisions. Maybe just maybe the transport in the region can no longer be seen as an “airlift” question. Maybe just maybe the transport in region or sub-region has to be seen as a air lift and sea lift question.

    Just saying.

  50. @david

    (quote) When construction crews begin digging a new canal this month across Nicaragua, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic, it’ll be a boon to global shipping and, the government says, to the economy of the second-poorest nation in the Americas. But activists, scientists and others are increasingly alarmed by the environmental impact of a 173-mile artificial waterway—wider, deeper and three and a half times the length of the Panama Canal.
    Read more:
    Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12!
    Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter (quote)

    Answer me this question. Why would China leave her back yard 1000s of kms away to start construction on a second canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans this time via/thur a different Central American nation; given the fact that the Panama Canal was recently upgraded this decade? If sea travel was not important to China. However sea travel is not important to a bunch of islands in the Caribbean sea?

    Go figure, and if you figure it out pls post your results. 🙂

  51. LIAT pilots have agreed to a salary cut to keep the airline in the air. From all reports they seemed to have bought into Mia Mottley’s promise that LIAT will not be business as usual. Congrats to her, she has where her predecessors of late have not been able to.

    LIAT pilots agree to salary cuts


    Added 29 March 2019

    BRIDGETOWN,– Pilots employed with the cash-strap regional airline, LIAT, Friday confirmed that they had agreed to a less than 10 per cent salary cut in a bid to keep the airline in the air.
    Related articles

    Some LIAT flights moving
    LIAT pilots say no
    Sickout losses high

    President of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIAPA), Carl Burke, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that while he was not at liberty to disclose the exact amount the pilots had agreed to, pending the Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados receiving the necessary communication, he was nonetheless indicating that it was not the 10 per cent that had been requested,

    He said during a meeting with LIAT a request had been made for the 10 per cent pay cut across the board and that the pilots “wrote to them and said we did not have the confidence in LIAT’s management to take us out (of this)… and we were very cautious about making an investment in the company at this time.

    “We met with the shareholders on Tuesday and Prime Minister Mottley did give a guarantee at the shareholder level that she would ensure that there was accountability ad it would not be business as usual”.

    He said that pilots on Thursday night “actually voted” on the salary cut and which has since been communicated to Prime Minister Mottley.

    “At the moment I have to make sure that she has received our communication before I could give you that information.…(but) it is less than 10 per cent, it is not 10 per cent,” Blake told CMC.

  52. So sad that at every drop of a hat employees are asked to pay the price for bad management and govt policies
    So 😢

  53. David BU

    Do you have any information on what is the current situation with LIAT?

    Is it true Gonsalves hinted LIAT could drop the Trinidad & Tobago routes unless funding is forthcoming?

    I noticed St. Lucia’s PM Allen Chastanet, who has been adamant about not investing in LIAT, has apparently changed his view, now he realizes the demise of the airline is a reality.

    After finally admitting St. Lucia is in need of air access, he “has not entirely dismissed a suggestion that Caribbean countries consider minimum revenue guarantees (MRGs) for non-profitable routes flown by Caribbean airline LIAT, however, he noted that a lot more detail about that suggestion would have to be provided before making a final decision.”

    It is true there is an urgent need to restructure LIAT’s operations, but the non-contributing territories needed a “wake-up call” that they cannot continue not contributing to the airline and reap economic benefits off the backs of the shareholder islands’ taxpayers.

  54. David BU

    I just read LIAT’s “pilots employed with the cash-strap regional airline, LIAT, Friday confirmed that they had agreed to a less than 10 per cent salary cut in a bid to keep the airline in the air.”

    • @Artax

      There are stories circulating in Trinidad media to the effect Caribbean Airlines will pick up the slack if LIAT fails. Bear in mind the issue of fuel subsidy does not factor and the cost of the ticket to the consumer will possibly come in to play.

  55. How long can this go on

    Caribbean airline LIAT is in urgent need of a cash injection of at least US $5 million to remain in operation.

    Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley made the revelation at a media conference at the Piarco International Airport on his return from the 30th Caricom meeting in St Kitts and Nevis on Thursday.

    While Trinidad and Tobago is not heavily dependent on the inter-Caribbean airline for transportation, Prime Minister Rowley said other territories like Barbados, Dominica, Antigua and St Vincent “virtually at the mercy of a LIAT service” will be seriously impacted.

