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Former Barbados PM to be next Chairman of LIAT

Former Barbados PM to be next Chairman of LIAT
Owen Arthur

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Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur will be the next Chairman of regional airline LIAT, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has announced.

Arthur replaces Dr Jean Holder, also from Barbados, who retired late last year.

The veteran economist and former politician sees the new job as his biggest challenge yet.

When contacted by the Barbados Nation newspaper Sunday night, Arthur confirmed his name had been put up by member governments to head the airline, and that he would be briefed on his appointment when the LIAT board meets in Barbados Monday evening.

“The board will meet this week and it should be ratified then. There is a process in which a board ratifies its chairman and that’s where we are at this time. I believe in collective responsibility so I will speak in detail later about my plans,” he said.

Arthur is the right man for the job given his history of fighting for LIAT, said the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister.

“And I have to tell you, I don’t think there could be any better candidate,” Browne said.

“Owen Arthur would have spent a large amount of his prime ministerial equity ensuring the survival of LIAT, and now that it is at the crossroads again, I think that Owen is the right person to lead LIAT out of these difficulties.”

Browne said there will be personnel and other changes but did not go into detail.

“We have come to a consensus on the way forward so a lot of the differences that existed we’ve been able to resolve them and I believe LIAT has a very bright future ahead of it,” Browne said.

He also said LIAT will be capitalised with the US$ 15 million loan Antigua obtained from the ALBA Bank as well as $5 million from Dominica “and the others will put in a few millions.”

He said the plan is to raise between $20 to 30 million to recapitalise the airline. (Antigua News Room / The Nation)

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