PM: LIAT operating sloppy service
August 17, 2007

PM: LIAT operating sloppy service

Admitting that LIAT is offering sloppy service, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that while he defends the airline strategically, behind the scenes he is its sharpest critic.{{more}}

Just back from a two week trip to Taiwan, Malaysia, and Venezuela, Dr Gonsalves told journalists last Monday that his stout defence of LIAT must not be taken to mean that he will not be critical of the faults that the airline has.

“Persons must not confuse my defence and support of LIAT from a strategic standpoint and assume… that I will be defending LIAT with sloppy service,” Dr Gonsalves said.

Dr Gonsalves said that he has spoken strongly to the airline’s Chairman on the issue.

He said that he also spoke to St Vincent and the Grenadines’ representative on the airline’s board of directors, Isaac Solomon, and made it clear to him, “that I want to see an improvement of service.”

Stating that he himself has been a victim of LIAT’s sloppiness, Dr Gonsalves said that he will continue to be strong with Chairman Dr Jean Stewart Holder and Isaac Solomon on the issue.

He however called on the public to appreciate some of the difficulties that LIAT faces as it goes through its restructuring.

Dr Gonsalves said that LIAT has for the first time been put on a path of sustainability, since receiving the US$60.5 million financial package from the Caribbean Development Bank.

The shareholder governments: Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Vincent and the Grenadines received US$ 60.5 million to assist with the financial and institutional restructuring of LIAT. The governments have been lent US$ 32.7 million,US$21.8 million, and US$5.4 million respectively. A grant of US$0.5 million was also made directly to LIAT.

He suggested that because of these promising developments, “People working at LIAT, including the pilots, must (be committed) to the airline and the improvement of quality.” (KJ)