Regional carrier LIAT says that the chair of its shareholder governments, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, does not own two of the airline’s aircraft, a reported by a blog.

LIAT in a statement on Tuesday responded to a Jan. 17 post on Barbados Free Press in which an anonymous writer said there was a conflict of interest including the Vincentian leader.

The anonymous author said, “The conflict of interest arises because SVG is one of the major shareholders in LIAT. Government funds are involved and Prime Minister Gonsalves is heavily involved in decision making about the airline”.

The article was headlined “Report of Conflict of Interest: Saint Vincent PM Ralph Gonsalves said to own 2 LIAT aircraft”.

But LIAT said in a statement that the two aircraft mentioned in the article are owned by a publicly listed U.S.-based leasing company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

“LIAT has always had arms length negotiations with this lessor and its relationship with this lessor is firmly set on a commercial basis,” the airline said.

“LIAT has no aircraft leases with Prime Minister Gonsalves or any shareholder of the Company and categorically denies the suggestion that the Prime Minister has anything to do with the leasing of aircraft to LIAT. LIAT views conflict of interest very seriously and abides by principles of good corporate governance,” the airline further said.

LIAT further said that it supports “the freedom of the press in all media and the highest standards of journalism which includes the verification of sources and information obtained.

“At no time was LIAT requested to comment on the allegation before the publication of the anonymous blog.”

The statement further said that acting Chief Executive Officer of LIAT, Julie Reifer-Jones commented that: “These statements are reckless and mischievous. Such reports negatively impact the travelling public, our Caribbean community constituents, and the staff of our airline. LIAT distances itself from these unverified reports and remains committed to channelling our energies into our modernization programme and to putting LIAT on a profitable footing”.

3 replies on “LIAT denies that Gonsalves owns 2 of its aircraft”

  1. “The two aircraft mentioned in the article are owned by a publicly listed U.S.-based leasing company trading on the New York Stock Exchange”

    Well let us know who this company is Liat, this is not a private company. If they are on the stock exchange like you all claim, then they would have to give account to their shareholders, and even if I have to purchase one share to hear the truth I will buy a share in them just to find out this out.

    I trade the markets and know fully well how this works, so you all don’t need to hide the name of the company. Liat as a public company itself have a responsibility to the countries that pump money into it. So let us know who this company is Liat, because we all know by now you all are telling lies.

  2. So this issue is cleared up. Ralph doesn’t won any part of LIAT. This is great news, because this would have been a real conflict of interest.

  3. If I remember correctly the publishers of the article in question asked a question of Gonsalves “do you or any member of your family have any interest in leasing these aircraft to LIAT”?.

    Has he answered that question. I see that LIAT has made a statement which is not the same as him or his solicitor answering the question “do you or any member of your family have any interest in leasing these aircraft to LIAT”? I would also like to add to that extended family, like cousin.

    BLANE your quite right with your observations, we need to know who the purported leasing company on New York exchange is. We need to look at who they are, who are the major stock owners. I would also like to ask if they are in anyway related to a corporation from Florida, because there is another lead I am currently following.

    As for the statement by acting Chief Executive Officer of LIAT, Julie Reifer-Jones commented that: “Such reports negatively impact the travelling public, our Caribbean community constituents, and the staff of our airline”.

    May I say that the only thing that is impacting the travelling public is ATR aircraft that are being grounded because of wind conditions and aircraft that are having to dump passengers and luggage to be able to take of at low tail winds of 15mph.
    Liats name stinks for service, has done for years, that is what is the real negative impact on the travelling public. As for staff they are so fed up with their treatment and the crap fed them and situations created by management, they will hardly take any notice of this matter. They have everyday safety and maintenance matters to watch and take care of.

    It has taken far to long for this matter to be addressed by Gonsalves and LIAT, it has caused speculation and comment that may not have happened if the matter was dealt with promptly, and even now its not dealt with satisfactorily.

    LIAT, Gonsalves get your acts together and tell the public what it wants to know, as a company and a public person none of this can be private, just do what you would expect of others.

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