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Hope for LIAT

Gercine Carter

Hope for LIAT

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LIAT may get a lifeline.

Funding to keep the cash-strapped airline will be discussed by five Caribbean Heads of Government in St Vincent and the Grenadines today.

Leaders from Guyana, Trinidad, Grenada, St Lucia and St Kitts/Nevis are expected to attend today’s meeting, according to a CMC report yesterday.

The report also quoted a statement coming out of Antigua’s cabinet meeting as saying: “The states which enjoy services from LIAT, but are not owners of LIAT’s shares, are likely to be asked by the four contributing/ownership states to purchase shares in LIAT, or to make a financial contribution, or to enter into a minimum revenue guarantee for LIAT flights which enter their country.”

The plight of the financially-troubled regional airline was a major item on the agenda at last month’s 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in St Kitts and Nevis, where a rescue plan was devised by the CARICOM Heads. In it, shareholder governments proposed to inject the additional financial resources that LIAT desperately needs, while other member states were encouraged to commit to providing necessary capital injections into LIAT and to coming on board as new shareholders.

This came about as last week Friday it was reported that the airline needed $10 million to keep operations on track or close operations in ten days. The ten days would have been marked tomorrow.

Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica are the major shareholder countries in the regional airline. (GC)

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