October 5, 2012
SVG to contribute US$7.8 million to help LIAT purchase new fleet

This country will have to contribute US$7.8 million of the US$105 million (EC$283 million) required to purchase six new aircraft, as regional air carrier LIAT seeks to renew its aging fleet.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, speaking at the Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems (GMDSS) launch on Tuesday, announced that the shareholders of the airline were now at the stage of addressing the financing aspect of the project.

The total sum to renew the fleet would be the responsibility of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica, he said.

Gonsalves said US$3.8 million is required from St Vincent and the Grenadines this year and he has already identified the source of these funds.

He said that he will be going to Cabinet to seek permission to use Petro Caribe funds to make this payment, and for the remaining period, as he explained, another payment of US$3.2 million will be made in 2013 and less than US$1 million in 2014.

The prime minister said some of the total cost was being funded on a credit basis, but the shareholders also needed to put up some capital. (DD)