·· SVG asked to give US$723,711

· 11 destinations told to pay for empty seats

The shareholder governments of cash-strapped regional carrier LIAT will meet in Barbados later Monday (today) along with the airline’s management and the trade unions representing its employees, to discuss the latest crisis facing the airline.

The meeting comes as eight capitals have been asked to contribute a total of US$5.4 million in emergency funding needed to keep the airline in the sky.
At the same time, 11 destinations have been given until Friday, March 15, to respond to the airline’s minimal revenue guarantee (MRG) proposals.

Chair of LIAT’s shareholder governments, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Ralph Gonsalves, told the SVG House of  Parliament on Monday that today’s “urgent meeting” was a mandated by LIAT shareholders at the meeting in St. Vincent on Saturday.

“I have already secured the personal commitment of the three leaders of the main unions including LIALPA, the pilots’ union, based in Antigua and Barbuda,” he said, adding that the Bridgetown talks are a vital meeting in the further progress of the amended restructuring option.

Gonsalves said that five countries — SVG, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica — the other major shareholders –along with Grenada, have agreed to contribute to the US$5.4 million.

Of the eight countries, Barbados has the highest number of weekly departures, 116, and is being asked to contribute US$1.614 million.

Antigua and Barbuda, which has 69 LIAT departure’s weekly, is being asked to contribute US$960,310.

SVG has 52 LIAT departures and is being asked to contribute US$723,711.

Dominica is being asked to contribute US$347,938 in light of its 25 weekly flights, while Grenada, which has 35 LIAT departures per week, is being asked to contribute US$487,113.

Gonsalves said these five nations constitute the “A Group”.

And while no other government has come forward in the face of the crisis, the shareholder governments are targeting a further three, namely Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia, for contributions of US$292,268, US$389,691, and US$584,536, respectively.

Gonsalves told lawmakers that LIAT’s shareholder governments have asked the airlines to refine the US$5.4 million request.

Monday’s ministerial statement came on the heels of a meeting in St. Vincent on Saturday of Gonsalves, and his Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados counterparts, Gaston Browne and Mia Mottley.

He told lawmakers that several other countries serviced by LIAT — including Trinidad and Tobago — are not included in the request because they have opposed, up front, putting any emergency funding into the ailing airline.

Caribbean Airlines, the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago, is scheduled to meet with LIAT regarding functional cooperation between both carriers, Gonsalves said.

He said it is to be noted that while SVG has 52 LIAT departures per week, several of the flights into and out of the destination are underperforming, as is the case in every other destination, though some more than others.

Under an MRG model, it is likely that a few flights may be cut if the government is not prepared to fund them with a guarantee, Gonsalves told lawmakers.

For example, two flights from St. Lucia to St. Vincent have average passenger loads of 46 per cent.

One of the flights from Trinidad has a 38 per cent average passenger load.

“Maybe another air carrier, perhaps a small one registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, may fill the breach on the St. Lucia-SVG leg,” Gonsalves said.

“In short, there are possible, reconfigured options. In this respect, the regulatory authorities are urged to address expeditiously applications by other airlines — third-tier airlines — for the various routes in a reconfigured regional air transport industry.”

Gonsalves said that theoretically, several countries have no quarrel with the MRG.

“If a country wants a particular flight and it is not viable financially for LIAT, that country pays a guarantee for its operation, just like they do for the international carriers.”

He said that in the “evolving saga”, among the things that the management of LIAT has done is to send MRG letters to 11 destinations, namely: Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent, Tortola and Trinidad.

No MRG letters have been sent, as yet, to Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, and Puerto Rico, Gonsalves said.

He said that the MRG would yield some US$16 million annually but will not address LIAT’s existing debt to the Caribbean Development Bank.

The airline has been unable to service that debt and the shareholder governments have had to repay.

The MRG model, may, however, cause a reduction in the flight schedule he said, adding that he will chair in Barbados, on Monday, a meeting of the main shareholder governments, management and the trade unions representing LIAT’s employees.

Gonsalves said that Mottley, on Saturday, jokingly called the MRG “Mr. Ralph Guarantee” and he told her that the MRG means “Mia, Ralph, Gaston, and Skerrit” — referring to the four prime ministers of LIAT’s main shareholder nations.

“But the MRGs require the involvement of all countries served by LIAT,” Gonsalves said.

· 11 destinations told to pay for empty seats

The shareholder governments of cash-strapped regional carrier LIAT will meet in Barbados later on Monday (today) along with the airline’s management and the trade unions representing its employees, to discuss the latest crisis facing the airline.

