Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

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bimjim
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Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Apr 21, 2019

https://news784.com/local-news/gonsalve ... proaching/
https://www.thedailyherald.sx/regional/ ... ng-closure

Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching
April 20, 2019

Chairman of the LIAT Shareholders Government Group of Countries and Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves has expressed fears that the closure of the regional island hopping carrier, LIAT is imminent as most of the countries which use the carrier services are not responding favourably to the airline’s request for US$5.4 million to ensure its survival.

Gonsalves made the statement as a guest on a popular current affairs programme in St. George’s run by the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN).

The Vincentian leader told the programme host that Grenada is the only government that acceded to LIAT’s request by pumping approximately $1 million into it.

“…Prime Minister Mitchell has put in approximately 1 million dollars EC towards emergency funding because he is interested in seeing LIAT remain in the sky”, he said.

According to Dr. Gonsalves, due to the lack of financial input from the other shareholding countries, LIAT’s closure is imminent.

He said that LIAT has a compliment of 10 aircraft – seven are leased and three are owned by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) due to monies borrowed and a decision will soon have to be made on the way forward.

“…We probably will have to ask the CDB to sell those three aircraft and operate seven of them and then get other smaller airline like One Caribbean to fly between here and St. Lucia, rather than get LIAT to fly on one of the routes which is going to Trinidad which is not economical to cut it”, he remarked.

“… The governments have not been responding so the shareholders are reaching a critical point now and if you ask me, what is likely to happen … there will be a transitional restructuring leading to a closure of LIAT,” he said.

Dr. Gonsalves pointed out that a new airline would then have to be the next option for the region if LIAT is closed.

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Apr 21, 2019

Of course, as MINORITY shareholder in LIAT and MAJORITY shareholder in One Caribbean AND having SVG Air based in St. Vincent, Fat Ralph need not give a flying crap what happens to LIAT.

Barbados owns majority shares and is supposed to be calling the shots, but clearly Fat Ralph is in command and has his own agenda and strategy.

Bye bye, LIAT.

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by islandflyer » Sun Apr 21, 2019

:19: are you positive he has majority shares in One Caribbean?

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Apr 21, 2019

That's the inside info I have - Fat Ralph has to invest his Argyle airport skimmings somewhere. And the name "One Caribbean" was stolen from me. Wonderful people we have around us, aren't there?

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by islandflyer » Sun Apr 21, 2019

Wonderful.

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by OnEdge » Sun Apr 28, 2019

If Liat had a proper management team with actual aviation experience they would never be in the position they are in today. How can an airline exist for some 60+ years and still be no better off than the day it started. Liat should have been a rival today to the likes of Caribbean airlines flying internationally, but of course, with no vision and no real leadership I guess we can’t be surprised. All of the remedies to fix Liat were known for decades and ignored.

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Apr 28, 2019

I (and many others) have been telling LIAT shareholder politicians exactly that directly for decades - most recently I said that in a 20-page document delivered to PM Mottley, majority shareholder, in June last year (2 months after being elected) - but the feedback I got was that she read it, mumbled "Not impressed", put the document down and walked away.

This after she told the nation she was open to citizens making contributions towards reshaping Barbados after all the damage the DLP had caused. To this day there has not been even an acknowledgement of my contribution, far less a "thank you", despite the woman's election assurances of "transparency".

If anyone were to ask me what the big problem with LIAT is I would have one word - Politics. Directly and indirectly, because they push their fingers and incompetent inexperienced appointees throughout the airline. In LIAT the politicians (who never listen to anyone but their arrogant ignorant jackass selves) have historically destroyed every opportunity to stop the bleeding, have professional management and actually have LIAT start to contribute revenue to their Treasuries. Just like at Caribbean Airlines, their would rather have friends and political devotees "try a ting" with their mega-multi-million-dollar play-thing than do anything professionally.

When LIAT bought the new fleet - at a cost of US$100 million - there was not ONE person on the Board who knew anything about aviation, airlines or airplanes, and therefore nobody to ask intelligent probing questions at the presentation/s made by Captain Brunton. Nobody to ask questions elsewhere or consult with people who would have an industry opinion or alternatives about what was being proposed.

So the LIAT Board was thoroughly brambled - Chairman Jean Holder, even after being Chairman of LIAT for so many years, probably knows less about aviation today than the cleaner at Head Office.

