Antigua and Barbuda government moving ahead with plans for new regional airline

Gaston Browne

The Antigua and Barbuda government says it is going ahead with plans for establishing a new regional airline even as it acknowledged a move by other sub-regional countries to do so.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, responding to an opposition question regarding improved regional transportation, told legislators that it is well known that the government “has been struggling” with the cash-strapped LIAT (1974) Limited over the past three years.

“We would have gotten it right from the onset. We knew that if we were to allow the other shareholders of LIAT to collapse the airline that it would have created a significant problem to connect Caribbean people and you would recognise that not withstanding the fact that LIAT is still operating there’s still a problem in terms of meeting the demands of the Caribbean people, especially individuals within the OECS sub-region.”

LIAT (1974) is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines. It entered into administration in July 2020 following increased debt and the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We have tried in the past to get all our OECS colleagues on board to start an OECS airline, but the problem we have had, and this is…a problem that existed for decades, is that to get a commitment for all of the countries to fund an airline has been a problem,” Browne said.

“What would have happened over the years, you would have had four countries carrying the burden while the others benefiting from the services of LIAT. It is no different today, if anything it is probably worse”.

Browne told legislators that as a result of a lack of commitment, his administration decided to pursue a new partner for the proposed LIAT 2020 “which will be a new legal entity that will not assume any of the liabilities of LIAT (1974).

“Whatever assets it acquires from LIAT 1974, LIAT 2020 will pay for them in full,” he said, acknowledging that “we were unable to attract investors from within the region, we went extra-regionally and that is why we had to establish a partnership with Air Peace,” a private Nigerian airline founded in 2013.

“Air Peace is a billion-dollar company. In fact, just recently it would have ordered about US$300 million worth of aircraft. So it is substantial in terms of its asset base, it has the experience and the argument has always been within the region that whatever regional airline that is established that you should have a private sector component to ensure that we have the necessary efficiencies and to avoid the legacy issues that we have had with LIAT in the past.”

Browne said he believes that Air Peace would not only bring assets in terms of cash and aircraft but also expertise “to help us to manage LIAT to ensure it sustains viability”.

He said he is aware there are plans for a “supplementary OECS airline, there is talk so far but no firm commitment and we have to watch that space and see how it develops.”

The OECS leaders met earlier this month to discuss the issue of air transportation in the region and have appointed a technical team to further discuss the situation.

Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, speaking on the state-owned DBS Radio, said that each of the member countries of the OECS will have a representative on the technical team “and then we will be engaging some consultations to put into place the legal and corporate framework to advance the decisions that would have been taken on Sunday at that meeting of the OECS heads”.

The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.- CMC

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]


  1. The right thing to do. Just move on in the interest of Antigua and Barbuda, and by extension it will show to be in the interest of all the other Islands as well. The deepest pockets will survive.

    • “The deepest pockets will survive”.

      You are sounding more and more like a “silver spooned” hard a#s*d ideologue @ From The Sideline.

      What an awful person you are. You and Gassssston are definitely cut from the same cloth – you both despise your fellow Antiguans.

      I hope you don’t fall on HARD Times.


      • Brix. What did I say was so wrong? In this industry the deepest pockets will survive. So, any airline that competes on these routes will have to know this and understand that you must be in it for the long haul.
        Stanford had deep pockets and thought he would outspend LIAT. But the shareholder governments’ pockets were deeper. They absorbed all the losses, and the result is what we have now. LIAT 1974 owes many Islands lots of Landing Fees. The biggest is Guyana.

        • And look what happened to Stanford???

          And what a stupid and silly comparison Sidey, tell that to Stanford’s investors who lost millions of dollars at the time.

          BTW, do you like custard? You must do because you THICK so till.

          As I mentioned earlier, I hope you don’t fall on HARD times … remember, life full of ups and downs.

          You should be aiming for balance not greed!

          • Your lack of comprehension amazes me. You make my case by saying look what happens to Stanford. As I said, he thought he had deep pockets, but the shareholder governments had deeper pockets than him. And they absorbed the losses, which brought us to where we are today. What balance are you talking about? The balance of competition is in the pocket. Do you know if monopoly is an illegal practice? Monopolies are illegal if they are established or maintained through improper conduct, such as exclusionary or predatory acts. This is known as anticompetitive monopolization.
            One legal monopoly is OPEC. They set the price of oil so that you cannot speculate on oil prices.
            But how is that related to Stanford investors? Stanford investment into the airline industry was first of all very short lived and was a very small part of his business.
            Anyway, do not lose sight of the discussion. The government is moving ahead with Air Peace to establish a new regional airline called LIAT 2020.

  2. Just shooting off at the mouth again. What a complete idiot! And @Sidey right along in there kissing a$$. This joker couldn’t even keep LIAT in the skies and now he wants to start a regional airline? Talk Gassy,talk. The only dummies you’re impressing are the low life traitors and dunces. (Lester Bird’s words,not mine)
    The man just wouldn’t stop. He probably believes the nonsense he spills. But, he’s the epitome of a narcissistic. Just a whole lot crazier,courtesy of the Risperdal. LOL.
    What’s with the Nigerian obsession? Probably to filthy lucre, as greedy as he is.

  3. Another duping in the making. It’s been almost a year since Antigua Airways so he is due for another duping.

    I do want to hear about YIDA. When will Gaston admit that he was duped? YIDA was a con marathon. most television shows don’t last as long as the YIDA story. Remember all the threats from YIDA Zhang. Gaston days are numbered. Mightier than Gaston have fallen.

  4. Here we go again! This government keep giving away majority control of this country’s assets to foreign business expatriates and investors. Wait! Isn’t there any local born indigenous Antiguans here who are capable of investing also in the nation ‘s assets? Just look around and see who are the investors benefitting here in this country. Global Ports controlling the Seaports, foreign investors controlling the best beach front lands, Antigua Power Company controlling the power generation in this country, PLH in Barbuda, most of our hotels are owned by foreign expatriates, Stanford ‘s Cricket Ground & Sticky Wicket owned by the West Indies Cricket Board, lands given away to Yida and other crooked investors and now 70% shares of LIAT given to Air Peace whose reputation is riddled with many litigations in the US. Somebody, anybody this country needs rescuing!!!!

  5. This is going to be a hard road.
    InterCaribbean Airways, WINAIR and Caribbean Airlines have moved in.

    InterCaribbean appear to have money like peas for aircraft additions to their fleet and
    have a huge network of Caribbean destinations served . They 4 Caribbean hubs .
    If they can bring up their service to acceptable levels it will be hard to displace them .

    Caribbean Airlines have Trinidad Government money behind them .
    Their service level is very good and they have stared their expansion in the Caribbean .

    WINAIR are expanding and intend to expand their service in the southern Caribbean.
    The have interline agreements with major airlines for feeder service between smaller airports and larger ones also. Their Twin Otter or ATR options allows scaling of services also.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here