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LIAT financial woes to likely impact VI’s airlift

The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport at Beef Island, VI serves as one of LIAT's critical Caribbean hubs in servicing its routes. Photo: Internet Source
Trinidadian Prime Minister Dr Keith C. Rowley, made the revelation at a media conference at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago, on his return from the 30th Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting, in St Kitts and Nevis, on Thursday, February 28, 2019, last. Photo: Internet Source
Trinidadian Prime Minister Dr Keith C. Rowley, made the revelation at a media conference at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago, on his return from the 30th Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting, in St Kitts and Nevis, on Thursday, February 28, 2019, last. Photo: Internet Source
BEEF ISLAND, VI – Airlift into and out of the Virgin Islands (VI) will likely be seriously impacted with the possible liquidation of LIAT Airways, which services a number of Caribbean routes including the VI.

LIAT is in presently in urgent need of a cash injection of at least $5M to remain in operation.

Prime Minister Dr Keith C. Rowley, made the revelation at a media conference at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago, on his return from the 30th Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting, in St Kitts and Nevis, on Thursday, February 28, 2019, last.

Belly Up

The Trinidadian Prime Minister observed that his country would not be impacted severely by a LIAT pull out and disclosed too, the situation was more dire, for the airline’s shareholders who would need to act urgently to ensure that LIAT does not go belly-up.

Adding to LIAT’s financial troubles, the airline owes the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) significant sums of money which the shareholders now are required to address.

Further, LIAT is said to be currently flying uneconomic routes that are heavily subsidised.

“And if the airline is to remain flying to countries that have routes like that, the shareholders are saying that such countries will have to guarantee a minimum revenue stream to the airline or the airline would cease to fly on those routes (including the VI),” Rowley said.

The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport at Beef Island, VI serves as one of LIAT's critical Caribbean hubs in servicing its routes.

Prime Minister Rowley has reportedly agreed to allow LIAT to speak with Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to discuss the possibility of cooperation between the airlines from a business operations standpoint.

He has since disclosed that the collaboration could relieve LIAT from some of their external expenses and having those work done locally.

14 Responses to “LIAT financial woes to likely impact VI’s airlift”

  • wow (07/03/2019, 12:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow!!!!
  • Hmm (07/03/2019, 12:32) Like (23) Dislike (4) Reply
    Might have been a better investment than the $ 7.2 million wasted on VI airways. That said, no surprise LIAT looks moribund...high cost, unreliable, close to zero customer service.
    • Never (07/03/2019, 15:47) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      While the idea was a nice one, the execution of the investment was horrible but I would not go as far to say investing in Liat is a better one. This must be the 5th time in 15 years they are belly up.... Something aint rite when it comes to LIAT's business model
  • no surprise (07/03/2019, 13:58) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Unless LIAT changes its wasteful operating habits, it will remain unprofitable and I see no desire amongst the shareholders to trim this wastefulness. So, LIAT's woes will continue until it dies or changes
  • sad (07/03/2019, 15:22) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    As I read this I thought of the 7.3m thief scam where no one is in jail
  • Do your part (07/03/2019, 15:34) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am from the BVI and use to complain like everyone else and then I stopped to think. LIAT has been around since 1959 and services routes that are not profitable. I found out a few years ago why LIAT delays flights. It was to allow for flights later in the day to congregate at a certain hub and that a flight may be filled or mostly so and that way the flight cost could be close to break even. People think..People think!. LIAT is the only airline that is doing the unthinkable! sticking around! Servicing unprofitable routes! What is the solution? To the CEO of LIAT float debentures to citizens of CARICOM and OECS so the little man could own a part of LIAT. Let say the minimum is 1 share for $1000 with returns of 5% in 5 years. You may just raise the money in no time. Use Scotiabank to collect it for you.
  • E.Leonard (07/03/2019, 18:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is the cause(s) of LIAT operational challenges, ie, ie business model, iefffective management, airline economics, unprofitable routes, passenger loading ......etc. LIAT provides vital air transport for the region, especially for the smaller islands. Nonetheless, passenger load factor (revenue passenger mile/available seat mile), percentage of seat capacity being used by paying passengers, is a key airline economic/operational metric. An airline must operate at a load factor above the break even point to stay airborne. Passenger load factor (PLF) varies for each airline. There is a fix cost associated with each airline takeoff and landing that is met by either paying passengers or cargo. If some of the routes flown by LIAT are unprofitable, either they are subsidized by governments or they need to be discontinued, ie, St. Croix. However, since LIAT may be the only airline servicing some countries, discontinuing scheduled flights would be problematic, leaving the islands underserved. Keeping LIAT airborne presents a problem for the region; governments need to cooperate and collaborate on finding a strong solution to this long lingering problem. Privatizing LIAT may be an option in keeping LIAT airborne.
  • Ralph (07/03/2019, 19:05) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    St Vincent. Liat . He destroy. He destroy a lot of things and People ...
  • Watch Dog (07/03/2019, 21:47) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Hotels need to put heads in beds to stay open and airline must butts in seat s to stay in the air and bus/trains needs passengers to keep rolling and ferries needs passengers to keep sailing. LIAT has been around since the 1960 and has been an abject failure and needs to be helped out of its misery. It needs a strong dose of competition to ground it.
  • wize up (08/03/2019, 01:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    the 7.2 million was a good investment idea but lack of accountability and greed disrupted the transaction: can you recall the days of Air BVI with route-rights from the Dominican Republic to the island of Dominica:
  • facts (08/03/2019, 04:14) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    We need our new airport runaway
  • NDP supporter (08/03/2019, 07:15) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    see we needed BVI airways
  • NDP supporter (08/03/2019, 07:15) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    see we needed BVI airways


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