LIAT 1974 Flying Under the Radar

Barbadian taxpayers have for years acted as lender of last resort for LIAT 1974 Ltd. Since the public and contentious relaunch of LIAT 2020 Barbadians down millions are none the wiser the current state of the deal. The local Opposition parties and other civil society actors appear to be unable to walk and chew gum at the same time. The following questions have been asked by BU Commenter John A on behalf of Barbadians taxpayers. If we do not who will?

David, Barbados Underground


  • HAS LIAT 1974 LIMITED BEEN LEGALLY DISSOLVED AS OF YET?

  • UNDER THE ARTICLES OF LIAT 1974 LTD ARE THE LIABILITIES SERVICED BY THE COMPANY OR ARE LIABILITIES GUARANTEED BY THE SHAREHOLDING STATES?

  • WHAT IS THE TOTAL ASSET VALUE AS OF TODAY FOR LIAT 1974 LTD AND WHAT ARE ITS OUTSTANDING LIABILITIES?

  • IS THE LIABILITY FOR SEVERANCE UNDER LIAT 1974 LTD NOT A CORPORATE LIABILITY UNDER THE COMPANY ACT AND IS THEREFORE A LIABILITY THAT MUST BE MET BY ITS BOARD OR BY LAST RESORT ITS SHAREHOLDERS BASED ON PERCENTAGE OF SHAREHOLDING?

  • IS BARBADOS A MINORITY SHARE HOLDER IN LIAT 2020 LTD IF INDEED IT EXIST?

  • HAVE CERTIFICATES OF RELEASE BEEN GRANTED TO BARBADOS BY THE CDB AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AFTER ANTIGUA ACQUIRED OUR SHARES?

  • AS A CONDITION OF THE SALE DOES BARBADOS HAVE ANY LEGAL RIGHT TO REPAYMENT OF LOANS BY ANTIGUA PREVIOUSLY GUARANTEED BY BARBADOS THAT WERE NOT GRANTED CERTIFICATES OF RELEASE FROM THE LENDERS?

75 comments

  • @John A

    Thanks for your questions about the status of the share transfer from LIAT 1974 to 2020. The answers to the questions do not seem to have been posited in the public domain. We have to believe CDB with best in class standards of operating would have signed off on the deal because the requirements of the release was satisfied. The challenge we have identified is that (former) shareholders of LIAT must demystify the transaction for us.

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  • @ David.

    Don’t expect anyone in power to touch this issue though. Lol

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  • @John A

    They will if it becomes a wart.

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  • u will get the answers if Barbados and St. Vincent continues to play tough with Browne forcing his hand to take them to CCJ

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  • If you look at its correspondence, Twitter account, Facebook page, official website, advertisements etc, apparently, the airline is using the name: ‘LIAT (1974) Ltd. (Under Administration).’

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  • So, what if Browne takes BGI and SVG to the CCJ?

    Okay, let’s assume he does that and it is found both territories are within their legal rights to ask LIAT (1974) Ltd. (Under Administration) to apply for flying rights, because the authority under which LIAT (1974) Ltd. operated became invalid when the airline suspended operations in March 2020 and subsequently went into administration. Then, what happens?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Your supposition starts with Browne not winning
    What if he wins
    Then what

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  • Browne contends that nothing has changed
    He flew into barbados earlier and was giving landing rights
    No change in agreement between him and barbados was signed previously
    The old agreements holds until 2024

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  • Your supposition began with Browne winning. That’s why I asked supposed he doesn’t.

    If he wins…… he wins. Then, the Court would decide, based on the law, what both territories have to do.

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  • How can old agreements apply if it is a new entity.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Apparently, the Barbadian government believes the approval is invalid because, in their opinion, LIAT (1974) Ltd. (Under Administration) is a different entity from the LIAT (1974) Ltd. that existed prior going into administration.

    But, You or I are not in any position to determine whether or not “the old agreement holds until 2024,” unless we have all the information. So far, we’ve only heard one side of the story …….. from Browne and Seaforth, which you obviously seem to believe.

