Antigua takes management of troubled Caribbean airline LIAT

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bimjim
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Antigua takes management of troubled Caribbean airline LIAT

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Jun 15, 2019

https://newpaper24.com/antigua-takes-co ... ewpaper24/

Antigua takes management of troubled Caribbean airline LIAT
2019-06-14

ST. JOHN’S

A Caribbean airline that helps bind collectively the area’s many island nations has been saved from going beneath — no less than for now — by a rescue plan led by the federal government of Antigua and Barbuda.

The 45-year-old LIAT, owned by a handful of regional governments, offers important service between 15 Caribbean nations, linked by economics and tradition however divided by the ocean. It operates nearly 500 flights per week.

Antigua and Barbuda, the place LIAT is headquartered and which at the moment holds a 34 % Share, is poised to turn into the bulk shareholder after Barbados agreed to promote the majority of its present 49 % stake.

Negotiations are set to start between Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley and Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who submitted an official proposal final month, to iron out a deal.

Barbados was not “turning its again” on the airline, Mottley informed her island’s parliament not too long ago, however deliberate to keep up a minimal Share.

LIAT has been on the point of collapse in latest months, its troubles exacerbated by the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season which devastated 4 of its locations and despatched income plummeting.

The corporate’s money owed high US$60 million, a lot of it owed to the Caribbean Growth Financial institution.

Mottley mentioned whereas she believed regional inexpensive air journey to be of “important” significance, monetary restraints as a result of a present IMF-supported nationwide austerity program had compelled Barbados to “take a step again.”

“The present enterprise mannequin LIAT has just isn’t a beautiful one,” Mottley informed Parliament. “Important restructuring is required and there’s no unanimity on the best way ahead. If others need to strive a special methodology they need to be given an opportunity to strive.”

How a lot Antigua is ready to stump up has not been finalized however chief of workers Lionel Hurst informed Newpaper24 it will be a “vital quantity of assets.”

“LIAT connects us all; the perform which LIAT has carried out from the very starting is exactly that,” he mentioned. “Again within the day, in case you wished to get freight from Barbados to St Lucia, for instance, it was not unusual for it to undergo varied different nations on the best way.

“With LIAT, each freight and passengers have been capable of go immediately from one port to a different and we’re decided to make sure that LIAT continues to play that position.”

Hurst mentioned Antigua deliberate to extend each the airline’s fleet and locations to incorporate US hubs resembling Florida and Georgia, delivering a lift to tourism too.

“Surely LIAT can overcome its issues with a rise in its capabilities,” he continued, including: “LIAT’s collapse would additionally spell the tip of tons of of jobs; we is not going to let that occur.”

In March, pilots and different staff throughout LIAT’s nearly 700-strong workforce agreed to a six % pay reduce to slash working prices.

LIAT’s different shareholders embody the governments of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Dominica. A tiny share is owned by personal traders and workers.

Greater than only a industrial entity, LIAT is described by its CEO Julie Reifer-Jones as “a non-public firm with a robust public curiosity.” The airline has solely made a revenue as soon as (2009). Whereas Caribbean governments have historically borne the losses, they face fixed stress from taxpayers to cut back them.

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Re: Antigua takes management of troubled Caribbean airline LIAT

Unread post by islandflyer » Sun Jun 16, 2019

Reading these articles is at once a riot and very sad... particularly when it appears to have been translated into English, and not very well.

‘Rescued by Antigua’ indeed.

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