The meeting comes as eight capitals have been asked to contribute a total of US$5.4 million in emergency funding need to keep the airline in the sky.
At the same time, 11 destinations have been given until Friday, March 15, to respond to the airline’s minimal revenue guarantee (MRG) proposals.

Chair of LIAT’s shareholder governments, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Ralph Gonsalves, told the Vincentian Parliament on Monday that today’s “urgent meeting” was a mandated by LIAT shareholders at the meeting in St. Vincent on Saturday.

“I have already secured the personal commitment of the three leaders of the main unions including LIALPA, the pilots’ unions, based in Antigua and Barbuda,” he said, adding that the Bridgetown talks are a vital meeting in the further progress of the amended restructuring option.

Gonsalves said that five countries — SVG, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominican — the other major shareholders –along with Grenada, have agreed to contribute to the US$5.4 million.

Of the eight countries, Barbados has the highest number of weekly departure, 116, and is being asked to contribute US$1.614 million.

Antigua and Barbuda, which has 69 LIAT departure’s weekly, is being asked to contribute US$960,310.

SVG has 52 LIAT departures and is being asked to contribute US$723,711.

Dominica is being asked to contribute US$347,938 in light of its 25 weekly flights, while Grenada, which has 35 LIAT departures per week, is being asked to contribute US$487,113.

Gonsalves said these five nations constitute the “A Group”.

And while no other government has come forward in the face of the crisis, the shareholder governments are targeting a further three, namely Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia, for contributions of US$292,28, US$389,691, and US$584,536, respectively.

Gonsalves told lawmakers that LIAT’s shareholder governments have asked the airlines to refine the US$5.4 million request.

Monday’s ministerial statement came on the heels of a meeting in St. Vincent on Saturday of Gonsalves, and his Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados counterparts, Gaston Browne and Mia Mottley.

He told lawmakers that several other countries serviced by LIAT — including Trinidad and Tobago — are not included in the request because they have opposed, up front, putting in any emergency funding into the ailing airline.

Caribbean Airlines, the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago, is scheduled to meet with LIAT regarding functional cooperation between both carriers, Gonsalves said.

He said it is to be noted that while SVG has 52 LIAT departures per week, several of the flights into and out of the destination are underperforming, as is the case in every other destination, though some more than others.

Under and MRG model, it is likely that a few flights may be cut if the government is not prepared to fund them with a guarantee, Gonsalves told lawmakers.

For example, two flights from St. Lucia to St. Vincent have average passenger loads of 46 per cent.

One of the flights from Trinidad has a 38 per cent average passenger load.

“Maybe another air carrier, perhaps a small one registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, may fill the breach on the St. Lucia-SVG leg,” Gonsalves said.

“In short, there are possible, reconfigured options. In this respect, the regulatory authorities are urged to address expeditiously application by other airlines — third-tier airlines — for the various routes in a reconfigured regional air transport industry.”

Gonsalves said that theoretically, several countries have no quarrel with the MRG.

“If a country wants a particular flight and it is not viable financially for LIAT that country pays a guarantee for its operation, just like they do for the international carriers.”

He said that in the “evolving saga”, among the things that the management of LAIT has done is to send MRG letters to 11 destinations, namely: Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent, Tortola and Trinidad.

No MRG letters have been sent, as yet, to Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, and Puerto Rico, Gonsalves said.

He said that the MRG would yield some US$16 million annually but will not address LIAT existing debt to the Caribbean Development Bank.

The airline has been unable to service that debt and the shareholder governments have had to repay.

The MRG model, many, however, cause a reduction in the flight schedule he said, adding that he will chair in Barbados on Monday meeting of the main shareholder governments, management and the trade unions representing LIAT’s employees.

Gonsalves said that Mottley on Saturday jokingly called the MRG “Mr, Ralph Guarantee” and he told her that the MRGS means, “Mia, Ralph, Gaston, and Skerrit” — referring to the four prime ministers of LIAT’s main shareholder nations.

“But the MRGs require the involvement of all countries served by LIAT,” Gonsalves said.

12 replies on “LIAT needs US$5.4 million urgently”

  1. The leaders keep throwing good money after bad with LIAT..if LIAT goes out of business there’s a lot of private businesses who would take up the slack and do it at a profit..we have to change our mindset about LIAT in the Caribbean .The region just can’t afford to be bailing out LIAT every couple of months when our economies are struggling.
    We should just allow LIAT to automatically debit the accounts of the various Caribbean governments every 3 months and then we the people won’t have to hear or read about it.

    1. Maybe it is time to let LIAT die a natural death instead of keeping it artificially alive at the poor and suffering people’s expense or sell it to who knows how the manage an airline company. How long are we going to let Gonsalves run this country into the ground before we stand up for ourselves? It is like we all have stockholm syndrome. God did not put that man there, you people did. Now all he does is keep you people dunce so that he can have his way. Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler, all of them we well educated but look what they did.