    I prefer to be a bit more objective and wait until I hear SVG’s and BGI’s side of the story. If the matter does go before the CCJ, then we’ll have to wait on the Court’s decision, after both sides presented their arguments.

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  • Browne says it is still using the same agreements and Liat has not changed except for reorganizing its debt

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  • Reorganizing its debt and down sizing

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  • That is not a correct statement from Browne as LIAT has also had a change in ownership. What is unclear is what liability are the original shareholders still exposed to if indeed the old entity is still trading. Also if the old entity is still trading have the original shareholders been released from liability?

    Goverment needs to come clean and lay the facts on the table with us on LIAT and our continued exposure in it.

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  • Well until govt opens hand Browne side of the story remains the only story heard
    Any how why didnt barbados and St. Vincent make all their concerns known to Browne since their last meeting about the re organization
    Why after several flights did Mia and Gonsalvezs decided that Antigua has no landing rights
    How come the other islands where Liat is flying have not forward such concern if the agreement are no longer valid

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  • Come on, what “several flights” are you on about?

    Seaforth said LIAT before the borders were closed in March 2020, LIAT transported nurses from Cuba to here. You must bear in mind BGI was still a shareholder government at that time. He also said the airline had flown here about 2 or 3 weeks ago and had a scheduled flight last Monday.

    In the absence of the relevant information, how do you know whether or not governments of the other islands expressed any concerns about flight approvals? Or, are you suggesting because the others islands on LIAT’s schedule MAY NOT have expressed concerns, BGI and SVG should have done likewise?

    BGI and SVG are contending LIAT (1974) Ltd. (Under Administration) is a NEW entity, while Seaforth and Browne are saying it’s not.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Also how about Brownes contention on the freedom of movement for Caricom nationals between countries via Liat
    I believe Browne has legal standing unless the two dissenters can prove otherwise
    Further more Browne states that unlike other carriers These two govts are asking to be paid upfront landing fees
    Personnally Gonsalves and Mia might have placed barriers with certain intentions
    Rather than being diplomat them two behaves like rag a muffins

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  • What an ignorant statement. We have to see the info, the evidence to inform discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Until those two Govt expose its hand Browne has legal standing
    The law can be an ass don’t u forget that
    Btw it is storming how many umbrellas did u open today
    I could see u shuffling back in the rain
    Duffus

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  • Come on, Browne contending “freedom of movement for Caricom nationals between countries via Liat,” is nonsense. When LIAT was grounded between March and when it recommenced flights about 2 weeks ago, CARICOM nationals had other choices of airlines to move them freely between the islands.

    As long as Mottley is involved, you’ll obviously “believe Browne has legal standing.” Could you please explain what legal standing he has?

    I’m at a loss as to how you came to the conclusion the Comrade and Mottley are behaving “like ragamuffins,” when, from around 2016 and throughout this entire LIAT debacle, Gaston Browne was the person who was ‘shouting across the sea’,’ making all types of wild accusations, threats and just being downright arrogant.

    Mottley’s involved so, I know where you’re going with this. But, I’m not going to follow you.

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  • I also see where this is heading

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  • “Eastern-based Libyan forces have intercepted a Turkish ship under a Jamaican flag”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/8/eastern-libya-forces-seize-turkish-vessel

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  • @ David.

    The thing is St Kitts or anyone can right off the debt between them and LIAT but what about the debt between st Kitts and the CDB along with other lenders that they would of signed as guarantor for on behalf of LIAT?

    I Keep saying we need to be told the true bullet we are going to have to swallow to be out of LIAT. it is not just us forgiving the LIAT debt it is the cost of us then having to honour the guarantees we signed as shareholders that we need to hear about. LIAT debt may be pocket change compared to what we owe as a guarantor.

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  • @John A

    Of course. You should observe the party faithful have steered clear of this posting.

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  • @ David.

