Who is LIAT Majority Shareholder_ Antigua or Barbados

Submitted as a comment to Adrian Loveridge Column – Keep Working it blog by Artax.

It seems as though talks between the governments of Barbados and Antigua & Barbuda relative to the sale Barbados’ shares in LIAT have recommenced.

https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/12/13/antiguan-pm-reports-movement-in-liat-share-talks/

After all the “back and forth,” … and the government of Antigua securing a US$15.8M loan from the Venezuela ALBA Bank to invest in LIAT we haven’t heard anything from Tourism Minister Kerry Symmonds as it relates to this issue or what is government’s short-term or long-term position on the airline.

I’m wondering why, as the majority shareholder, the government of Barbados is allowing Antigua’s PM Gaston Browne to take the lead on issues relating to the restructuring and recapitalization of LIAT?

And, so far, Chairman of the shareholder governments, SVG’s PM Ralph Gonsalves, has remained extremely silent on these developments…… and we haven’t heard anything from the other shareholders as well.

Mia Mottley should realize she or any member of her administration does not own the 49.4 shareholdings in LIAT … they are owned by the Barbadian tax payers. As such, she is obligated to inform Barbadians about any new developments relating to the airline.

112 comments

  • All the news about LIAT is being conveyed by the Antiguan Gov’t including the latest re the purchase of the Barbados Gov’t shares. I guess we will have to wait until the PM speaks so the Gov’t that promised transparency can decide what news to share with Bajans.

    We gathering

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  • @Sargeant

    Be patient, the PM will back soon!

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  • @David

    I wasn’t sure of the travel schedule, guess the “many hands make light work” was a fiction, its Xmas could we weave those words into a Seasonal story about Santa and the silent elves who are idle in the workshop awaiting Santa’s return.

    Liked by 2 people

  • @Sargeant

    You are the one who patented ‘navel gazing’ in this space.

    Hope to see you at the gatherin, it has the diaspora lit up!

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  • @David

    My WhatsApp has been inundated with updates but I am a Ch Ch man and October is too late for me, look for me before Winter is over but January would have been ideal as that is reserved for St. Lucy and I could go to River Bay and sing

    “Yes we will gather at the river,the beautiful beautiful river……”

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  • Vincent Codrington

    If GoB is in a negotiation,can it be said to be negotiating in good faith if it gives a ball by ball commentary on the proceedings? Is that how business is transacted these days? Is this the New Normal?
    When one makes an offer ,clearly one does not want to be a large shareholder or any shareholder.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @VC
    Any notion of keeping your cards close to your chest has been lost when the other party is spilling the beans to the Press….
    BTW the shares are not publicly held (in a manner of speaking) so informing the public will not affect the price.

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  • Don’t hold uh breath by the time uh hear the deal would be signed
    That is how dictators operate
    Transparency what
    Transparency my foot
    Bones were hauled out of this country and by the time the people got a whiff of the news the bones had travelled thousand of miles and traded for nurses
    Gimme a break
    Wunna wanted change now deal wid it and stop complaining

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Sargeant

    Negotiations were never meant to be a public affair. Publicity disrupts the process and leads to shouting matches that can be counterproductive. Others may lead. Barbados does not have to follow. We have a reputation to uphold.

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  • @VC
    How do you know that the parties are negotiating? We have one side announcing that it has reached agreement with the other and the other side “mum” in response. Not even a “no comment” nor “we’ll have an announcement when the time is ripe”.

    “Reputation”? Yeah all those countries going around whispering “Barbados can be trusted to keep secrets, even when the secret is out”.

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  • “when the time is ripe” Freudian slip for “when the time is right”

    and I’m not even into the Xmas sauce

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  • @ Sargeant December 14, 2019 8:36 PM

    Carpe diem!

    For, ‘right or ripe’, TIME waits for no one.

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  • One would think in the interest of a good Caricom member a matter like this would be negotiated business like.

    Liked by 1 person

  • In that case MAM wouldn’t be the first bajan dictator. if you go back just a few years we had the Cahill contract, the innotech contract that no one heard about until the change of government.

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  • John2 u talking poop
    The two u mentioned was discussed in Parliament
    So far Mia has signed several agreements right up their in Kenya without Parliamentary debate and if u be honest cast yuh mind back to May when the default was heard after the ink was dried
    Yuh got to be kidding Mia is making Cahill look like Sunday School class when compared to the numerous agreements Mia has signed without an iotta of transparency
    You dont think that is bold faced dictatorship right up in the people face that need to be called out

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  • @David

    “Be patient, the PM will back soon!”

    What, chief media rep, Magabe, out of the country and non of the 30 “odd” highly paid ministers not qualified or otherwised to comment. Sounding more and more like a DICTATORSHIP.

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  • The AG was the lead negotiator
    I would expect him to be the one to share the details

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mari

    Do you understand the difference between an agreement and a contract?

    Was the two contracts under the DLP debated in parliament before the signings? Bring the proof

    Liked by 1 person

  • John2 you can search Parliament Archives as far back as march 2014 and you would find Parliamentary debate on Cahill
    Now go find me Parlimentary debate on the removal of slave bones
    Also on the default
    Also on the sale of land at Coverly to Maloney
    Also her ridiculous utterance on giving money to squatters for relocation

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  • Well before I hear if i do that is, what we are being paid for our shares I would like the following information.

    What was the total loss LIAT made based on their last audited financials?

    Secondly how much money did we have to pump into LIAT over the last 5 years as a shareholder?

    Finally will a sale of our shares remove us from all liability, or are we still bent on being a small shareholder and a big debt holder at the same time ?

    I really not interested in all the window dressing and talk just give me the above information so as a shareholder I can see what I really am “investing ” in.

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  • Wait I forget a question!

