Liat has 10 days' cash to stay functioning

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Liat has 10 days' cash to stay functioning

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Mar 01, 2019

https://www.guardian.co.tt/news/liat-ha ... af8d8c6066

Liat has 10 days' cash to stay functioning
Renuka Singh
Fri Mar 01 2019

In­ter-Caribbean air­line Li­at Ltd on­ly has enough cash to func­tion for the next 10 days and will face a shut down if Cari­com does not in­ter­vene. The fal­ter­ing air­line needs an im­me­di­ate cash in­jec­tion of some US$5 mil­lion to keep fly­ing,

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley said af­ter re­turn­ing from the 30th Cari­com meet­ing in St Kitts and Nevis.

Speak­ing mo­ments af­ter land­ing at the Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port, Row­ley told the me­dia that the Li­at share­hold­ers said they need­ed to act with ur­gency in or­der to keep the air­line afloat.

"Cur­rent­ly, part of Li­at's prob­lems is that Li­at is fly­ing un­eco­nom­ic routes with loads that are heav­i­ly sub­sidised. If the air­line is to re­main fly­ing to coun­tries that have routes like that, the share­hold­ers are say­ing that such coun­tries will have to guar­an­tee a min­i­mum rev­enue stream to the air­line or the air­line would cease to fly those routes," Row­ley said.

"As I speak to you now, I do not know what the sit­u­a­tion is for T&T.

"If the routes com­ing in­to to Trinidad and To­ba­go are un­eco­nom­ic and the re­ceiv­ing coun­try re­quires the ser­vice to con­tin­ue then we may or may not have to en­ter an agree­ment."

Cur­rent­ly, T&T has a one per cent share in Li­at so al­though the coun­try would not be fi­nan­cial­ly im­pact­ed if the air­line goes bel­ly-up, Row­ley said the fail­ure of the air­line could still neg­a­tive­ly im­pact the coun­try.

He said one of Li­at's ma­jor cost cen­tres was air­line main­te­nance.

"I have agreed to al­low them to talk with CAL (Caribbean Air­lines) to see whether there is any eco­nom­ic ben­e­fit of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween CAL and Li­at from that stand­point," he said.

Stay­ing on the top­ic of in­ter-is­land trav­el, Row­ley said the Cari­com heads al­so dis­cussed the vi­a­bil­i­ty of a pas­sen­ger sea fer­ry to ser­vice the is­lands up the Caribbean.

"T&T was able to give our ex­pe­ri­ence on the cost of op­er­at­ing such a ser­vice, which is heav­i­ly sub­sidised be­cause they were talk­ing about a fast fer­ry ser­vice," he said.

Row­ley said he told the gov­ern­ment heads that a fast fer­ry ser­vice was ex­pen­sive but an­oth­er type of sea ves­sel might be more vi­able.

"We are still look­ing at the pos­si­bil­i­ty of some kind of sea fer­ry ser­vice," he said.

Row­ley said the group al­so dis­cussed se­cu­ri­ty as it re­lates to in­ter-is­land trav­el, which in­clud­ed adding a US$2-3 sur­charge on trav­el tick­ets be­tween the Cari­com is­lands.

"Through­out the re­gion, all our coun­tries are fac­ing sig­nif­i­cant up­surge in crime," he said.

The PM said there was al­so a call for coun­tries to give pri­or­i­ty to the Ad­vanced Pas­sen­ger In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem which mon­i­tors pas­sen­gers com­ing in­to the re­gion.

"This has to be paid for to make sure we have some el­e­ment of con­trol on mat­ters of re­gion­al se­cu­ri­ty," Row­ley said.

He said not all the Cari­com mem­bers are on board with the fund­ing of re­gion­al se­cu­ri­ty.

"So we have been dis­cussing again, from meet­ing to meet­ing, this ques­tion of ap­ply­ing pas­sen­ger sur­charge and that mon­ey be used di­rect­ly for sup­port­ing the bud­get re­quired to fund the nec­es­sary se­cu­ri­ty ap­pa­ra­tus that I just men­tioned," he said.

"Trinidad and To­ba­go will be paid up."

On the in­ter­na­tion­al front, Row­ley said the Cari­com group is push­ing back against the Eu­ro­pean Union's (EU) broad black­list­ing of Caribbean na­tions as havens for tax evaders.

"They have been ar­bi­trar­i­ly black­list­ing Caribbean coun­tries and ac­cus­ing us of be­ing tax havens and shel­ter­ing mon­ey laun­der­ers," Row­ley said.

"We be­lieve that this type of ar­bi­trary ac­tion on the part of Eu­ro­pean body is ei­ther out of ab­solute ig­no­rance or dis­re­gard for our rights and we have de­cid­ed to raise our diplo­mat­ic re­sponse to it across the world to in­di­cate that we are not pre­pared to take that kind of treat­ment."

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Re: Liat has 10 days' cash to stay functioning

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Mar 01, 2019

Elected politicians experts all. Once they get into office, their ears and minds slam shut and they refuse all advice.

LIAT needs $10 million to survive? Well, that's only about $1.2 million to shareholder Chairman Comrade Ralph, and he does not even need LIAT - he has SVG Air and now direct flights from the continents. So as far as he is concerned the other shareholders can keep pissing it all away through all the political appointees and close it the hell down.

Any private company repeatedly coming to the brink of bankruptcy would have seen 1. the shareholder Chairman fired, 2. the Board Chairman fired, 3. the entire Board fired, 4. top management fired, and 5. competent turn-around management brought in to fix the problems and put it on an economic footing.