    Lol i told you that from early that this is not an issue they will touch.

    This like the NIS, a can full of worms only waiting to get open.

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  • @John A

    The more you think of it there has to be a story of why Allan Chastenet the businessman refused to inject money in LIAT 1974.

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  • Chastenet knew well what was in the worm can and had no intention of taking st Lucia into it. Time has proven he made the right decision.

    As i told you before if this topic was about a politician that thief money from LIAT you would of had 300 comments already. We get treated how we are because we demand no better and the politicians kmow it. We prefer discuss trivia than matters that affect us as a people. The politicians know this only too well and throw distractions at us and we bite at them everytime. Pitiful really.

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  • Don’t you see neither the unions, the opposition or the press are asking any questions either? One would of thought with the union members at LIAT not being paid their due that the union would of been at the front of the line asking questions, but dem like church mice too.

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  • @ John A

    Shouldn’t we be demanding that the deal with LIAT be made public? Shouldn’t parliament be told the details? Who advised the government on the deal? Who drafted the deal? Who negotiated it? Why all the secrecy? Where does the buck stop?

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  • @ Hal

    I guess they feel they owe none of us an explanation as no one is asking for one. As you say all the time the press is poor in terms of doing their job and the unions and opposition are no better.

    The questions that I have asked require simple answers. The problem is once anyone touches them the worms will leave the can. The unions talk about dwindling membership, but if this is an example of how they pursue their memebers interest then God help them.

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  • @ John A

    Let us start from the beginning. Which department was responsible for the LIAT deal? Who in that department was in charge? Well, stand outside his/her home day and night until they come up with answers. That is an everyday strategy of the tabloids where I am.
    But there is a style in Barbados that if people ask uncomfortable questions there is a long pause, a moment of silence or they change the the topic. Watch out for it.
    Secrecy and silence, as Bajan as cou-cou and salt fish.

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  • @ Hal

    Yes we are seeing that clearly on this issue. Lol

    My concern though is do you think the unions understand their job in a post covid environment or are they going along business as usual too?

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  • We know the unions are about wage increases which dates back to supporting field workers.

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  • @ David BU

    The party faithful has already touched on this issue. Remember, they told us Browne has legal standing.

    On a serious note, John A is correct.

    Look at how Gonsalves handled the LIAT issue. He remained calm, (unlike Browne), and said he would accept Browne’s offer to purchase SVG’s LIAT shareholdings for EC$1 and was prepared to write off the airkines EC$14M debt, including outstanding landing fees, on condition ANU pays SVG the value of the debt that the Gonsalves administration guaranteed on a loan arrangement with the CDB, for the purchase of three ATR aircraft when LIAT was into a re-fleeting exercise

    The Comrade essentially told Browne, “let’s value the planes and the amount of money which we owe the CBD on these planes, pay me that and I get out of it (LIAT) and you do what you want to do.”

    We are yet hear how the Mottley administration intends responding to the request to write off LIAT’s debt owing.

    The developments with LIAT shouldn’t be treated as though it’s a matter of national security. Politicians make all types of decisions with public assets and investments…… and ignore our calls for transparency by withholding information from the public.

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  • @ Hal

    If the goverment were a board of directors for a public company in the UK and we the populace were share holders in that company, what you think would of happened over the LIAT issue?

    So why then do politicians feel that as our appointed board members with the responsibility GIVEN to them to run COMPANY BIM that we do not deserve to know the facts about our investments?

    This really vexifies me. Lol

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  • @ John A

    The days of the old industrial trade unions are over. They must move on to attract young professionals and gig workers, the Uber and Silicon Valley workers.
    We call them IR 35 workers, because of their tax code. As I have said before, professional association are rising just as fast as the old trade unions are dying.
    Plus HR departments are providing many of the benefits that unions historically fought for. In my old work place we had 14 A four pages of benefits for new employees.
    It is done through annual appraisals and can range from shares in the company to training, both to help them to carry out their jobs more efficiently, and to prepare them for promotion. These could range from in-house courses to external degrees.
    Message me with your details and I will send you a book on the new trade unionism free of cost.