    In the last ten years has Barbados as a shareholder in LIAT ever received a dollar in dividends from their investment?

    If the answer to that is no well what the hell wunna want to keep a single share in Liat for then? If Mr Browne want them and willing to pay let he have ALL not some!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John A at 9:25 AM

    I agree with you 100%. That is the kind of data that we need to form a useful comment. We need to quantify our inputs into LIAT. And our benefits . Then we can see the wisdom of withdrawing our ownership thereof. We price according to losses or benefits. It is not who shouts the loudest.

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  • @ Vincent

    If You want the public support on an issue then give them the data and stop treating them like children.

    Maybe they feel if the data is shared then there will be no support for even remaining a minority shareholder, who knows. All I can say is that as a tax paying shareholder I getting tired being treated like an 11 year old child.

    Remember when you were young and you asked your parents why and they would say because I say so! Lol

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  • From a former LIAT employee (left in 1996) who “know ah whaah goaaan”…

    — What was the total loss LIAT made based on their last audited financials?

    Nobody really knows. LIAT has NOT PUBLISHED audited annual accounts for over 40 years. And even today’s shareholder PMs are not ashamed of that fact. Some years ago someone I know went and asked for a copy of the latest accounts — and was told in no uncertain terms they were none of his business.

    — Secondly how much money did we have to pump into LIAT over the last 5 years as a shareholder?

    Nobody really knows. As in question 1, LIAT calls out for cash, and the shareholders buckle. The last few years it has been a six-monthly beg-and/or-threaten for cash for LIAT which they would not have needed if LIAT was not run – from top to bottom – by po9litical appointees who have NO CLUE how an airline should be run. On top of that, LIAT is now run by a CEO whose career is hotel book-keeper and has ZERO airline or aviation qualifications or experience. She only has the job because of her “good friend” Board Chairman Jean Holder.

    — Finally will a sale of our shares remove us from all liability, or are we still bent on being a small shareholder and a big debt holder at the same time?

    Of course not. As long as the status quo remains, Marxist Comrade Fat Boy Gonsalves will waddle around the eastern Caribbean alternately begging and threatening the PMs of other LIAT destinations for more money, mo0re money. The fact that there are other ways of making LIAT economic is irrelevant to a Marxist when he can dig deep into the pockets of taxpayers.

    — I really not interested in all the window dressing and talk just give me the above information so as a shareholder I can see what I really am “investing ” in.

    There you go. Can’t get any plainer than that.

    Back in April last year Queen Mia, the current elected dictator, wiped Parliament clean of DLP promising transparency. Now ion the case of LIAT alone she has called THREE meetings of the old guard of losers who were running LIAT to ask them what to do, what to do? And the only response they can give her – because they simply do not know anything else (or better) is to keep on keeping down the same road.

    To date not she nor any of her Ministers have enlightened the people of Barbados (as above, the actual owners of the LIAT shares) what happened at those meetings, what decisions were made (or not made) or anything else.

    In June last year Queen Mia, the current elected dictator, received a 20-page document outlining the problems with aviation, both in Barbados and the eastern Caribbean (including LIAT), and without even an acknowledgement appears to have ignored it in its entirety.

    Which brings me to the Barbados CAA and ICAO/IASA Category One (evaluated and awarded by the US FAA). A decade ago the Minister for aviation told me that legislation for a CAA and to enable a Category One rating was en route to Parliament. Being a thoroughly corrupt administration, that was not true and nothing ever happened.

    In the closing days of that administration – despite being flat broke – they pumped a million dollars into a new CAA building at Charnocks – at least a mile from the airport. How they thought the CAD/CAA Inspectors would be able to do their jobs from that far away baffles me, because they are the most effective when they are on location. But political decisions, as we know, tend not to bear any relation whatsoever to reality or to practicality, and the beat goes on.

    Most recently, Queen Mia, the current elected dictator, offered Antigua most of “her” shares in LIAT. AT the meeting for negotiations, the “ask” was revealed as $40 million (nobody is revealing what currency), and when the Antigua contingent declared that was too rich for them and buckled in for negotiations the Barbados team walked out.

    The result of that arrogance was that “flat broke” Barbados lost an opportunity to put an extra US$15.8 (BDS$31.6) million into the Treasury, and faced Antigua putting their stake directly into the airline. Now they are all smiles again, but a smile is a frown upside down, and for two-faced politicians those can switch back and forth as if that were normal behaviour.

    My personal hope is that PM Browne of Antigua&Barbuda will convert LIAT into a commercial enterprise by ridding it of all the political appointees – starting with that ridiculous Board Chairman Jean Holder and scooping out all the way down to the equally ridiculous CEO Reifer-Jones – and replacing them all with regionals who have at least a sparkle of a clue about aviation, a modicum of common sense, along with a globally experienced CEO who is a turn-around artist.

    Yes, LIAT would contract initially, but once on the road to commercial viability and profitability there is no limit to what LIAT can do. If staff were laid off initially, would they not be first in line when the inevitable expension comes?

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  • John if u were following the back and forth and what was said in the media from Browne utterances
    Most of what he said was barbados was offering a deal that was unconscionable with regards to a offering price inclusive of barbados debt in Liat

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  • @John A, Vincent

    Successive politicians have put abroad the view that LIAT was funded as a regional good in the context of supporting regional integration. What financials what!?!

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  • @Mariposa

    Yes I saw the political lip service, but as I said I put little faith in what politicians say. My concern as a shareholder is that you are asking me to hold on to an asset based on what, sentiment?

    Bimjim says they have not filed financials for 40 years, if this is correct then all of the prime ministers should be flogged by the tax payers from each island. I however am only interested in OUR investment or lack there of and it’s effect on the back of the tax payer.