    T&T once a major shareholder in LIAT, owns a one percent share in the airline but will not be financially impacted if the airline fails.

    While the Prime Minister acknowledged that he was not aware of the full extent of the impact LIAT going out of service would have in Trinidad and Tobago, he said the country may have to enter into an agreement.

    Rowley noted that the situation was more dire for the airline’s shareholders who would need to act urgently to ensure that LIAT does not go belly-up. Adding to LIAT’s financial troubles, the airline owes the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) significant sums of money which the shareholders now are required to address.

    Further, LIAT is currently flying uneconomic routes that are heavily subsidised.

    “And if the airline is to remain flying to countries that have routes like that, the shareholders are saying that such countries will have to guarantee a minimum revenue stream to the airline or the airline would cease to fly on those routes.”

    Identifying another cost centre for the airline in the form of aircraft maintenance, Rowley said he has agreed to allow LIAT to speak with Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to discuss the possibility of cooperation between the airlines from a business operations standpoint.

    He said the collaboration could relieve LIAT from some of their external expenses and having those work done locally.

    “If so, then we in Trinidad and Tobago can get the benefit of providing that service toward the area of aircraft maintenance,” he said.


  56. Well some body ought to pick up the slack
    A managment policy of exorbitant airfares and ongoing subsidies at taxpayers expenses added to the now planned intervention of wage cuts can only go so far in saving this airline from doomed failure
    This airline has taken many economic nose dives in the past and have heavily relied on tax payers funding for take over
    Going by recent events and the ongoing problems at Liat it is all but a foregone conclusions not a matter of if but when would shareholder govts retire this airline

  57. David BU

    I’m sure you’re aware that, other than Barbados, Caribbean Airlines travels to Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Tortola and recently St. Vincent, which now has an international airport…….. all routes that are serviced by LIAT.

    However, CA’s airfares are much more “expensive” than LIAT’s. Perhaps one reason for this is because LIAT’s fares are subsidized and CA flights travelling to the islands I mentioned above, have to “stop over” in Trinidad first, before continuing to the intended destination.

    Let me give you an example. The cheapest Caribbean Airlines airfare to Grenada from April 1 to 8, 2019, is US$463.48 or BD$929.96. Please note that flight, BW458, departs BGI, April 1 at 6AM and arrives in POS at 6:55AM. Passengers are transferred to an ATR 72, which departs POS at 7:50AM to arrive at GND’s Maurice Bishop International Airport at 8:30AM.

    On April 8, passenger will leave GND on Caribbean Airlines (BW 448) Aerospatiale/Alenia ATR 72 at 5:45AM and arrive BGI 6:45AM.

    Or using the same dates for Antigua. The cheapest airfare is US$506.45 or BDS$1,012.90. But you can get a fare of US$946.50/BD$1,893.00.

    And the flight leaves BGI at 6:00AM, arrives POS at 6:55AM; then leaves POS at 7:50AM to arrive ANU at 9:10AM. (3 hours, 10 minutes, 1 stop).

    Returning to BGI, the flight leaves ANU at 6:25AM, arrives POS 7:25AM; leaves POS at 8:50AM to arrive BGI at 9:45AM. (3 hours, 20 minutes, 1 stop).

  58. David BU

    Check out this Caribbean Airways flight to St. Vincent from April 2 to 10, 2019.

    The cheapest quoted total airfare is BD$818.40, of which the airfare is $480.00, while “taxes, fees, charges and carrier-imposed fees” are $338.40.

    What is interesting is, the flight departs BGI on Tuesday, April 2 at 9:35AM and arrives in POS at 10:35AM. It leaves POS on Wednesday, April 3 at 6:45AM to arrive SVD at 7:40AM (22 hours, 5 minutes, 1 stop at Piraco International).

    On Wednesday April 10, the flight departs SVD at 1:00PM; arrives POS 1:55PM. The flight will subsequently leave POS at 8:50PM to arrive BGI at 9:45PM (8 hours, 45 minutes, 1 stop).

    Surely if LIAT’s operations were to “permanently grounded” and CA takes up the slack, the airline would obviously have to do something about its flying times. Because what normally would take LIAT 45 minutes each way to SVD, would take CA 30 hours, 50 minutes and 2 stops at Piarco International.