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  • When a firm is in admin, it’s debts are consolidated and creditors are identified and paid dividends from it’s estate below par possibly as low as circa 1¢ or 2¢ per $1

    It can still operate as DiP (Debtor in Possession) business entity but when it comes out of admin it needs to have a profitable accounting ledger and/or credible business partners involved in merger and acquisitions deals such as takeovers, mergers or reverse takeovers, or it can be forced to go into bankruptcy again

    When Pan Am went bankrupt Chapter 11 it was protected from creditors for a limited period to allow it to reorganise.

    However, it had agreed to merge with American Airlines, but the day they came out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, American Airlines pulled out of the deal and Pan Am was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy aka liquidation and had to sell off nonexempt assets to pay creditors. I heard there are some Pan Am planes mothballed in the desert and Delta bought most assets which includes international and national routes they owned.

    Reading between lines and extrapolating projections heard through grapevine, if Barbados scored airline routes to Mama Afrika, it could then become a hub to other Caribbean nations to link up with Afrika.

    I Am I Said, Kinky Fly

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  • @ John A

    I believe sometimes you’re a bit unfair to the trade unions.

    Recall, in June this year, NUPW’s acting general secretary Delcia Burke, met with some of LIAT’s Barbadian pilots who were being represented by that union, and raised concerns with LIAT, in connection with them being on lay-off for about three months without pay and subsequently being notified the lay-off period would be extended.

    In response, LIAT publicly stated the NUPW was NOT a RECOGNISED bargaining agent for any of LIAT’s employees and insisted the pilots were represented by the Leeward Island Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA), which is registered in Antigua and Barbuda. The airline’s official said it was in discussion with LIALPA on all issues regarding the pilots.

    Another problem here is, bear in mind, LIAT’s employees are/were employed by an Antiguan registered company. When the airline suspended its scheduled passenger services during border closures, most of its employees, including pilots were apparently laid off in accordance with Antigua labour laws.

    Could you please explain what you expect any Barbadian trade union could do under those circumstances?

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  • @Artax

    Agreed, bear in Browne is arguing the point LIAT pilots recruited from across the regions should be treated as Caricom public servants to benefit from regional financial support. Creative thinking or is this suppoetsdome where.

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  • @Artax

    I was speaking to unions in general. However have the local trade unions been in touch with the Antiguan union to attempt to chart the way forward?

    Also I believe the unions should be at the forefront of getting to the bottom of the financial reality of LIAT, as this will help them to better dictate the road forward. My concern is the unions and the opposition don’t seem to be demanding answers on this issue. Also dont forget Browne has indicated that the Barbadian workers should go to the Barbadian goverment for their severance, thereby making it a local concern now. His suggestion we know is ludicrous as LIAT is a LLC, but none the less it was made and I did not hear it challenged locally by those that should of done so.

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  • @John A

    Unless the NUPW is able to callout workers to support the pilots it will be ignored by the government of Barbados. Are we aware the NUPW has alliances with other unions in the islands? If the answer is no then same.

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  • @ David.

    My point is where is voice for the Barbadian workers in all if this?

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  • Left to me NOT A LIAT will be allowed to land here until our people are paid!
    We are one of the most profitable routes for them hit them where it hurts!

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  • @John A

    You may be flirting with contravening the RTOC.

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  • In principle an employer cannot tell employees who will represent them. Most they can do is ask for a vote and if the majority want a particular union, then it is that.
    If not they should walk out and unions at the airport should ban handling their flights. That is traditional trade unionism. Don’t re-invent the wheel.
    The elephant in the room is the so-called Social Partnership, that monstrosity.

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  • @ David

    Brown has gotten what he wanted and his people are smiling. We have been forced to swallow debt I assume and our people who worked for LIAT will face Xmas without what is due to them. I would take my chances with the RTOC.