But LIAT is not a "normal" company. The Board Chairman has been there doing nothing for so long writing his books on tourism that he is apparently indispensable.

None of the political appointee Directors of LIAT know the first thing about airlines and aviation - not one of them.

The CEO - who is supposedly running the airline - was once a hotel book-keeper installed by her good friend the Chairman, and her sole claim to qualification to be CEO was that she "loved LIAT".

For at least 40 years LIAT has not published a single annual account. As a publicly owned company - through the shareholder governments - the public have an innate right of access to how well the company is run, yet the long-term arrogance of the politicians keep all of those numbers top secret, and the Carnival continues.

Over and over again the abysmal management of LIAT bring the airline to the brink of bankruptcy, and the single standard insane response of the shareholder politicians is to pour ever more money into it.

WHY have Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Kitts refused to become shareholders again? Simple, they want to protect their taxpayers from the likes of Ralph Gonsalves, the Marxist maximum free spender of the eastern Caribbean.

LIAT _DOES_NOT_NEED_ new shareholders, what LIAT needs is for the parasite politicians to be pulled out of its derriere, an audit done of its books to discover who has been stealing hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 40 years, and a competent aviation-savvy Board and management team installed to turn the airline around and run it as a profitable entity.

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Re: Liat has 10 days' cash to stay functioning

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Mar 01, 2019

https://www.stlucianewsonline.com/liat- ... d-pm-says/

LIAT has enough “cash to last for 10 days” — Trinidad PM says
CMC
March 1, 2019

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad

The Trinidad and Tobago government says it seek to help the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, reduce its financial burden by possibly entering into an agreement with the state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) regarding the maintenance of its fleet, but that Port of Spain would not be injecting cash into the airline.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, speaking at a news conference at the Piarco International Airport on Thursday night, said Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders, who met in St. Kitts-earlier this week for their 30th inter-sessional summit had been updated on the financial burden facing the Antigua-based airline.

While, Trinidad and Tobago has a “miniscule” shareholding in LIAT, the regional airline major shareholders are the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Rowley told reporters that while Trinidad and Tobago does not acknowledged the “one per cent” shareholding in LIAT, “it is not the intention of Trinidad and Tobago to get involved in any ownership or subsidy arrangements with LIAT.

“However, the heads of government were informed that LIAT is in serious financial difficulties, meaning within a matter of a fortnight an injection of a minimum of five million US dollars is needed in order to keep flying.

“Now if LIAT ceases to fly, I need not tell you the economic and other impact that would have on the region. While Trinidad and Tobago does not rely heavily on LIAT for transportation the other territories are virtually at the mercy of a LIAT service,” Rowley told reporters, adding that the meeting noted “this is a matter for the shareholders of LIAT”.

Earlier this week, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said shareholder governments would need to do what is necessary in order to save the financially strapped regional airline, LIAT.

“Whatever is necessary to save LIAT will be quintessential for all stakeholders to cooperate. It does not matter the sacrifice that is required, we all have to make sure that we play a role to keep LIAT in the air,” he said.

Rowley told reporters that the shareholder governments are looking at the possibility of cutting out routes that are not financially viable to the airline’s survival.

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

He said while he does not know the situation regarding the Trinidad and Tobago route, it does not believe it is among those uneconomical ones.

Rowley said in seeking to restructure LIAT’s business one of the major costs is the aircraft maintenance and “I have agreed to allow them to talk with CAL to see whether there is any economic benefit or possibilities for cooperation between CAL and LIAT from that standpoint to even a business cooperation.

“LIAT is expected to come to talk to CAL to see whether there’s any possibility of them doing business with CAL…which may relieve them of some of their expenses….,” he added.

Browne had also indicated that LIAT is in debt to the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and that St. John’s was aware of the situation confronting Barbados, which is also facing a serious financial situation.

“I think what they are concerned about is taking on additional debt. LIAT has debt at the Caribbean Development Bank that is asking the four shareholder governments to take over. Antigua and Barbuda has readily agreed to assume US$16 million of that debt. I think Barbados is saying it has an IMF programme and there’s some difficulty, but I am pretty sure that in order to save LIAT they will go the extra mile and that they will take over their portion of the debt”.

Barbados last year entered into a US$290 million Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the Washington-based financial institution aimed at turning around its ailing economy.

Rowley told reporters that LIAT has enough “cash to last for 10 days “.

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Re: Liat has 10 days' cash to stay functioning

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Mar 01, 2019

http://www.looptt.com/content/no-more-l ... difficulty

No more LIAT? Airline in ‘serious financial difficulty’
Darlisa Ghouralal
1 March 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rowley revealed that the Cari­com heads of Government al­so dis­cussed at length the reintroduction of a passenger sea ferry to service Caribbean islands.

Using T&T’s experience with operating a fast ferry service he said it may not be the most viable option as he explained that this was being done using heavy Government subsidisation.

He said a fast ferry service would be the better option to service these islands.

“We are still looking at the possibility of some kind of inter-island ferry service especially since air service is becoming so troublesome and in some areas of our region the sea ferry might be some element of substitute,” Rowley said.

Coming out of the regional meeting, it was agreed that a joint private and public sector team will review the findings and recommendations of reports on the possiblity of a regional ferry service.

The special session was keeping with Caricom's quest to deliver adequate, fair, competitive, efficient transportation services at affordable costs.

The joint team has been directed to provide preliminary estimates for the implementation of ferry services following discussions and negotiations with prospective ferry operators.

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