July 20, 2010
Holder: “The case for Owning Airlines” is not about LIAT!

Chairman of regional airline LIAT Jean Holder said that his book “Don’t Burn Our Bridges: The Case for Owning Airlines” is not about the company.{{more}}

Holder, speaking at the launch of his book on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, at the Caribbean Development Bank’s Conference Centre in Barbados, said that his book may have devoted some pages to LIAT, but it is not about LIAT.

“It is about air transportation in general, regional air transportation in particular and who should own it,” said Holder.

“It is written, as is seldom the case, from the perspective of the persons who provide air transportation, rather than from that of those who use it,” Holder remarked.

Holder said that the book was not a work of self defense, neither is it meant as a justification of the “many ills that afflict the travelling public.”

Rather, it is an explanation of why things are often as they are, and a call for better understanding of what is a very complicated and difficult business, Holder explained.

According to Holder, who has been chairman for the past six years, the book may be seen as an expression of views as well as a summary of facts and figures that might help to shape more balanced and better informed expressions of public opinion on the subject of air transportation.

“The views expressed derive from a certain personal philosophy, to which I do not expect persons who hold different and even opposing views to be easily persuaded,” Holder said.

“For the most part, they are not recent in their origin, nor have they been formed as a result of my association with the airline industry,” he explained.

The former Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Association said that although the Caribbean will never be in a position to own all the air transportation services that it needs, he believes that a tourism dependent region, comprised largely of a group of islands, must in its own best interest do whatever is possible to retain ownership of key aspects of its air access.

This must be done, he said, in spite of the costs and other challenges involved in doing so.

“If you are one of those persons who believes that it is enough to have access to a vital service, but do not care who owns your critical bridge, whatever it is, then you and I are unlikely ever to be on the same page.”