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Caribbean Airways could pose threat to Liat – Star of the Caribbean

Caribbean Airways could pose threat to Liat – Star of the Caribbean

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While staff trimming will become necessary as the merger between Caribbean Star and LIAT is fleshed out Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves gave the assurance that the Governments of LIAT’s shareholding countries would be sensitive to labour issues.

He said that a sub- committee had been set up to work specifically with the various unions that represent the workers in the various islands.{{more}}

As he announced the figure of US$55 million which had been identified as the amount needed to deal with LIAT’s debts, Prime Minister Gonsalves said that included in the amount is the anticipation of the payment of severance to workers who would be affected by the merger.

Meanwhile Dr Gonsalves continues to be concerned about the direction that Caribbean Airlines (CA), the Trinidad and Tobago-based airline is taking. He said that it was crucial that there be a working relationship between LIAT – Star of the Caribbean, the name under which the merged airlines would operate and CA, the entity that arose out of BWIA, which folded last December.

The Trinidad and Tobago government had put a counter merger proposal on the table to LIAT but in the end it did not meet the requisite needs of LIAT, and the shareholder Governments went the way of Texan Billionaire Sir Allen Stanford and Caribbean Star.

The concern now is that Prime Minister Patrick Manning has indicated his CA’s intention to operate a turboprop service in the same routes that LIAT and Caribbean Star now operate.

“We can’t have that because we would then be resorting to the same cut throat way of operation that Caribbean Star and LIAT had,” Dr Gonsalves said.

He said that it was crucial that LIAT – Star of the Caribbean develops a relationship with CA.

Speaking in the capacity as CARICOM’s lead Prime Minister on air transport, Gonsalves said that he would like to see an arrangement with Air Jamaica, and was also interested in seeing a proper sea transport policy fleshed out.

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