LIAT’s pilot association says it is not surprised over reports of the imminent closure of the airline.
Captain Carl Burke, head of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA), says the association was almost left in the dark after sending two pieces of correspondence to LIAT management before the statement by Gonsalves.
“The only disappointment is that the staff came forward and we collective made an offer to the company but we did not hear or get a response from the shareholders apart from the memo which sent to the staff from the management indicating that we had a shortfall and the response to the minimum route guarantee.”
He says the problem with LIAT has been there from the start but is being compounded now as the company tries to spread 10 aircraft across 16 destinations.
“We have to look at it from the point of view that the airlines were undercapitalized from the onset. This problem is now being just compounded by the fact that we have tried our best to spread 10 aircraft across the region, we have given up market share on several routes.”
Recently, the pilots along with other staff members agreed to take a six percent cut in wages to help the financially struggling airline.
The major shareholder government, Barbados, has approached the European Investment Bank for assistance to save the company.