  2. Empty seats! No shock there. The SGV Government has been going on a “tax the people to death” rampage ever since the airport was nearing completion.The result is that few have the money to pay the VERY HIGH Liat fares, and the planes get more and more empty. It may not be all Liat’s fault because Liat too has been “taxed to death”. Now the wealthy shareholder politicians want to send the bill to the people, punish them for not having enough money to fly Liat. Are the new, (too expensive for the low-quality) airplanes paid for yet?
    Here in SVG meanwhile, the government is getting ready to build a new Kingstown in Arnos Vale, also at the people’s expense, no “coalition of the willing”, on that one. Has anyone else noticed that the SVG government believes those few living on this island have an endless source of tax money that the politicians can continue to take and spend to make themselves feel good and look good while the middle class gets poorer the doltish poor stay the same, begging for building materials and poor relief, and the wealthy hold thier wealth because investing in this climate is very uncertain, (some think Cannabis is the thing. Boy are they going to be in for a shock)!
    The shareholder governments reap the benefits, the rest of us get the bills, even thou we rarely can afford a Liat flight. Lets you know what happens when the government has so much control over the Privat Sector.

    When a government spends beyond its means, the people soon live beneath thier means.

  3. Why these MRGs weren’t put in place decades ago boggles the mind given that this has long been the norm for international carriers.

    Trinidad-Tobago, the country that owns Caribbean Airlines which already competes for business with LIAT, will tell the LIAT owners to p*ss up a rope because it could easily fill the void of its loss in a heartbeat.

    The same may be true for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, and other destinations that have small but strong regional carriers that could easily absorb the existing LIAT passenger load.

    LIAT will surely shrink as this transformation unfolds which would translate into a larger debt load for its four majority country owners: Barbados, Antigua, SVG, and Dominica.

    LIAT should have been privatized years ago in the way scores of money-losing international carriers were sold to the private sector where they soon thrived.

    Why does our “Caribbean civilization” always do too little too late?

    Ask Ralph.

    1. CANT THE TWO AIRLINE COMPANIES MERGE AS ONE ?? JUST ASKING

      THEM NEVER HEAR THE SAYING “TWO BULL CANT RAISE IN ONE PEN “!

  4. The prime minister is one of Liat big share holder this is his private investment now he is going to take vincentian poor people money tax payers money to bail out his investment take your own money prime minister and do this are we fools or what poor need help! leave tax payers money alone okay!!

  5. AGREE WITH ALL THE COMMENTS HERE …ESPECIALLY ON THE PM POSITION
    NOW THIS IS EGREGIOUS !!!!!!!!! AND A NEED FOR UPROAR FROM THE PEOPLE .

    WHERE IS NDP WHEN YOU REALLY NEED THEM .??? AH WONDER IF DEM HANDS IN THE COOKIE JAR TOO ???……. THERE MUST BE A WAY ONE CAN STOP THEM FROM TAKING THIS MONEY !!!!!!!

    1. AL: How can you say Ralph is “egregious (outstanding, and distinguished) but we should all protest it? I think you are using the wrong definition of the word. If I were you I would stay away from using that word because in few cases it means the opposite, (terrible). I think terrible is the definition you mean, and most seem to agree. I would just not use that word because it means good and bad or anything the reader wants, thereby making its’ use unclear.

  6. It would be nice if IWNSVG would publish the monthly salaries of government ministers, members of parliament and Judges. I think that is something the people need to know.

    1. “R”, the salaries will tell you little. Since we can find out what the salaries are, they will not be so enormous. What we really need to know is what they get for benefits. Not just travel expenses and entertainment allowance, many of them also get bonuses. At least one I have heard gets all utility bills paid, as well as other living costs. In essence, they get lots of money for salary, costs, bonuses and have few expenses! Reporting what the salary is will tell us little.

  7. We in St Vincent and the Grenadines as a state beg here and beg there perhaps we can beg the Russians for a dollar or two if we haven’t already done so and received short shrift from them.

    Now hear this! Learn “how Russia sank billions of dollars into Venezuela’s failing oil industry in an attempt to prop up Maduro’s socialist government” but as us Vincentians have already found out far too late, toying with Socialism just does not work! It will always leave you much poorer and send you begging.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6808339/How-Russia-sank-billions-dollars-Venezuela-quicksand.html

    “Rosneft invested an estimated $9billion in Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA. Insiders say it was a ‘political’ scheme to project Russian power in the Americas, but poor management meant Moscow was unable to get its money back, as Maduro faces being forced from power after the country’s economy collapsed”.

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