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PM Spencer advises against LIAT move

PM Spencer advises against LIAT move


As the government of Barbados moves to inject US$10 million into Antigua-based regional airline LIAT, Antiguan Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer made it clear to regional leaders he had serious concerns about the possibility that the carrier’s headquarters could be moved to Barbados.

“We have a real interest in ensuring that LIAT survives and also to ensure that its operations in Antigua & Barbuda are not severely affected by any moves that are likely to be made in the foreseeable future,” Mr. Spencer said.{{more}}

The future of LIAT was discussed last week at the 17th Intercessional meeting of Caricom Heads, and Prime Minister Spencer addressed the question of shifting the airline’s headquarters. He reported he had made a very strong case that any such move could have a significant negative impact on Antigua & Barbuda.

PM Spencer pointed out that LIAT holds a critical place in Antigua & Barbuda’s economy and “Antigua & Barbuda is a hub for LIAT, as a result, and the V.C. Bird International Airport itself is very much centred around the activities that have been developed with LIAT as a feeder airline into the Eastern Caribbean.”

He pointed out that there are as many as 400 employees on LIAT’s payroll who would be affected by any move to shift the airline’s operations.

Majority shares in LIAT are owned by the governments of Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Antigua & Barbuda. Barbadian Prime Minister Owen Arthur agreed to inject the US$10 million into the airline after LIAT saw an overall loss of $25 million last year.

(Antigua Sun Report)