March 13, 2015
SVG injects $592,000 more into LIAT

St Vincent and the Grenadines has recently injected $592,000 into regional airline carrier, LIAT.

This amount, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said, is part of $5 million that was agreed upon by the four major shareholders of the company: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Gonsalves, who is also chair of the shareholders, revealed that Antigua and Barbuda will contribute just over $1 million, Barbados, over $2 million and Dominica about $200,000.

He said at the last shareholders meeting in February, it was agreed that the central hub of LIAT, which is currently is in Antigua and Barbuda, will be relocated to Barbados, with major gateways in several other countries.

“The Antiguan Prime Minister (Gaston Browne) wrote subsequently asking that the decision be put on hold. There has been no meeting of the shareholders since then, so the decision of the shareholders is the decision which the management has to follow, which the board has to follow until the decision is altered, if altered by the shareholders,” Gonsalves told reporters on Tuesday.

The LIAT chair noted that Antigua and Barbuda was represented at the last shareholders meeting and that the decision was unanimous at that point.

“There are institutional good governance arrangements. Of course, the prime minister of Antigua is an influential voice because his country has substantial shareholding, but the case from the LIAT shareholders which met that day, including the government of Antigua, it is clear that the case is not only persuasive, but to my mind, conclusive, based on the data about what happens in the southern cone for the traffic,” he said, while observing that 60 per cent of the traffic is concentrated in this area.

Major steps are being taken by LIAT in order to create a more efficient and cost effective network for its customers. Along with the relocation of the main base, the regional airline is also undergoing a re-fleeting programme.(BK)