PM REPEATS CALL FOR LIAT OVERHAUL

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is standing by his call for an overhaul of regional carrier LIAT.

The Prime Minister’s comments come amid concerns that shareholder governments may be forced to close down the cash-strapped regional airline, which has been struggling financially for some time.

LIAT Chairman, Dr Ralph Gonsalves recently expressed fears about the possible closure of the regional airline.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said recently that the regional carrier may be forced to cease operation after the failure of Caribbean governments to provide the necessary cash injection n to keep the airline flying.

With the major shareholders of the LIAT namely Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica unable to maintain support of the airline, an invitation was extended to the governments of St. Kitts-Nevis, Grenada, Guyana and St. Lucia to become shareholders. They declined

As a result a transitional restructuring leading to the eventual closure of LIAT has been suggested.

According to Prime Minster Allen Chastanet, there is no easy solution for LIAT.

Despite pilots and other workers across all the airline’s operational routes agreeing to a six per cent salary cut, LIAT is still facing a severe financial problem and may require additional salary cuts from its employees.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who is the Lead Head of Government on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on the Single Market and Economy (CSME) in the CARICOM quasi-cabinet, announced recently that she had started discussions with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on possible funding for the regional “transportation sector” including LIAT.

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