Antigua Takes Over Cash-Strapped LIAT Airline

14 June 2019 1:19pm
Caribbean News Digital English Newsroom
Antigua Takes Over Cash-Strapped LIAT Airline

A Caribbean airline that helps bind together the region's many island nations has been saved from going under -- at least for now -- by a rescue plan led by the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

The 45-year-old LIAT, owned by a handful of regional governments, provides vital service between 15 Caribbean countries, connected by economics and culture but divided by the sea. It operates almost 500 flights a week.

Antigua and Barbuda, where LIAT is headquartered and which currently holds a 34 percent share, is poised to become the majority shareholder after Barbados agreed to sell the bulk of its current 49 percent stake.

Negotiations are set to commence between Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley and Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who submitted an official proposal last month, to iron out a deal.

Barbados was not "turning its back" on the airline, Mottley told her island's parliament recently, but planned to maintain a minimum share.

LIAT has been on the brink of collapse in recent months, its troubles exacerbated by the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season which devastated four of its destinations and sent revenue plummeting.

Source: AFP (via Yahoo! News)

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