6 airlines offer to replace LIAT – Caricom

(ANTIGUA NEWSROOM) – Airlines are lining up to fill the void after plans were announced that LIAT 1974 Ltd will be liquidated.

Outgoing CARICOM Chairperson, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said SVG Air, One Caribbean Airline, Inter-Caribbean Airline, Silver Airways and Air Antilles have all expressed interest.

Mottley was speaking at the 20th Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Friday.

The Barbados Prime Minister said shareholders could no longer support the Antigua-based LIAT, which has been facing financial difficulties for years.

“Liquidating LIAT has not been an easy decision”, she saod adding, “we come to this moment as a matter of practical reality that governments must focus on keeping their citizens alive, that governments must focus on keeping their economies going”.

Mottley said private sector players will have to come together and fill the gap “because governments have now to use their funds to be able to deal with health expenditure, to be able to deal with water, to be able to deal with other forms of transport to be able to deal with the fact that our tourism sector as well as out vulnerable population are all requiring us to hold their hands because they have come to zero revenue”.

She called on governments to facilitate regional air travel by reducing taxes and provide licenses and air operator certificates to private airlines.

New CARICOM Chairman, Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines added “I believe that we are going to be able to provide in a very short time a sufficiency of regional transport to serve the sub-region, to serve ourselves safely, reliably, sustainably and reasonably priced.”

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