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Antigua knocks plan to supplant LIAT


Antigua knocks plan to supplant LIAT

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ST JOHN’S – Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he will not support plans to establish a rival airline to the financially troubled LIAT.

He said he was aware that Antigua and Barbuda did not have the shareholding majority in LIAT to stop any moves by the Barbados government to establish the new airline.

“Well, I imagine we don’t have any legal basis on which to stop them. We just hope [that] at the end of the day, commonsense, reasonableness, equity will prevail.

“My understanding is that Barbados is considering forming a new airline and to collapse LIAT and it is unfortunate that they are now seeking to take that position.

gastonbrowne“I have actually seen a proposal . . . in which Barbados is now seeking to literally collapse LIAT to take several of the planes and to form the new airline,” Prime Minister Browne said on state-owned ABS Television.

LIAT shareholder governments are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Browne said the move to establish the new airline is contrary to the spirit of Caribbean integration.

“I do not think that this is in the spirit of good relations and I just hope that the other shareholder governments will understand that . . . at the end of the day we all share common space in the OECS and CARICOM, we are our brothers’ keepers and for us to take those extremist positions in order to promote whatever national agendas we may have is totally unacceptable,” he added.

Antigua and Barbuda has already voiced its opposition to plans to relocate the base of the airline from Antigua and Barbuda to Barbados.

But St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the decision was based on the realities of LIAT. (CMC)