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  • (Quote):
    Apparently, the Barbadian government believes the approval is invalid because, in their opinion, LIAT (1974) Ltd. (Under Administration) is a different entity from the LIAT (1974) Ltd. that existed prior going into administration. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That’s a very interesting ‘view’ of the corporate status called “Under Administration”.

    A corporate entity ‘Under Administration’ does not absolve that entity of any financial responsibilities to its ex-employees who must be treated as ‘Preferred Creditors’ much like any duties and taxes due to the ‘State’ but ranking after those creditors holding security or lien over the assets of the financially dying corporation/company like the CDB.

    The $64 million question is:
    Are the ‘shareholder’ governments of LIAT (1974) Ltd trying to w(r)iggle their way out of their ‘fiduciary’ commitments to the company’s ex-employees the same way the operators in the hotel sector in Barbados are trying their utmost to evade paying severance by telling their severed staff to look to the NIS?

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  • “A corporate entity ‘Under Administration’ does not absolve that entity of any financial responsibilities to its ex-employees who must be treated as ‘Preferred Creditors’ much like any duties and taxes due to the ‘State’ but ranking after those creditors holding security or lien over the assets of the financially dying corporation/company like the CDB.”

    I’m at a loss as to where you’re going with your argument.

    My comment was made in reference to LIAT having to apply for a new flight approval and did not have anything to do with what you’ve outlined in your above comment.

    What you’ve done is use my comment to present a completely different argument.

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  • @ Artax:

    That comment was made in relation to the statement that the BGI government ‘thinks’ the following:

    “Apparently, the Barbadian government believes the approval is invalid because, in their opinion, LIAT (1974) Ltd. (Under Administration) is a different entity from the LIAT (1974) Ltd. that existed prior going into administration.”

    It can only become a “different entity” when the old LIAT (1974) Ltd is liquidated and a new corporate entity rises like a phoenix from the flying ashes like a LIAT (2020) Ltd.

    It was not ‘directed’ at any position you took on the matter.

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  • LIAT still in talks with Barbados and St. Vincent

    Article by
    Barbados Today
    Published on
    December 9, 2020
    SOURCE: CMC – The Court appointed Administrator for the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, Cleveland Seaforth, says talks are still ongoing with Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines after the two former shareholder governments of the airline temporarily banned the airline from landing at the airports in the two countries over valid flight approvals.

    Seaforth has hinted at the possibility of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) getting involved in a bid to find an amicable solution to the situation.

    “The latest is that we continue to have discussions with Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said, adding that in addition to the situation, a situation has arisen in Kingstown surrounding the ground handling operations for the airline.

    “We actually took back on staff, we trained them but the Airport Authority in St. Vincent wants to do the handling and not LIAT and so we are in dialogue with them and my expectation is that with respect to St. Vincent we should have an answer from the board of directors on Friday,” Seaforth said on the state-owned ABS television.

    He said the discussions are continuing with Bridgetown adding “we can’t quite get a response from them as yet.

    “However within the last 24 hours or so CARICOM has approached the company to find out what’s the position and asked to be presented with the information which we did give them, both in respect of Barbados and St. Vincent and my understating it is possible that CARICOM may make some intervention to try and resolve the matter,” Seaforth told television viewers.

    Last Saturday LIAT said it was forced to suspend services to the two Caribbean destinations while it awaits the approval from the relevant authorities there.

    LIAT said prior to its suspension of services in March, it had been operating to Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines “on valid flight approvals, which have not expired,” and Seaforth said that in the case of Barbados “it came as a surprise to us” adding that “we are a bit taken aback by the decision we have a valid permit to fly into Barbados until July 2024.

    He said that the Barbados authorities had informed them last week that “we would have to make new arrangements before we could fly into Barbados.

    “We don’t necessarily agree with them because we have the permit which allows us to fly into Barbados until July 2024. We dispatched a letter to them late on Friday asking them to reconsider the decision”.

    Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, has criticised the decision of the former two shareholder governments of the airline to operate schedule flights into their countries.

    “LIAT will succeed, notwithstanding the artificial impediments that these countries are creating,” Browne said on his weekend radio programme in response to the development.

    “The irony is, there were no such requirements for other carriers. All of the other airlines that resumed services to those countries, they had no such requirement so the question is why are they discriminating against LIAT.

    “LIAT is a regional institution within the OECS and the broader CARICOM and it should be given national treatment; not to be treated as some stepchild, but to be embraced as a regional carrier, and if anything, should be given preference, not to be discriminated against,” Browne added.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/12/09/liat-still-in-talks-with-barbados-and-st-vincent/

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  • Like or hate Browne he is a person who takes transparency with all seriousness whether he be right or wrong
    I commend him for the many forthright positions he has taken
    Most barbadians would not appreciate Brownes seriousness when it comes to positioning his utterances on accountability
    Even if he is proven wrong on any issue the fact that he opens freely with the public is a plus which keeps his detractors in fear of him
    He does not hide or mix his words
    Wish the same could be said for the two tag team partners with their sinsters agendas

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  • Surely this isn’t the same Antiguan prime minister Gaston Browne you always refer to as a tin horn dictator, when he opposed restructuring of LIAT as proposed by the former Freundel Stuart led DLP administration and tourism minister Richard Sealy?

    NOW, you’re “commending (Browne) for the many forthright positions he has taken?”

    I don’t believe it. Hypocrisy at its best. You don’t have any shame at al, at all, at all.

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  • Yes he does have a tendency to be over zealous and boisterous like tin horn dictators
    However i reiterate that he is very transparent and quick to be accountable to the country.

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  • @ John A

    You posted the following comment to another blog:

    “Exactly my point and if Liat is still operating under liat 1974 LTD then we still have major liability issues both financial and legal. Only a formal dissolvement of LIAT 1974 LTD will solve this.”

    Gaston Browne is known to make comments relating to LIAT, which, more often than not, the heads of the other shareholders governments are usually unaware of. He told the media that heads of LIAT’s majority shareholder governments held virtual meeting on Monday, July 20, 2020, during which he was allowed to present a plan for the reorganisation of the airline.

    The heads made a decision to sell the 3 ATR42-600 aircraft that were financed by a CDB US$65M loan and the proceeds from the sale would go towards all the CDB loans that were extended to the governments to support LIAT over the years. It was estimated there would have been a shortfall of approximately US$45M, which was supposed to be shared proportionally by the shareholder governments.

    If that is true, then, it means Barbados is obligated to pay its proportionate share of the outstanding amount due to the CDB. What are the island’s other outstanding commitments incurred on behalf of LIAT?

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  • LIAT has some things to sort out – PM:

    The former shareholder countries of LIAT (1974) Ltd have nothing to do with the company’s new structure in Administration.

    And while there is no question that the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) welcomes LIAT (1974) Ltd in Administration to operate in the country, there are several administrative things that must be addressed.

    Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made these remarks on Monday, December 7, in response to comments made by Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne who reportedly said that SVG and Barbados were making deliberate attempts to block the operation of the regional airline.

    Browne’s accusation followed developments that resulted in the airline having to suspend services to Barbados and SVG, which it had previously announced as destinations, while it awaits the approval from the relevant authorities.

    “Now, you cannot however just return an airline like that. There are a number of things that have to be put in place administratively,” Gonsalves said on Star Radio this week.

    LIAT is currently under Administration, with the administrator being Cleveland Seaforth of BDO Antigua and Barbuda.
    The Antigua based airline announced in November the resumption of flights five days a week to seven destinations. And this is the first time that the regional carrier has operated since it suspended commercial services in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Gonsalves, who is the former chairman of the airline’s shareholder countries, explained that LIAT (1974) Ltd and LIAT (1974) Ltd in Administration are entities with two different governing structures.

    Under the legal process taking place, the airline company has a court appointed administrator and no independent management.

