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LIAT could be back in the skies again as early as November

October 11th, 2020 | Tags: LIAT return investments Melford Nicholas airline
The cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, which is undergoing a restructuring programme, is likely to return to the skies in November, a senior government minister in Antigua has said. Photo: CMC

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, – The cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, which is undergoing a restructuring programme, is likely to return to the skies in November, a senior government minister in Antigua has said.

But Information Minister Melford Nicholas told reporters that he would not want to give a specific date as to when the airline, in which the Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines governments have agreed to sell their shares, will resume its operations. Apart from Antigua and Barbuda, the other major shareholder government of the Antigua-based airline is Dominica.

“It’s likely to happen in the new month, I would not want to hazard a date. There are still operational issues that I imagine they are going to be working on, but from the report that was shared with us by the Prime Minister [Gaston A. Browne] the conditions are going to be in place for LIAT to take to the skies in the new month.

“When that happens there ought to be some clearance as well for persons to be able to move …with not as much friction,” he said in reference to the measures put in place by countries to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“So I think it argues well for LIAT that the travel bubble will be in place and that people will be able to move with a degree of freedom within the region,” Nicholas said.

The Plan

Earlier this year, Antigua and Barbuda unveiled a new plan for the airline with St John’s  proposing re-investment of EC$108 million ($39.9 million USD) and indicating that under the new plan it is prepared to underwrite up to 50 per cent of the required capitalisation.

The airline had suspended its commercial traffic in March after many Caribbean islands shut down their airports as part of the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In July, the Antigua High Court appointed an administrator as the sole representative of what remains as the LIAT estate..

The administrator, Cleveland Seaforth, is tasked with the responsibility of reorganising the company – LIAT (1974) Ltd., by cutting liabilities and realigning expenses. The airline owes creditors in excess of EC$100 million.

Since the airline stopped its daily schedule, several smaller airlines have sought to occupy the space left by the regional airline (CMC).

14 Responses to “LIAT could be back in the skies again as early as November”

  • rattie (11/10/2020, 15:24) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    It’s about time
    • Hrmph (11/10/2020, 18:57) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      You can be sure that I will never be book a ticket with LIAT again.
  • A Huge challenge. (11/10/2020, 16:11) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Liat has served the Caribbean well for more than 30yrs. We all kno they were far from perfect, but they were always there. They messed up a lot, But they fly us safely to our destination, sometimes total disregard for the customers, but they were always there.. Now it will be a lot morec ompetition, .St Vincent, Santo Domingo, Trinidad, Barbados got their own Airline,,,,,There is still a space in the market for them, but they will have to come good, much better than before.... Welcome back liat. I wish u well
  • Let it go! (11/10/2020, 16:19) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Won't that be nice with much better service and economical rates.
  • My girl (11/10/2020, 18:29) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    so when the BVI open in December I can take a flight down Island yeah yeah
    • @Jack. Dec or Feb. We n trouble (12/10/2020, 04:46) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Seems like the BVI will not be ready until February. The plan I'm hearing ain't ready for December. Imaging St. Kitts announced their opening borders plan and They name a list of Caribbean coutries that are exempt from Lock down quarantine and the BVI ain't none of them.. Hence the people were begging for ther BVI to open earlier for OECS countries, those low risk countries in a control way to test their plans, they are not listening to the people..Every country has an exempt list or low risk list.... Maybe I'm wrong. They may have that in their plans.
      • @@Jack (12/10/2020, 17:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        You are wrong , the borders will reopen to the USA market in December, I have been directly involved with the protocols.
  • ndp (11/10/2020, 22:58) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Hope it wasn't our social security money
  • Antigua needs Liat (12/10/2020, 04:33) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is risky. With so many travel restrictions, protocols, requirements and rules in place to travel people won't be traveling much,. Most prefer not to deal with the hastle...To add cash flow is low or non-existent for some... So, Even though I understand that Liat is very good for Antigua Economy, I am still in doubt of how it's going to workout....
  • Norris Turnbull (12/10/2020, 06:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • fair minded (12/10/2020, 10:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ A huge chsllenge. You admitted that in the past thst liat has sometimes showned total disregards for its customers. Then why are you welcoming their sometimes disregarding customers Air carrier back to serve our slready stressful customers? WHY!!!
  • T (12/10/2020, 20:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    To lave island any time ( LIAT) one carriabean is fine people suffer for years by this company (don't care)
  • tola (13/10/2020, 03:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What about people ticket since corvid that gone down the drain hmm I'm still waiting on a update from travel wize
  • Honestly (13/10/2020, 09:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Honestly speaking alot of airlines go through the same challenges but you dont hear about it i worked on the airport for many years all those airlines have encountered delays. Liat serves the caribbean network Puerto Rico to Guyana. They have to create a schedule let say a flight was too leave Trinidad and Tobago at 5 am but it departed at 6 am this delay could occur through airline operation, late passenger check through immigration and customs, waiting on fuel if the decision is made to leave passengers behind mind you the pkane done pack if they following protocol the bags is to be offloaded before departure. Customer services varies depending on your location if you are at a station where Liat pay handling companies to handler its business some times the service not so great VS station that has has staff working for Liat. But its always easy to be selfish and show disregard for a airline who has been around for more the 30 years and i hope thing will Work out for Liat. Maybe all the caribbean shareholders gone maybe a good thing why i say this liat had no special treatment from shareholder governments they still had to pay landing fees and other taxes each caribbean shareholder tax there own taxes in the ticket when u check you print out of the ticket see how much government taxes VS what the airline charge. LIAT has the best pilots they believe in safety first.

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