    • @Artax

      The blogmaster is aware the expense and inconvenience of traveling CA. If LIAT were to fail would the increase in the load factor positively affect fares? This is the dilemma the HOGs face regarding the regional good of LIAT as far as integrating the region is concerned. If only we can get our act together giving the priority need for affordable regional Transportation.

    • No LIAT, no problem

      f LIAT pulls out of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean Airlines will pick up the slack.

      That’s according to Finance Minister Colm Imbert who says this country pulled out of LIAT’s affairs a long time ago.

      The statement comes as the cash-strapped regional airline moves to restructure its operations amid increasing financial burdens.

      LIAT is seeking US$5.4 million to help it stay airborne.

      During a press conference Friday, Minister Imbert criticized the media for what he said was scandalous reporting on the LIAT situation.

  59. @ the Honourable Blogmaster
    @ Artaxerxes the Archiver

    The two of you seem to be the only two keyboard warriors who are procsecuting this matter.

    Artaxerxes, who is forever the sleuth, did what my non-javascript friendly browser will not permit me to do because of its settings, which is to do a comparison of the flights

    And in so doing he shared with us that (a) the flights are way more expensive (b) and that you take 2 days to get to certain destinations WITH COMMENSURATE ACCOMODATION & (TAXI) TRANSPORTATION COSTS

    I was however wondering something Honourable Blogmaster

    Some time back you had a submission made by a former pilot? of the Airline LIAT.

    I was wondering if said individual could be contacted and if he could definitively tell us, WHAT WERE AND ARE THE COSTS that he and his colleagues believe that they could operate the airlines for IF THEY WERE TO BE ABLE TO TAKE IT OVER?

  60. “I was wondering if (the) said individual could be contacted and if he could definitively tell us, WHAT WERE AND ARE THE COSTS that he and his colleagues believe that they could operate the airlines for IF THEY WERE TO BE ABLE TO TAKE IT OVER?”


    I understand LIAT’s employees own a 5.3% shareholding in LIAT. However, this percentage is subject to correction. If these guys, as you seem to be suggesting, have any immediate (or long term) plans to take over LIAT’s operations, they must have an exceptionally prepared business plan.

    I don’t know if you remembered the Barbados based regional airline called “Carib Express.” Roy Barnes was the CEO.

    The airline was initially established in 1994 and commenced operations on February 15, 1995, with one 76 passenger British Aerospace BAe 146-100 J8-VBA aircraft……..and subsequently acquired 2 additional BAe 146-100s, increasing fleet to 3. According to company officials, these aircrafts were more suitable for many of the smaller airports in the Eastern Caribbean, since there were designed for short take offs and landings.

    Local investors trading as Trident Holdings, held 70% of the shares; British Airways, 20% and the remaining 10% were divided between the governments of Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.

    Unfortunately, Carib Express ceased operations in 1996.

    I’m sure you’re aware of REDjet’s fate as well.

  61. PUDRYR

    Do you remember an organisation called the Association of Caribbean States?

    “Heads of State and Government and representatives of the States, countries and territories of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), at the inaugural summit, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad in August 1995, adopted a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action on Tourism, Trade and Transportation.

    Concerning transportation, they stressed the importance of the principles of easy access and equal opportunity to affordable air (and maritime) transportation as indispensable factors in the economic integration of the ACS region.

    In this regard, the ultimate goal was articulated to be the provision of a sustainable, efficient, profitable, readily differentiated and significantly higher quality service to the travelling and cargo shipping communities at reasonable rates.

    More specifically, with regard to air transportation, they agreed to examine the existing regulatory and operational framework within the ACS region; evaluate the scope for negotiating air services agreements on a group basis; take steps to improve facilitation at airports; consider simplification of visa requirements; and encourage increased cooperation among ACS airlines.

    In addition, many of the English-speaking Caribbean States (were at the time) drafting a multilateral agreement concerning the operation of air services within the Caribbean Community. It was anticipated that this will be have been finalized in 1996, creating an air transport regulatory framework that would provide for a more liberal and transparent exchange of commercial route rights.

    Juxtapose the above comments with the attitudes of regional governments and their contribution to the demise of REDjet, Carib Express and perhaps LIAT.

  62. Why do I get the impression that T & T is like what the Jamaicans call a “John Crow” a Turkey Vulture waiting to pick LIAT’s bones to the benefit of CA.