    The Vincentian prime minister gave an explanation of the administrative issues that needed to be addressed before LIAT could fly in SVG once again, since its suspended operation earlier this year.

    He said the management of the Argyle International Airport (AIA) needed to receive formal communication from LIAT (1974) Ltd in Administration to address three things: office space, cargo and ground handling.

    Gonsalves noted that LIAT (1974) Ltd owes the AIA over $9 million, and the country, over $14 million in taxes and other fees, which the government has agreed to write off.

    He said Corsel Robertson, chief executive officer of the AIA informed a LIAT representative that correspondence needed to take place between AIA and LIAT’s company in Administration to work out contracts in relation to office space, cargo and ground handling.

    “They subsequently sent that letter and AIA prepared the contracts and sent them the contracts for the office space, because they had five offices really, now they’re going to have three because they’re a slimmed down operation,” Gonsalves said.

    He also disclosed that “the board said to the management, I didn’t know this, the board said to the management that given the way in which you have…not paid in the past, this new entity or this LIAT in Administration with a new structure, we would like any place where you’re going to rent to pay us two months’ rent in advance”.

    The prime minister said he was informed that LIAT responded that they would pay one month’s rent in advance.

    Robertson indicated that she believes this to be acceptable and that AIA was prepared to agree, once the chairman of the board, Garth Saunders endorses the decision.

    “Is not a lot of money you talking about you know, maybe about $4000,… but the point is this, we don’t want to start – remember we are writing off $14 million you know,” Gonsalves said, noting that all other airlines, including Caribbean Airlines and American Airlines make their payments on time.

    He added that SVG would be foolish to purposely block LIAT from operating in SVG because the country is interested in the traffic with passengers and with cargo.

    “…We are not being unreasonable at all, but it can’t be a freebie. Is the taxpayer who has to pay to upkeep the airport when the services … which are being provided when the facilities are not being paid for by the airlines,” he said.

    Gonsalves said LIAT has since indicated to AIA that the regional airline will continue to do its own ground handling and that is another matter that will be sorted.

    “The point I am telling you, is the people who are giving Gaston the information out of Antigua, are not giving Gaston the correct information about their own tardiness in dealing with matters in a business-like way.”

    LIAT, in a release dated December 5, said the airline has valid flight approvals which have not expired.

    Gonsalves said there is no problem with regard to these approvals, as the Air Transport Licensing Authority have accepted LIAT (1974) Ltd in Administration as the entity as successor to LIAT (1974) Ltd in terms of its permit to come to SVG.

    This permit is issued to all airlines on an annual basis and is scheduled to expire at the end of December.

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  • @ David BU

    Gonsalves seems to be suggesting LIAT wants to fly into SVG without making arrangements for its own aircraft handing staff and office facilities.

    LIAT owes Argyle International Airport EC$9M and the SVG government EC$14M in taxes and other fees, which Gonsalves agreed to write off.

    Under those circumstances and the fact that SVG is no longer a shareholder in LIAT, I believe Gaston Browne is being unreasonable, if he wants the airline to operate at the expense of SVG taxpayers.

    Perhaps Mariposa may want to explain to BU what are the “sinister agendas” of Mottley and Gonsalves she alluded to @ December 9, 2020 5:33 PM.

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  • @Artax

    It is important given what has transpired Barbados does not incur anymore related LIAT debt.

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  • At least, Gonsalves had the decency to explained his position on this LIAT issue, while Mia Mottley has chosen to be disrespectful to Barbadian taxpayers and remain silent.

    Since the news ‘broke’ about Gaston Browne’s claims of BGI and SVG were creating “artificial impediments” to prevent LIAT from flying into those territories, the media should have been following the story and asking Mottley questions, rather than relying on reproducing news reports from other news agencies.

    The media is going to sit back and wait until whenever Mottley is ready to address the issue and accept everything she says without asking pertinent questions.

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  • @ David BU

    I agree with you.

