(CNS) – The President of the Leeward Islands Pilots Association, Carl Burke, has asserted that it is not too late to undertake an independent audit of the regional airline, LIAT.
Burke told Winn FM in St. Kitts that his association made the suggestion in 2009 to Vincentian Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
Burke says that LIAT obviously has issues. “We believe that the airline is hemorrhaging, we don’t want to start pointing to areas where we believe the hemorrhaging is taking place,” he said.
According to Burke, Dr. Gonsalves made a promise in 2009 that he would get an independent forensic audit done on the airline, but that has not been done up to this point.
“It’s difficult for one to believe that an airline operating at approximately 90 per cent plus on time performance yearly without any hindrance of any industrial action over the last year, or any major hurricanes since 2017 is in this position it is today,” he explained.
Burke spoke amid reports that the St Kitts and Nevis Government is looking into the possibility of providing some kind of assistance to the struggling regional airline, which requires an injection of funds.
The Pilots’ Association president said there are tough questions to be asked.
“You need to see if there is any hemorrhaging going on within the airline. Is the airline getting value for money from its suppliers? Are there legitimate suppliers?
Are there people making money from the airline operating? These are the tough questions which the board and the shareholders have to ask themselves, let us start digging and seeing if there is some hemorrhaging going on in the airline,” Burke said.