    If the MOF wants us to remain a shareholder in LIAT then bring the financial data that Vincent and I are asking for. If you can’t do that then sell the blasted thing. I mean where in the world would investors hold onto a entity that loses money yearly, has never paid a dividend to the shareholder and calls for cash injections every few months with no audited financials to support their request?

    If you ask me the prime ministers who represent us the shareholders, were they see as CEOs representing our interest in any other investment would of get fired long time!

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 10 :19 AM

    Agreeing on the price for Barbados’ shares in LIAT is a financial transaction. Do you want the taxpayers of this country to salvage nothing? It is our money that went into LIAT. You are undervaluing the State’s assets. The message will soon be spread abroad that Bajans are soft. Ask Piece for the alternative term for “soft”. It is Sunday and I profess and call myself a Christian.

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  • Mariposa

    Do you understand the difference between parliament and cabinet

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  • @ David.

    I don’t give a rats ass what politicians have said. If you are asking the tax payers to subsidise an entity, then you better be able to quantify the benefits to me in terms of cost and return. If you have no audited financials to support your request then what exactly am I supporting? What exactly are my shares worth and based on what have you arrived at the valuation?

    Sell the dam shares and be done with it. BARBADOS will never suffer from airlift from LIAT as we are one of their highest revenue routes regardless of who owns it.

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  • Just make sure if you take Mr Browne offer wunna put in a clause in the sale agreement that states “Barbados will be free on acceptance of this offer from all past and future liability.”

    That clause will be worth more to wunna than the $15M USD that Antigua offering in the long run trust me.

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  • @Vincent and John A

    When Barbados increase holding by snapping up LIAT debt all those years ago did we ask for financials? As a public- including the political opposition and NGO players- did we ask for financials? Successive governments have operated with LIATs full in the knowledge they have signed blank cheques. Thankfully this thinking has been curbed by the perilous financial state if Barbados affairs. Antigua will learn in time.

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  • @David

    You remember when Butch say the fastest way for a billionaire to become a millionaire is to buy an airline?

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  • John investors does not rely on political sentiment to make an offer unless in rare occasions govt finances are offered as a substitute to off weigh potential debt that the investor might have to incurred from the seller
    It is not as simple take it or leave it either
    From all that is known and said in and out of Parliament the weight of Liat financially is burdensome
    Now any potential buyer wanting to take such debt off a shareholder first would ask what or if their any benefits in buying the shares and if the problem goes back to a long range of debt
    The buyer offer would make a bigger play and also can change or lower the seller price in what they are asking

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  • @ BimJim

    If LIAT has not published annual audited figures for 40 years, is that the result of incompetence or corruption or both?

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  • All that is true but without up to date financials you are basically making a “good will” offer. In other words neither the buyer or seller can quantify their share value based on data.

    When you dealing in good will offers on non quantifiable share value it boil down to 2 things. How bad does the buyer want it vs how bad the owner wants to offload it.

    This is well and good when 2 private owners playing with their own money. But when 1 playing with my tax dollars, I have a right to know how the sales price of my shares were arrived at. This is another typical case of a lack of financial responsibility by our divine leaders over the years.

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  • What we are seeing here is that all of the governments of the Caribbean over decades have been willing to write cheques to an entity basically supported on nothing more than its request.

    No wonder all we had to call on the IMF at sometime, when you run you business like this what you expect!

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  • John2

    Did we really need a parliamentary debate on removing “slave bones” and relocating them to Ghana?

    Did we have a parliamentary debate when the former DLP administration leased the land at Coverly to Maloney for 99 years?

    John A

    Is there anything wrong with asking this BLP administration to give us more information relative to its short-term or long-term plans for LIAT?

    So far, all information pertaining to LIAT comes from Antigua & Barbuda’s PM Gaston Browne, who also keeps Antiguans informed of his decisions or any new developments as it relates to the airline.

    We had Antigua making an offer to purchasing some of Barbados’ shareholders in LIAT, which was first announced by Browne, with Mottley making a statement on the issue a few days after. All we were told from our end was that a negotiation team, headed by Dale Marshall, was formed and was to travel to Antigua to commence negotiation talks. The negotiations subsequently “broke down,” which we learnt from Browne, with him saying he was no longer interested in purchasing the shares and opted to borrow US$15.8M from the Venezuela ALBA Band to invest in LIAT.

    Mottley and Marshall have since remained silent on these issues.

    The plans for restructuring and recapitalizing LIAT, lay-offs and salary cuts were announced by Browne, who now has taken the lead in making policy decisions…….pending those decisions are approved by the other shareholders……. while demanding the other shareholder governments to bring the total anticipated contributions to the airline, to an estimated US$35M.

    The chairman of the shareholder governments, SVG PM Gonsalves, has also been silent on these matters.

    Now we are hearing about new LIAT negotiations, which, again, was announced by Browne.

    Ironically, all plans to restructure LIAT and make it profitable were resisted by successive PMs of A&B.

    LIAT has been experiencing financial difficulties for years and incurs losses on an annual basis. Yet, the shareholder governments keep “pumping” money into it.

    However, John A, I agree with you that Barbados should sell ALL its shareholdings in LIAT…… to Browne or whoever is interested in purchasing them.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 10 :44 AM

    Are we not under a New Dispensation of Transparency and Accountability ? We are simply asking for information that underpins the decision?

    David it is time to grow up. Do you really think that it is the perceived financial position that we are supposed to be in that caused the present situation with LIAT? It is sheer incompetence and politics in play. Show me the data. That is all John A and I are asking for.

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  • @Vincent

    What new dispensation do you mean?

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  • I agree we should sell the shares in Liat but is there another measuring stick beside p/l for goverments to consider?
    The business man is only concerned about P/L the economist/Gov is concerned about the amount of economic activity generated / money turned over by the passengers.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu at 11:19 AM

    Are you saying,there is nothing new under the Barbados Sun? Not even on Sunday? WOW !!

