August 10, 2020

Wickham Says Airlines Lining Up To Replace LIAT Won’t Be Able To Match

Political Analyst Peter Wickham is questioning the long term sustainability of some of the airlines named publicly as replacements for LIAT in the event that it is liquidated.

Last week, the St. Vincent and Barbados Prime Ministers said there were at least six airlines who want to replace LIAT.

However, Wickham says history has shown that these airlines are only interested in domination by way of a monopoly.

“There is always a perception in a situation where there is a deficit that you can fill that deficit. We saw this with Stanford airline, Redjet and a number of other airlines that stepped up in the hope filing that bridge over the years.  The idea is if you are in a monopoly situation you can charge people whatever you want .

“And I think more than anything else these regional carriers who have attempted to replace LIAT over the years, they have essentially piloted that model. Remember when Stanford was pushing his airline, his idea was you push over LIAT to control a market. You can dominate it and charge people whatever you want, but guess what, that failed,” he told state media.

He also stated that other airlines may not be able to match the kind of service that LIAT provided.

“I think a number of these other airlines which are coming up the operations are not really identical to LIAT. I mean the One Caribbean operation, if you look at the kind of equipment that they use they are not going to be able to essentially command the kind of routes that LIAT commanded with the frequency and capacity and so on and that really is the problem.”

He added, “so you looking to fill a breach for a limited period but I think the understanding is that there is a long term viability issue which I think a number of these airlines will not be able to match.”

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