Saint Lucia not prepared to invest in regional airline

Saint Lucia not prepared to invest in regional airline
PM Kenny Anthony
PM Kenny Anthony

CMC – Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony says St Lucia is not prepared to invest in the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, and called on its shareholder governments to bite the bullet and put in place policies that would ensure the financial viability of the Antigua-based carrier.

“This is not a question of governments making sacrifices, it is also a question of LIAT, its employees and its pilots also making sacrifices for the future of LIAT,” Anthony said.

LIAT is owned by the shareholder governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The four regional governments have been appealing to other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments to invest in the airline that services 17 destinations and are now involved in upgrading its fleet with a loan from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Anthony, who was here attending the just concluded CARICOM summit, told reporters that his island has suffered “greatly under the new regime” that the airline is now applying.

“Our citizens enjoy fewer flights, we have also had reports in some countries our citizens are being discriminated against, and they are told by LIAT staff in some of those airports that they cannot assist them because the government of St. Lucia does not invest in LIAT.

“That kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable, unwarranted. St. Lucia is an important destination for LIAT, but I do not believe that kind of pressure should be exerted on St Lucia merely because St Lucia does not invest in LIAT.

“The fact of the matter is that we are spinning top in mud and as much as I would  want to see a strong viable regional carrier, it cannot be at all costs, meaning  that you in invest solely because it is a regional carrier.

“There has to be more to it than that,” Anthony said, adding “the reality of the situation is this LIAT may never seriously earn a significant profit, but that is no excuse to ensuring that inefficiency continues”.

Prime Minister Anthony said what is needed right now is to transform the airline to ensure that it is far more efficient “that it is operated strictly on appropriate financial formula that ensures losses are curtailed and efficiencies are gained.

“I believe that if these things can happen that the future of LIAT will be different, but I am not going to be goaded into supporting LIAT for purposes of nostalgia that is not going to happen in the case of St. Lucia.

“St Lucia’s position has always been very clear that until and unless there is fundamental restructuring in LIAT, until and unless all understand that they are part of the scarifies that are necessary fo LIAT to survive we are going to maintain our distance,” he added.

Anthony said he has also “made it very clear” that if the governments of the region are going to provide marketing support to other external airlines to fly in passengers into the Caribbean “then it would be discriminatory for that to happen but we are not extending support to LIAT, but the fact of the matter is that LIAAT itself must undergo transformation to be able attract investment by the government of St Lucia”.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. I think St. Lucia should have it's own regional carrier.
    Problem is,jealous Caribbean governements would try to block it's operations.

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  2. INVEST IN A FAST FERRY SERVICE FOR THE WINDWARD ISLANDS INSTEAD OF PUMPING MONEY INTO LIAT.
    HOW IS IT THAT A RETURN FLIGHT,ON LIAT, FROM ST. LUCIA TO ST.VINCENT COSTS OVER EC$1000?
    HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST TO TAKE A BOAT TO ST.VINCENT?
    SOMETHING WRONG.

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  3. This is true leadership. It does not matter from whence the idea came, once it benefits the country, go for it, even if it means taking back one's words. It's all about achieving better days for all.

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  4. Lol dey rel have flambeaus here lol. People blaming Kenny cus hes a politician and giving Alan praise cus they believe he's something more than a politician. Both of them are crap .
    Politicians usually represent the best of us as they are a reflection of our society and that is sad. You may argue that there are better men and women but they won't go up to lead. That also is a sad reflection of who we are when the most brilliant minds are content to sit on the sidelines while the red and yellow boogeymonsters and their blind fanatic follows head dive our country into the latrine.

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  5. You right Lucain. Kenny is much too late. That is something Chastanet had always been saying but the present adminsitartion kept giving him flack for his posiion. Now Kenny agrees.

    That is what cheap politics does to SLP. Makes them deny the truth just to try and make the opposition look bad. But people no stupid. We watching and saying nothing till elections call

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  6. Flip Flopper what happen to the monies you guaranteed in the house last year for LIAT? You need to go Loser

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  7. Are you sure the CMC correspondent interviewed Dr Anthony and not Allen Chastanet? You know, sometimes these red men can look alike.

    This sounds like such a contradiction to other statements made before by those in the government that I am somehow expecting a press release to deny this what the PM actually said.

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  8. Putting kenny out,he has nothing to lose.The has already acheived his goals in life.How much does he earns a year and how many years he's in there as a prime minister?Stopped,this non-sense we putting politicians but,that is what they want after not being capable of managing the country.What we need to research is to try and do investigations to see if there were any wrong doings during leadership.Apart,from that kenny has nothing to lose.

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  9. Mr. PM, you need more financial assistance than liat, the advice to u givinv them you would have been much better off heeding it yourself. You are the economic version of Jim Jones. And the blind followers and party hacks are the followers.

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  10. Kenny - It's time you get out. I am so fed-up with your crap everyday. Let Chastanet take over so that St Lucia can pick up again and stop the crimes. Too much crimes in this small place. Tourist are so afraid to go there.

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  11. The very same thing Ti-Chas said years ago and was derided by Kenny Anthony and the SLP! Kenny speaks one thing in ST.Lucia and another when overseas. Thanks SNO for reproducing this article, now it is clear as the midday sun the Kenny and Tony are two distinct persons.
    Time to be patriotic; if a Lucian says something that is good either support it out loud or shut up instead of taking a counter position that you do not believe is correct.

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    • Ti-Chas is a blind fool! He is behaving like some never see come see come crazy. He should have remembered St Lucia in the days of his youth then he would know St lucia and St Lucia would know him. In the presence of St Lucia the idiot is lost. How about that as a leader?

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      • So you say but i see differently. Looks like Kenny and Tony has a remote control pointed at your derriere controlling how you think

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