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  • @Artax

    I say that not because I am anti LIAT. If we were shareholders in any entity where our investment was unquantifiable and we were flying blind without financial data, I would say the same thing especially after years of losses.

    You can’t use the overtaxed Bajan as an ATM when you have failed to operate the said entity as a business. If the Caribbean leaders can sit around a table and throw money in LIATS pot without knowing it’s financial status, then that should be a major concern to all of us in the region.

    While $15M USD may not be a great offer what will holding on to LIAT cost Bajans say over the next 5 years? Who is to say in the absence of financials it may not come to $15M USD or more.

    The way this matter has been dealt with is an embarrassment for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ john 2 at 11:20 AM

    Your additional lists are Financials .

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  • Oh and before some politician come and mention an operating profit say for a quarter let me stop them right there. That is like a store looking at its Christmas eve sales and trying to use that as a reference for their annual sales based on their best days performance for a bank loan!

    What we want is audited financials which will include depreciation on fixed assets, finance charges and all other operating expenses over an audited year along with their confirmed and booked true revenue.

    In other words in Bajan terms ” we want to see everything that wunna would need for a bank loan.” After all you coming to me for another one ain’t yuh?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Vincent

    Can you name a political party that has not run on a platform of change and transparency?

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  • @John A

    Could be the shareholders are using the financial consideration used by the CDB to loan millions to purchase the new planes. Were financials submitted to support that loan request Dr. Smith?

    Just saying.

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  • @Mariposa December 15, 2019 9:21 AM
    Also on the sale of land at Coverly to Maloney

    who sold the land at Coverly to Maloney, wasn’t it minister Michael Lashley?

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  • @ David.

    Based on lack of financials and everything else I doubt LIAT as a stand alone entity could borrow money. I would think when they need a ” donation” for whatever reason, the shareholders would have to anti up based on their own individual means. How ever you look at it one can only conclude it is a piss poor example of financial management.

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  • Bajan Ny

    in Coverley land deal – Barbados Today
    Jan 16, 2019 · While Coverley developer Mark Maloney is set to earn millions from the relocation of Ross University School of Medicine students, Government was also a big winner. Prime Minister Mia Mottley yesterday revealed that government has sold its lands at Coverley to Maloney for $13.5 million, three times the worth

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  • @ Vincent

    The Planning Inspectorate is the appeal body for local government decisions. Most important decisions go to appeal. Local authorities are the planning authorities of first instance.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Is LIAT a reflection of the business acumen and competence of Caribbean politicians?

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  • @Hal

    I would say it reflects the lack of understanding by politicians that they need to account to us their employers and financiers for these poorly run entities and the blatant squandering of our tax dollars!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    What it exposes is an electorate happen to cede its role to the political class.

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  • @ John A

    We have a political culture in which politicians with little training or experience assume leadership of everything, no matter what it is. The end result is a mess.
    There is no mystery about LIAT: what a re its assets and what are its liabilities? What is the market value of the company? With a 49 per cent share, then we know the value of our shareholdings.
    The unspoken assumption that without a shareholding LIAT may penalise Barbados by reducing the number of flights is poppycock. Barbados is one of the major routes. The other approach is conventional management ie looking at costs.

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  • You are aware Barbados majority shareholding originated due to debt purchased?

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  • @ David

    If it’s Increased shareholding resulted from purchased debt for no good reason then fire all that made that decision or seize dem pension then. I say that as they failed to perform the primary exercise in purchasing debt, which is how was the debt run up and what is the realistic opportunity to recover their increased exposure.

    In other words a profitable company can go into too much debt as a result of maybe doing an overly aggressive expansion. That could be a good deal for a shareholder. To purchase debt to increase share holding in a company that has lost money yearly for ever nearly, is not a good investment. Why was the debt purchased to increase share holdership then becomes the question. If it was done only to increase shareholder exposure to greater loss, then what you feel we should do to them involved? Wait nothing I just remember it’s government we talking about here!

    Liked by 1 person

  • John A

    Ironically, on Friday, February 1, 2019, leader of the SVG Green Party, Ivan O’neal, wrote an open letter to LIAT’s Board chairman (which he cc to the prime ministers of Antigua, Barbados, Dominica and Grenada), requesting him to disclose to Vincentians, LIAT’s Annual Financial Statements for the period 2008 to 2018.

    O’neal wrote millions of SVG taxpayers’ money have been repeatedly pumped into LIAT, but Vincentians haven’t been given any indication of how their tax dollars are being spent and the cost to them of LIAT’s continual failure to operate as a going concern, is particularly high.

    “It is, therefore, crucial that LIAT show the highest standards of governance, accountability, transparency and financial management, and do this by making its Annual Financial Statements available to the SVG public for inspection and scrutiny.”

    All we keep hearing is rhetoric about the financial woes of LIAT and it’s either Ralph goes about the region begging for money or the employees are asked to sacrifice their salaries in an effort to save the airline.

    For example, on January 24. 2014, The Antiguan newspaper, “The Daily Observer,” reported LIAT’s financial situation was so severe that it was in default on payment to GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the company from which it leases about six aircraft and officials were in Antigua to ground those aircraft if the airline did not pay. LIAT was forced to delay payments of salaries to honour the lease arrangements, which was reported to be US$100,000 per plane each month.

    Could you imagine when the media asked Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julie Reifer Jones if there was any truth to this situation…… she said the issues are not for public consumption.

    In the second week of March 2019, it was reported the airline was experiencing serious financial difficulties, requiring an injection of a minimum of US$5M in order to keep flying. Reporters were told then that LIAT had enough “cash to last for 10 days.”

