(BARBADOS NATION) — Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley on Friday announced that the shareholder governments are forging ahead with the decision to liquidate the cash-strapped LIAT while welcoming six private airlines to take its place.
Mottley, who was passing the CARICOM chairmanship to St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, said six airlines had confirmed services to the southern Caribbean, to begin in a matter of weeks.
The Prime Minister said she was confident the airlines out of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique and the United States would suffice in maintaining the connectivity, especially for the subregion. The carriers named are SVG Air, One Caribbean, Caribbean Airlines, Inter Caribbean, Silver Airlines and Air Antilles.
“I can report with certainty that since announcements were being made earlier this week about LIAT’s demise, six airlines have come forward offering to fill the space . . . We are satisfied that these six airlines can more than fill the immediate gap, particularly given the reduced traffic within the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are other private sector players who have also expressed an interest in being able to see how they can work either on their own or with some of the existing players,” said Mottley.
The decision has not come as welcome news for Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in whose country LIAT is home-based. Browne had opted out of the July 3 virtual ceremony, having dispatched a strongly worded letter the previous day to Mottley.