    Recall all LIAT’s Barbadian employees were terminated by Administrator Seaforth. Although LIAT (1974) Ltd. has facilities at GAIA, there aren’t any agents to check in or out passengers or handlers to deal with cargo and baggage.

    Does Gaston Browne and Cleveland Seaforth expect Barbadian taxpayers should pay employees to provide passenger services such as check-in passengers and baggage, flight gate control, ticketing and flight reservations?

    Perhaps the Administrator should look at outsourcing those services to companies such as Caribbean Aircraft Handling.

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  • Gonsalves addressed Gaston Browne’s and Cleveland Seaforth’s allegations that SVG and BGI were creating ‘artificial impediments’ to prevent LIAT from flying into those territory.

    We’re yet to hear anything from the prime minister of Barbados.

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  • @ David BU

    “LIAT has been granted permission to fly to Barbados, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has announced. The permission was recently granted.”

    https://antiguanewsroom.com/liat-granted-permission-to-fly-to-barbados/

    I suggest you read the comments section as well.

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  • Let us wish LIAT 2020 every success.

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  • But why would only Mottley and Gonsalaves put up roadblocks when all of the other nations felt comfortable with the old agreements
    Another reason why these small island nations continue to be divided

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  • It could have something with the fact Barbados and St. Vincent were exposed to greater liability read write offs.

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  • Reason this issue begs for transparency so there would be no need for second guessing or speculation
    Mia should explain the why’s

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  • Somebody needs to put that Browne fellow in his place. I find he wants everything for Antigua at the expense of everybody else.

    A very unreasonable man!

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  • @ David

    LIAT’s Administrator Seaforth confirmed SVG’s concerns have been resolved, but a date is yet to be agreed upon for the recommencement of scheduled services to that island.

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  • @ David BU

    Are you aware LIAT has suspended flights again? I understand that there isn’t anyone answering its customer service calls.

    I’ve also read about another interesting development, where the ANU government is saying “It’s up to LIAT’s former shareholder governments to foot the bill of outstanding severance payments to severed employees.”

    “In statements from Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting in St John’s, the Office of the Prime Minister said: The Cabinet agreed that a moral obligation exists to pay severance to former LIAT employees throughout the countries where LIAT once operated.”

    What is also interesting is that the Gaston Browne administration enacted legislation that prohibits former LIAT employees from suing the ANU government.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/01/21/over-to-shareholders-for-liat-severance-antigua/

    However, LIAT’s administrator Seaforth comments have made the situation a bit more complicated

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/01/29/liat-administrator-warns-of-possible-legal-action-if-regional-govts-do-not-come-to-employees-aid/

    And, do you know who would be first to recoup any losses incurred, if LIAT ‘goes under?’

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  • @Artax

    You have been following this LIAT fiasco for ever, a new LIAT was under pressure to succeed, with covid it has become harder. Brown will not pay employees, he never intended to, we have known this from the start. Another regional entity gone belly up with others under stress.

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  • @ David BU

    I remember ‘saying’ to you that it was a bad idea trying to re-establish LIAT, especially when the only change in its management and operational structures was the appointment of an Administrator, Cleveland Seaforth.

    Then, he and Gaston Browne forced through with limited service to a few destinations, perhaps expecting to regain the market share the airline lost as a result of the closed borders due to COVID-19 and subsequent introduction of other regional airlines to service routes that LIAT previously serviced.

    Browne also probably thought leaders of the other regional territories would have been anxious to invest in LIAT, under terms and conditions as dictated by Antigua & Barbuda.

    This second suspension of flights along with a further retrenchment of employees, maybe the ‘the final nail in LIAT’s coffin.’

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  • @Artax

    The question remains with the demise of LIAT, how will the regional project be compromised re CARICOM.

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  • @ David BU

    People were still able to travel throughout the Caribbean when LIAT was grounded for approximately 7 or 8 months. So, it’s clear pushing that airline as being important to regional integration is a myth.

    Like

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