    In 2018, the Caribbean Development Bank conducted a study of what LIAT needed to remain viable and concluded that among crucial changes is for regional governments to surrender their punitive taxes on the service the airline provides.

    According to the report, “The existing key shareholders should convert CDB debt to equity; all regional governments should convert air transportation taxes owing by LIAT to equity; and governments should fund annual transition costs on a mutually agreed formula commensurate with the financial benefits LIAT is delivering to them today.”

    CDB President Warren Smith expressed his disappointment that the most important recommendations of the report were ignored by regional governments and not taken on-board in the way in which they had anticipated.

    Additionally, an examination of LIAT’s fare structure would reveal a high level of taxes and fees in the proportionate cost of an airline ticket. The apparent unwillingness of CARICOM governments to relinquish their exorbitant taxes on regional travel……. in preference to raising taxes, (as was done by this Mottley administration)……… also brings into question their commitment to regional integration.

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  • @John A

    You are not that naive to know successive governments have adopted/supported such a policy. Implied is that the electorate must be aware of the policy. It goes back to the citizenry ‘abrogating’ their rights under our system of government.

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  • @Artax

    You could have added the questionable decisions around pilot pension brought to this forum _ see BU archives.

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  • RE We have a political culture in which politicians with little training or experience assume leadership of everything, no matter what it is. The end result is a mess.

    IT IS THE SAME HERE ON BU
    THE CULTURE HERE IS THAT FOLK with little training or experience PRETEND TO KNOW everything, ABOUT EVERYTHING no matter what it is.

    The end result is a mess OF DAILY BRIMBLING uh lie?.

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  • A forum in which you are an active participant and contributor.

    Go figure!

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  • WHEN I COME HERE I GIVE EXPERT INFORMATION WHICH I KNOW AND WHICH CAN NOT BE REFUTED AS IN MY POST ABOVE—– OR I ENJOY MYSELF ROCKING AND ——————-
    WHEN I COME HERE I COME HERE I ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE AND CONTRIBUTE ABOUT WHAT I KNOW………….I DONT BRIMBLE Go figure!

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  • WHEN I COME HERE THE AREAS ON WHICH IS SPEAK, IT DEFINITELY CANNOT BE SAID THAT I AM with little training or experience

    WHEN I COME HERE the end result is NOT a mess OF DAILY BRIMBLING BUT USEFUL FACTS AND USEFUL INFORMATION, WHICH CAN NOT BE REFUTED……..NO BRIMBLING.

    I STAY IN MY LANE.

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  • They use to refer to Denis Kellman as the I man.

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  • I AM NOT DENIS KELLMAN SIR

    AND I AM NOT AN I MAN EITHER

    BUT I AM A SCHOLAR, AND WHEN I COME HERE WITH RESPECT TO MY SCHOLARSHIP I DELIVER FROM MY VERY FIRST POST ON STATIN DRUGS. THIS CAN NOT BE DENIED OR REFUTED

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  • @MariposaDecember 15, 2019 1:15 PM

    Bajan Ny

    in Coverley land deal – Barbados Today
    Jan 16, 2019 · While Coverley developer Mark Maloney is set to earn millions from the relocation of Ross University School of Medicine students, Government was also a big winner. Prime Minister Mia Mottley yesterday revealed that government has sold its lands at Coverley to Maloney for $13.5 million, three times the worth

    You seems rather concerned about the actual sale of the land, but show very little concern when the land was leased for almost a 100 years for next to nothing. Was the public of Barbados briefed on the details of the lease?

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  • From what has reported if LIAT was an ordinary business it would be insolvent, instead it has relied on successive Govt’s to prop it up. It appears that some of its debt to the Barbados Gov’t has been converted into equity, generally if someone has unproductive equity they try to get rid of it otherwise they are left holding the proverbial bag. The B’dos Gov’t would be well advised to dispose of its equity in LIAT but what do I know I am a not a financial or economic guru just someone who held on o my Nortel shares too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Sargeant

    Dispose to who would you recommend Sarge?

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  • How quickly we forget about the ‘unusual’ Coverley lease posted to BU in 2010..

    Coverley Lease1Coverley Lease 002Coverley Lease 003Coverley Lease 006Coverley Lease 005Coverley Lease 004Coverley Lease 007Coverley Lease 008Coverley Lease 009Coverley Lease

    coverley (2)Part of the criticism of the Coverley Housing Project is the unusual covenant which covers the deal. The BU family can decide for themselves.

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  • Bajam NY
    Dont get it twisted the gist of the article deals with govt inability to be transparent
    Hence Coverly sale is mentioned
    U seem to the one overly concerned since u have taking the issue into an area destined for political dispute

    Like

  • @David

    Antigua is a willing buyer, why prolong the agony? In the words of a Martins Bay politician this can be settled over a plate of Fungie at one of the many Antiguan beaches.

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  • @ David

    The point is that if the Bajan government at the time had any back bone instead of acquiring more useless shares, they should have demanded that financials be provided for review in 60 days.

    Do we as shareholders even know the true monthly running cost of LIAT or is that a state secret too? At some point you mean not a single Bajan minister stopped and said to the rest ” fellows what it is we buying here with we people tax dollars.” The bigger issue here is that our government at the time failed to do the necessary, but instead mismanaged our finances by exposing us to unrecoverable debt in what can only be seen as bad faith.

    Remember those 2 words that was used daily up to the day of elections. I believe they were TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY .

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  • @John A

    The point is that we have to deal in the here and now. What is the best solution today in the interest of Barbados’ interest.

    Like

  • Response to @Hal Austin

    — If LIAT has not published annual audited figures for 40 years, is that the result of incompetence or corruption or both?

