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More changes to LIAT’s Management

More changes to LIAT’s Management


A shake up of LIAT’s top brass seemed imminent after new Chief Executive Officer Mark Darby took over earlier this month. Sources close to the regional carrier hinted to Searchlight Business this week that the airline is in search of a replacement for Chief Financial Officer Ronald Blais.

Though it was not confirmed whether Blais’ resignation was part of LIAT’s restructuring plans, he will step down from his post as head of finance for the cash-strapped regional carrier.{{more}}

Checks with Liat’s Antigua-based office on Monday confirmed that Blais is expected to step down from his post today, Friday, July 28.

Earlier this month at a press conference in Antigua, Blais was among the members of a head table along with Liat’s Chairman Jean Holder, who welcomed Darby to the new post of CEO.

And as the airline sharpens its competitive edge through it’s restructuring phase, its new financial thrust will be towards seeking private investors to support its restructuring efforts.

During a press conference in Antigua on July 6, Blais told a grouping of regional journalist that the airline’s intent was to source private investment.

“But to do that you have to have some level of credibility and that is what we’re striving to do in the next couple of months; to show this credibility whereby we can entice the private investor,” Blais mentioned.

The airline’s management team would be aiming to renegotiate a significant portion of its $180 million debt by the end of the year with Canada’s Export Development Corporation (EDC), of which it owes $80 million, but with its current head of finance about to take a backseat from the management of the airline’s finances it is not quite clear whether the new candidate for the post would have the burden of carrying through these negotiations with EDC.

As LIAT’s new CEO, Darby inherits an airline, which has been on the brink of financial disaster, requiring major cash injections from regional governments after losing some US $25 million last year alone.