    Does “Corbeau” fit the bill?

    All together now “CARICOM”!!!

  63. @ Artaxerxes the Superlative Archiver

    You said and i quote

    “…Juxtapose the above comments with the attitudes of regional governments and their contribution to the demise of REDjet, Carib Express and perhaps LIAT…”

    what hope should we have then for regional unity at CARICOM?

    Are you not saying that we are doomed?

  64. PUDRYR

    I’m not suggesting we’re doomed……..

    ……….Caribbean leaders are known to make certain agreements at these CARICOM or other summits and subsequently renege on their promises.

    For example, at the ACS summit held in Trinidad I mentioned in my previous contribution, it was stated that “many of the English-speaking Caribbean States have been drafting a multilateral agreement concerning the operation of air services within the Caribbean Community. It is anticipated that this will be finalized in 1996, creating an air transport regulatory framework that would provide for a more liberal and transparent exchange of commercial route rights.”

    REDjet commenced operations in May 2011 and by March 16, 2012 it suspended all flights. On June 8, 2012, the airline dismissed its 94 employees and declared insolvency.

    When the airline began to experience difficulties and suspended flights, then T&T’s “Transport Minister Devant Maharaj said that state-owned CAL was preparing to service the intra-Caribbean routes previously flown by the stricken airline.”

    He also said REDjet “was not really an airline, but a man with two planes.”

    Maharaj also admitted the T&T government took some time before granting the airline an operating licence to fly into Trinidad’s Piarco airport hub, but subsequently revoked the airline air operation certificate………… and further stated “he saw little prospect of it being renewed in the foreseeable future.”

    When the question of a fuel subsidy to REDjet arose, Maharaj “argued that the Trinidad government subsidy to CAL is intended to make sure that Trinidad and Tobago nationals are able to travel in competitive times when large legacy carriers are cutting routes.”

    You see wuh I mean PUDRYR?

    In other words, when REDjet suspended flights, the then T&T government revoked the airline’s air operations certificate, refused to offer financial aid or a fuel subsidy and positioned CAL to “pick up the slack” left by REDjet.

    Your question re: “What hope should we have then for regional unity at CARICOM?”…….

    ……… is one worth answering and discussing.

  65. An interesting related article:

    Screenshot 2019-04-02 at 04.44.39.png
    This is a population density map of T&T, there are several online and there is also CSO data (scoffs derisively!)
    I believe a new ferry port should be located at San Fernando, as part of the new waterfront project; that new ferry port & service together with the new highway to Point Fortin will improve transportation to POS and Tobago – and later on to other Caribbean islands, reduce costs, and eliminate the hideously expensive water-taxi.
    People are shocked when they hear the subsidy for each water-taxi seat is more than $TT 100. Maybe, it has gone down since last year but there is no economic sense and logic in subsidising each seat per trip by $100. Why do we persist with this monstrosity?
    How many people will be driving from South and Central to Toco to take the ferry to Tobago? How much gasoline or diesel for that journey? How much time?
    There is now another ferry.
    “Lewis-Cock­burn said the boat will be han­dled sole­ly by the Na­tion­al In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Com­pa­ny Ltd and not the Port Au­thor­i­ty of T&T.
    On pos­si­ble in­ter­est in the T&T Ex­press, which was pur­chased for US$20 mil­lion in 2006, Lewis-Cock­burn said, “Right now we have some ten­ders (for the Ex­press) that we are re­view­ing.”
    Asked if she was aware of a ves­sel ar­riv­ing in May, Hadad an­swered in the neg­a­tive.
    “We have no com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the min­is­ter or min­istry with re­gards to such. We have no such in­for­ma­tion about any boat. We are not aware of any­thing. The re­la­tion­ship has been aw­ful, not, non-ex­is­tence.”
    How­ev­er, Hadad said it would be in­ter­est­ing to find out who leased the boat, at what price and for how long. She said the Gov­ern­ment has been dan­gling a car­rot in front of every­one, telling them “we go­ing to get a boat, we go­ing to get a plane and we go­ing to get a su­per­hero. The last three and a half years have passed and To­ba­go has gone straight down. Noth­ing would sur­prise me any­more.”
    In­sist­ing she no longer had faith and con­fi­dence in the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion, Hadad said the col­lapsed seabridge had caused busi­ness­es in To­ba­go to crash.
    “There is noth­ing to have a prob­lem with the seabridge any­more. Peo­ple have giv­en up on sail­ing across there. The peo­ple who use the Galleons Pas­sage are those who are des­per­ate and they tell you that.”
    Sev­er­al calls to NID­CO’s chair­man Her­bert George’s cell­phone went unan­swered yes­ter­day.”