Speaking of dullards, when the head-down back-of-the-cargo-shed know-nothing from the bowels of British Airways David Evans was appointed to be CEO of LIAT, there was AT LEAST ONE candidate (that I know of, for sure), a globally experienced professional airline CEO who was also interviewed. He told me as soon as he said the word "change" all of the eyes rolled skyward and the interview was cut short.

So those who make the decisions DID NOT and DO NOT want change of any kind. Evans subsequently spent the first year or more of his fabulous retirement earning a salary he could not previously have dreamed of and touring LIAT's tropical destinations which he could previously not have afforded - at LIAT's expense, of course - being treated like a foreign dignitary. Then he got involved in CHANGE - he offered the Board a blueprint for shutting LIAT down and replacing it, that soon reached the newspapers, and that was the end of David Evans.

But now Comrade Fat Boy Bully owns an airline and is hell-bent on replacing LIAT with it. There's even more profit for him in them thar skies after skimming the hell out of Argyle, and because he is the head of LIAT he believes can shut LIAT down - whether the other shareholders like it or not - and move ahead with profit-making and power-grabbing. PM Mottley is certainly not asserting her rights, either for Barbados or on behalf of any other shareholder or destination.

Apparently in the Caribbean there is no such thing as "conflict of interest" - Captain Brunton did not have such scruples either when as CEO of Caribbean Airlines he made commissions on selling ATRs to that airline, and then became CEO of LIAT and did exactly the same thing there. Of course, whether those airlines NEEDED the change of fleet or not was irrelevant, he wanted his commissions and by God he was going to get them.

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by OnEdge » Sun Apr 28, 2019

The deal to buy the ATRs was undoubtedly the stupidest of decisions. I am not an airline manager and I saw it as basic common sense that buying the ATRs in the airlines current state would have lead to the situation they are in today. Bombardier had a Dash 8 life extension program, couldn’t they have opted to refurbish the dash 8s or get “newer” ones while they restructure their operations? Perhaps once profitable, they could have explored a replacement that would compliment future growth with flights outside of the region.

Secondly, hire a board that actually knows about aviation instead of rewarding the ego of friends who’ve just obtained their “degree” and they feel the need to be celebrated and glorified with a high position that they have no ability to perform in.

The ones in charge have no idea of what should be done and when a suggestion of the obvious is made, perhaps they are embarrassed that the solution is so simple and it will highlight to all their misdeeds over the decades.

I don’t want to see LIAT fail, but it’s hard not to eventually see that this is the ultimate outcome.

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Apr 28, 2019

All that was conveyed to PM Mottley in May/June last year in my 20-page document. She chose instead to consult with the Existing Keystone Cops - Gonsalves, Holder, Reifer-Jones, et al - FOUR TIMES and still shows no sign of moving in the right direction.

In fact, months after Gonsalves starting to twist arms and threaten the other islands for cold hard cash (from most, more than he was putting in for SVG) Mottley has already asked the EIB for a loan (I guess the CDB source is all tapped out and aware of the Keystone Cops tricks). I wrote to the EIB and "put in a good word" for reasonable behaviour.

I warned Mottley that if she was a reason for shutting LIAT down I would make very sure the rest of the world became aware of her incompetence and lack of transparency, and I have no fear of doing so - I am not under her thumb, I am not subject to her revenge, and I am not afraid of speaking the truth.

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by OnEdge » Sun Apr 28, 2019

Have you every released a media friendly version for the public to see and scrutinize?

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Apr 28, 2019

Not really for media release, but this year it has been circulated to people who make decisions - politicians, aviation officials, etc. The public - nowhere, especially not in the Caribbean - have any authority these days, and seem unable to organise, congregate and protest regardless of the cause.

If you live in the Caribbean you will know there is a long-standing tradition of revenge by politicians on those who speak out in protest. Instead of making a large splash outside of the reach of "our" lying, thieving politicians I prefer to move hills from behind the scenes.

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by OnEdge » Sun Apr 28, 2019

The revenge part I know of quite well.....I guess if the solution is out in the public domain any other effort will at least be questioned perhaps on the part of unions etc

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Re: Gonsalves says the closure of LIAT is fast approaching

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Apr 29, 2019

So far they have read and been told, but refuse to see, hear or do.

Old people used to say "those who refuse to hear will feel." Except that these days politicians get away with Billions of dollars (like the $15 Billion missing to the last DLP Administration in Barbados) and nothing ever happens. Mia Mottley spoke about dealing with the DLP's thieving, but these days they all seem to protect the previous Party - because when they themselves are done stealing they don't want the same treatment when they are done stealing and get kicked out of office.

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