    Who knows? Unless and until an independent party can review the AUDITED accounts we taxpayers will not know if these losses are due to sheer incompetence – entirely possible – or politicians and executives teifing like there is no tomorrow – also entirely possible.

    What remains is that LIAT’s accounts are SECRET, and LIAT is a PUBLIC company, owned by taxpayers of several countries. That such a situation even exists is an anomaly and flies in the face of transparency, accountability, honesty, morality, ethics and common sense.

    What remains is the question “WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?” — and for more than 40 years? In all that time one (1) single CEO made a difference, the Canadian Gilles Filiatreault – and then he insisted on going and negotiated the Dash-8 leases SOLO. Since we found out a couple of years later that LIAT was paying among the highest leaser rates in the entire world, it is not unreasonable to assume that he was still getting “commissions” right up until the last Dash-8 was sent back just last year.

    I worked as a pilot for LIAT through one of the worst management times I know of – today’s management is merely unqualified and incompetent. The managers back then were arrogant, incompetent, backward, bullying, and in some cases downright confrontational. The pilots recently had industrial action because they were fed up with waiting for a contract to be completed – after TEN YEARS. And this is not the first time, there were TWO OTHER 10-year negotiations before that, both ended with industrial action – and all three were blamed on the pilots by management.

    Negotiations with pilots include at least three senior LIAT managers, and at least three senior LIAT pilots (the union). The pay that was spent for lost time – on both sides – is STAGGERING – and other pilots have to be called out for the negotiators’ flights because they are in negotiations. Bear in mind that during negotiations pay raises are frozen – so LIAT had 30 years of keeping the pilots – and other staff – down below Cost Of Living increases.

    This is NOT a little bit of money – but it happened THREE TIMES. Does nobody ever learn? Does nobody even care about LIAT’s funding?

    What LIAT needs is for all the political appointees to be thrown out – including the incompetent Reifer-Jones – I don’t care if she IS a Bajan, she is incompetent and has no place whatsoever in a fast-moving airline. Then replace the Board with regionals – in whatever ratio the shareholders decide – but they must ALL have some kind of aviation background. Gonsalves needs to be removed from his power perch, using LIAT like his own personal man toy, replaced by another PM who actually gives a flying crap about the survival of the airline.

    If real change is to be implemented, the CEO should be filled with a qualified, experienced non-regional, preferably with a little Caribbean experience so we don’t end up cat-spraddled like REDjet out of cash and still doing things the foreign way, someone who can not be intimidated and has no fealty to any politician. The new CEO should come up with a new plan for LIAT, discuss it with the shareholders direct, then implement it. Period.

    And if he quits after that meeting, then we will all know that LIAT is doomed and is about to close – BECAUSE THEY LIKE IT SO.

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  • @ DAVID

    Sell the dam shares take Mr Browne $15M USD and be done with it as a shareholder, while at the sometime continuing to support the airline as passengers only!

    Then take the money and buy 20 garbage trucks and some buses for the Bajan Public’s benefit. Don’t buy no $600,000 garbage trucks neither when wunna could buy new Freightliner full size trucks ready for use out the USA for $158,365 USD.

    THere wunna know what to do and where to spend the money all free of cost. Of course it’s Christmas and if you want to put “little something” in an envelope for me I wouldn’t say no.

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  • @John A

    Do we know what has been discussed behind closed doors? Is Browne injecting captal or? What is the role of the BOD is this matter?

    What will we see in the by-laws of the company?

    We do not know a damn thing.

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  • @ David.

    We know all we need to in order to get out and it’s this. Browne got $15M USD and he wants 49 percent of a money pit that is run like a domino game. Take the money from him and run hard!

    You really think after 40 years of this nonesence it will change? Take the money and let he and Gonsalves beat the chest and say they own a regional airline. I would prefer see us have the newest garbage truck fleet in the Caribbean and some new buses instead. Do that and let’s call it an experience never to be repeated.

    After all we got the biggest interest yet it seems all the decisions being made in Antigua and St Vincent already anyhow, so give them the share certificates and make it official while thanking them for the $15M USD.

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  • @David

    “What is the best solution today in the interest of Barbados’ interest.”

    DECLARE BANKRUPTCY AND WALK AWAY. TAKE ANY NECESSARY LOSSES, CASE CLOSED.

    IF LIAT should continue to operate Barbados as a major part of their revenue sector will continue to be serviced and all revenue generated by LIAT coming and going from Grantley Adams Airport will be pure taxpayer revenue with no incomberances. If Liat fails thier aviation service business will be backfilled by someone else on a profit business model.

    WIN WIN SOLUTION.

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  • @David
    The point is that we have to deal in the here and now. What is the best solution today in the interest of Barbados’ interest
    +++++++++++++
    The Barbados Gov’t sold a profitable enterprise -BNB- now you are requesting it to “hold strain” on LIAT? If it is concerned about Bajan jobs has anyone calculated the ongoing cost of those jobs? As I said I am not a financial nor economic guru but when a Govt buys jobs the taxpayer is paying.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The MAJOR QUESTION I HEAR EVERYONE ASKING, WHAT ARE THE LIABILITIES COMPARED TO ASSET VALUE.
    EVERYONE, WITH EVEN A MEDIOCRE AMOUNT OF COMMON SENSE, KNOWS THE LIABILITIES ARE SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER THAN ASSET VALUES. LIAT HAS BEEN OPERATING FOR ITS ENTIRE EXISTENCE AS LOSS ENTITY BEING REGIONALLY GOVERNMENT PROPed UP AS IT’S DEEMED A NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE ELEMENT for the tourist business.
    A true unbiased cost benefit analysis would be necessary to prove this rational true or false.

    Liked by 1 person

  • With Minney Mouse now incharge, Wily Coyote now thinks his nemesis, the Road Runner, should offer his/her consultant skills in avoidance and capture.

    Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Sargeant

    Have done no such thing.

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  • @Wily

    Keep quiet on the bankruptcy thing nuh let we grab Browne cheque first I beg you! This is what i want you do for muh. between now and the time we get the cheque the story we going fly is “Its a viable entity only in need of restructuring.” Now once I call and tell you the cheque clear ONLY THEN can you say ” it want shutting to ass down.” Lol

    Work with me and i going put “little something” in a brown envelope for yuh!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Jon yuh think Browne is moronic
    Why would he pay top dollar fir shares plus liabilties
    Barbados gonna be stuck with them shares unless they are prepared to loosen the fiscal grip they have on selling the shares

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  • LIAT is a company, any decision to sell or not sell will be for the board of directors to decide. The fact we are having this discussion and one of the directors read Antigua is braying like the proverbial ass says a lot about how we are doing business.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 8:23 PM

    The decision to sell or not to sell, or buy or not to buy. is that of the share- holders. It can be confusing when directors are also shareholders. Directors have little say in this issue,except that of suasion.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    The Directors have a responsible to make decisions in the interest of the company, in this case the directors represent the shareholders.

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  • @ Wily Coyote 5.35

    What a sensible proposal. Why can’t our leaders see that the best thing is to sell up and walk away? Is t here an egotistical issue at stake? Brown started this fight with the DLP and it continue under the BLP. Is it a fight with Barbados?

    @BimJim

    Can LIAT be saved? Should it be saved?

    Liked by 1 person

  • — Can LIAT be saved? Should it be saved?

    About 10 years ago, before the ATR bramble, I found a Turkish Bank which would lend me US$200,000 to buy majority shares in LIAT (not 100%, but control). Before going any further I made a proposal to Marxist Comrade Fat Boy Gonsalves (he was still Chairman back then – what happened to the revolving Chairmanship?), and got back dead silence.

    So I tickled a journalist friend of mine about it, and at the next press gathering with Fat Boy he put it to the Comrade.

    Fat Boy exploded with four letter words and accusations. He called me a Buccaneer, and swore he would never allow any financial shark to get their hands on LIAT – and all this made the print version.

    Fat Boy has resisted EVERY effort to turn LIAT around and run it as a commercial operation. At EVERY turn, Fat Boy has preferred to demand, beg and threaten other islands to put money into LIAT (not necessarily attached to shares).

    That’s the background. To answer your question directly, I cannot foretell what the shareholders will do. Queen Mia seems to be just another Good Old Boy – Transparency and Accountability are apparently just election campaign words – and is ploughing ahead, no doubt with her eyes on where some money might “leak” hat she can scoop up for herself.

    My personal opinion was in 1980, and still is, that because of the length of time it has existed and from the Courtline benefits, LIAT has the “grandfathered” routes and privileges to be bigger than Caribbean Airlines and far more profitable. But that will take a progressive and qualified Board and a competent, qualified and globally experienced CEO. I know of a perfect candidate, but nobody is listening.

    Apart from which I also have created a Business Plan for a travel company (including a medium-haul airline) to serve the entire CARICOM network, an area the size of Canada, with Airbus A320 equipment, based on four years of data from Sabre and the GDS databases. The Business Plan is over 100 pages long – and I have personal notes more than 350 pages long – but I want a LOAN, not foreign investors or vulture capitalists, so that at an IPO five or so years later I can see shares on the regional exchanges at an IPO so that regionals can buy a part of a proven “going concern”. This means that I continue to look for funding.

    One of the many objectives of my company would be to create an “umbrella” organisation to bring all the other regional carriers together for the purpose of a common purchasing agency as well as to coordinate our schedules.

    I suppose I could do that with LIAT, but to train so many people to do things that much differently after so many years may not be worth the massive amount of work.

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  • @ BimJim

    You will be lucky to get a loan for what could be a large amount of money. Any FOREIGN investor will want a bit of the action. If you have a plan, get an agent and try to raise the money in a capital market. You will need comprehensive CVs on the leading proposed managers.
    If I can make any introductions plse do not hesitate. Remember, you will need good confidentiality agreements if you are showing your plans around.

    Like

  • Hal Austin…

    The first few pages of the BP is a Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Agreement. The next few pages is an Executive Summary. The name of the person I send it to is on every single page, somewhere.

    To buy used equipment (less than 10 years old) I reckon I would need US$215 million, if we go the leasing route then US$100 million. Like leasing an apartment, there are endless down payments and financial guarantees to be placed. Buying aircraft offers about US$160 million in immediately available assets (aircraft and real estate – offices, training buildings, etc.), and leasing offers just US$15 million in assets (just the real estate).

    I prefer the purchase route, because once it gets going the curve is expected – by myself and the entire team – to go vertical. That means expansion, and leasing more aircraft is much easier to do if you already own aircraft. The assets become a springboard to expansion.

    An airline CEO helped me create a spreadsheet which looked at the potential profit for such an airline over 5 years. First year profit was about US$16 million, Year 5 was well over US$100 million. Unlike Butch Stewart, I would REALLY like all of that to STAY in the Caribbean.

    I keep up with Caribbean aviation because I am retired and have the time, I still have most of my airline and aviation contacts from back in the day, and I update a news archive here, daily…
    https://www.craneforum.org/index.php

    The weekly digest I sent out last Saturday was #400 – I have been doing this for a very long time, and there is not a single politician in the eastern region who can bramble me with boolshyte – I have been around too long, from ATC Barbados about 1968 through TropicAir, Air BVI, Carib Aviation and then LIAT until 1996. Before the CRANe I had a subscription archive, before that I created and maintained the web site for Caribbean Air Line Pilots Association. So 1998 until now? 22 years?