  66. I read Gaston Browne wants to buy Barbados’ 49% shareholdings in LIAT for Antigua to own 81% shares in the airline, and he has negotiated a $7M investment from Sir Richard Branson.

    Browne is attempting to fulfill 2 of his campaign promises, to get majority shares in LIAT, which is why he is also opposed to any suggestions, recommendations, proposals or decisions by the Barbadian authorities……….

    ………….and the other on is to build a UWI campus in Antigua.

    • This would be great news if Barbados is able to dump its equity in LIAT. It opens the opportunity to negotiate with other airline players. We know LIAT is and will always be mismanaged by Antigua because it is regarded as a government department.

  67. It seems as though Browne is only interested in securing jobs for Antiguans irrespective of the financial implications to LIAT. He pledged his government “to resist any collapse of LIAT and any move to re-create its replacement.”

    St. Lucia’s PM Chastanet believes “There are other airlines and if in fact, LIAT were to shut its doors, others would be willing to step in. Maybe that’s what we need. We need a fresh start.”

    • There is an emotional argument that Antigua will always bring to the table given how it has operated through the years and the culture which has enveloped it.

  68. If the government of Antigua is willing to purchase Barbados’ shareholding in LIAT, why can’t Browne invest those funds in the airline?

    Supposed Barbados decides to sell its shares, I hope Browne would not expect our government to burden Barbadian taxpayers with the same level of investments into LIAT when we were majority shareholders.

    Also, would there be any reason why Barbados should continue contributing to LIAT …………. or should we hold a position similar to St. Lucia, only to invest in the airline when there are significant changes to its structure?

    Barbados is indebted to the Caribbean Development Bank in the amount of US$35M for purchasing new aircrafts for LIAT. What would be Browne’s expectations relative to the Barbados/CBD arrangement, if Antigua succeeds in acquiring majority shares?

    • Ralph Gonzales hinted in a press statement a couple weeks ago that the shareholders are actively considering selling 2 or 3 of the ATRs which would have the effect of reducing the debt.

  69. Gaston is reading the headlines and see Barbados is “punching above its weight”, so why shouldn’t Antigua? A University here, an Airline there, blocking the Scotia sale everywhere.

    Isn’t regional integration great?

  70. And we must not forget one of Gaston’s initial promises to the Antiguan electorate, which was to negotiate with the USA to have their embassy relocated from Barbados to Antigua, so Antiguans won’t have to travel here when applying for a US visas.

    As it relates to the university, Gaston also promised Antiguans he would build a university in Antigua, to prevent Antiguans going to UWI Cave Hill campus. He intends to name the campus “UWI Antigua,” even if he does not receive permission from UWI to use their name…… otherwise he is prepared to use a name of his choice.

    Under these circumstances I had to laugh at Gaston’s comments as it relates to the other Caribbean territories and the minimum financial requirement:

    Browne said, “Some of them are totally rudderless, the whole issue of oneness means nothing to them, they’re extremely selfish and I have to tell you they are not following in the tradition of John Compton and VC Bird.”

    Clearly Browne is the individual who is “totally rudderless” and “the whole issue of oneness means nothing to” him.

  71. It is interesting to note two developments as it relates to LIAT.

    First, Grenada has become the 5th major shareholder in the airline, a move that was accepted at the shareholders meeting in Antigua on April 30, 2019.

    So far, Grenada has invested EC$1.3M.

    According to the ch-aviation capacity module, Grenda is LIAT’s fifth most important airport by weekly capacity, with 2,240 seats or 7.85% of the airline’s total. It is sixth by weekly frequency, with 35 of the carrier’s total of 491 flights, or 7.13%.

    Secondly, one of the tasks being undertaken by White Oaks is a developing plan to restructure LIAT. How will this sit with Antigua’s PM Gaston Browne, who wants to buy Barbados’ shareholdings for Antigua to become the majority shareholder in the airline.

    So far, Browne has rejected any proposal to restructure the airline and how will this affect the Richard Branson’s proposed investment of U

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