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PM Gonsalves in Antigua for LIAT merger strategy talks

PM Gonsalves in Antigua for LIAT merger strategy talks

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Oct 6, 2006 – Updated 12:30 pm Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves left St Vincent and the Grenadines at noon for Antigua and Barbuda for immediate strategy talks with Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer on the future of LIAT.

His departure came after the Board of LIAT which met in Barbados last evening told the Executive Management that it should move ahead “swiftly” with talks noting that the prospects look good.

Details are unavailable but Prime Minister Gonsalves previously said that the matter was “complex”.

At yesterday’s board meeting a resolution was unanimously passed that the executive management of the Company be authorised to enter into formal communication and negotiations with Caribbean Star with a view of exploring a possible merger between the two companies. Once the negotiations between the two companies has taken place, an extraordinary Board meeting will be held where the executive management will report on its findings, and enable the Board to take such decisions as are appropriate at that time.

The negotiations will take place within the context of terms of reference set by the LIAT Board.

Dr. Jean Holder, Chairman of LIAT said after the meeting that “the Board believes that it is in the interest of the shareholders and the people of the Caribbean, that formal discussions and negotiations with Caribbean Star proceed as swiftly as possible, in order that the full potential of any merger or amalgamation of the two airlines can be assessed and decisions taken.”

Mark Darby, CEO said that “our initial discussions with Caribbean Star have indicated that the potential exists to create a commercially viable and vibrant new airline that would provide our customers with a superior service ­ improved schedule and customer service at realistic fares. We need to move quickly on this, in order that we can remove any uncertainty for our joint staff and present our plans for the future.”

In the near future, there will be a joint statement on this matter by the Chairmen of both airlines; Dr. The Honourable Jean Holder and Allen Stanford.

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