    I try to stay away from the vulture capitalists because I know that 1. they will want control – and thet will end up as another bankrupt REDjet screwing over locals and regionals alike, and 2. they will regularly want to ship profits home, taking hundreds of millions of hard-earned tourism dollars away from the region. In addition, no foreigner would be allowed to own such an airline – and I will be damned if I will facilitate a filthy rich bastard getting even even richer off my citizenship and my name.

    Using the airline as a facilitator, I have ideas, plans – 350 pages worth, from creating pulp plants (bowls, dishes, plates, etc.) to the hotel industry, to a regional booking engine for cars, tours, hotels, yadda yadda yadda.

    But nothing starts without the money.

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  • @bimjim

    The gorilla in the room is he same issue Redjet had to confront, approvals from the different islands because we do not have a single airspace?

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  • @BimJim

    You are talking serious money and I cannot imagine anyone investing in such a project from ground zero. First, they will talk about leasing rather than buying. If profitability was that easy then big boys would have already been operating in the market. Spreadsheets do not create profits.
    Think low cost and you may be on to a good thing. As I have said what is needed in the Caribbean is a flying ferry service. LIAT’s problem is trying to punch above its weight.

    Like

  • Gentlemen…

    David…

    REDjet came first to Jamaica, sat around for months, then was asked to leave because the JA government was trying to sell Air Jamaica. They came to Barbados, employed all foreign executives and managers, and did their level best to bring in as many of “their own people” as possible. A cousin of mine (a Bajan) had an MD80 rating, but he did not even get an acknowledgement to his application.

    So they came to Barbados with an Irish Business Plan, and Irish budget, and very quickly ran out of money. Anybody remember the Trinidad fiasco? They did a charter to Piarco, were met by SIX TTCAA Inspectors, and they reported that the oleos were quite rusty, it must have been a very old airplane. Not much experience or qualifications demonstrated by TTCAA Inspectors who cannot tell the difference between grease and rust.

    Trying to contact REDjet was a tortuous process for locals. Management simply did not want to talk to them. Bizzy asked me if I would be willing to come down and offer suggestions, took the request to a Board meeting that night and was turned down. Instead they brought in yet another Irishman who understood local conditions even less than the clowns already there.

    Hal Austin…

    You are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine. Because they do not coincide does not mean that I am wrong.

    The “Big Boys” cannot start or operate an airline in CARICOM unless they are themselves citizens of a CARICOM country. Hence I am looking at a virtual monopoly… I will avoid competition and ALL US destinations (including Territories). You want to go to Miami? Take AA, DL, or any of the other American carriers, I won’t compete with deep pockets and go broke. And I won’t start a small-airplane island-hopper either. Start small? That’s what everybody else is doing.

    I have four years of Sabre and GDS data which tell me that there is a massive unserved market within the region. As I said, I have qualifications, experience, imagination, intelligence, and I am not the only person who believes this can work – after I get the funding.

    Imagining a short-hop air ferry service is something of a joke. Using what? C-130 Hercules? Any airplane you use that has the power to carry a REAL load will guzzle fuel like there is no tomorrow. And the cost is prohibitive if you want it to last more than, say, five years.

    I didn’t just get here, my friends, and I did not “come here to drink milk”.

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  • Brown got into office based on corruption, He will not get in bed with crooked Mia that don’t pay her bills , and telling lies all over the World now in Africa looking to invite people to rob them, When Africa get a hold of her title may not save her, Stand clear of Barbados Crime Minister/s, Barbados to own 51% OF THAT over price dead airline, We need RED JET back!

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  • — The gorilla in the room is he same issue Redjet had to confront, approvals from the different islands because we do not have a single airspace?

    Incorrect. Like Carib Express and others, REDjet was a company owned and operated by foreigners, and that was some 25 years (or more) ago. Today the MASA Multilateral Air Services Agreement seeks to protect the islands from capitalist abuse – like high prices and sudden pull-outs – and to protect regional CARICOM citizens who own airlines from deep-pockets competition. All we need to do now is force the Authorities and politicians to behave professionally, not to attack every regional as if they are determined to shut them all down.

    A foreign owner does NOT have the same access to our markets and airspace as regional citizens. Period. And REDjet (for one) refused to consult with locals about the right way to go about starting up. Mr. Burns is supposed to have asked the CAD Director upon receiviong the AOC Air Operating Certificate if there was anything else he had to do to start operating – the Director told him no. Then he advertised fares to Trinidad and mashed his nose on the locked door. No consultation, no looking around, no asking questions, just jump and go.

    This CAA farce has been going on from at least a decade ago, when the Minister assured me that legislation was on the way and so was Category One. Like most politicians, he lied. As they say up-islands, Barbados is “not ready”, and will not be for some time to come (I don’t care what Queen Mia tells you – it’s NOT up to her).

    I get that you have a long memory, but at some point we all have to move on. REDjet burned Bizzy – for the second time – and probably other local investors. But every single person I read about ore see talking about need for a new airline wants it to serve Miami, New York, Toronto. But doing that is to commit business suicide… those legacy carriers can charge fares BELOW COST indefinitely (supported by the rest of their network) and close down regional challengers.

    Like

  • @Bimjim

    Accepting all you have just stated the fact remain you will need permissions from the respective island governments to enter their airspace, land at their airports?

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  • I would always need permissions, but as a CARICOM citizen those are granted automatically. I would not have to negotiate anything with any politician or civil servant. The way it usually works is that the governing CAA prepares the way for the destination, and the airline takes it from there. The foreign investors and “airline people” at REDjet ignored almost every nicety and manners of the region, and pretty much bullied and behaved as though they had an undeniable right to be there and do whatever the heck they wanted. As a regional – with MASA in effect and all CARICOM politicians behind me – I don’t anticipate there would many doors I would have to knock on.

    Like

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