Antigua PM accuses Barbados and St. Vincent of creating ‘artificial impediments’ for LIAT

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Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has accused fellow Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, of deliberate attempts to block Antigua-based regional carrier LIAT.

On Saturday LIAT said it was forced to suspend services to two of its previously announced destinations while it awaits the approval from the relevant authorities in Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines, two former shareholder governments of the financially-strapped airline.

“LIAT will succeed, notwithstanding the artificial impediments that these countries are creating,” Browne said in response to the development.

“In fact, it’s an extremely unfortunate development in which these impediments are being developed, nothwiting the fact that LIAT has valid flight approvals to fly to those countries. LIAT is not a new carrier. LIAT is a legacy carrier that has been servicing these countries for decades.”

LIAT, which is now under Administration, had late last month announced the resumption of flights five days a week to seven destinations across its network.

The seven destinations are: Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Vincent. LIAT said that the limited schedule of flights will return connectivity to these destinations, which were impacted by the airline’s suspension of commercial services in March due to financial problems and the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many Caribbean countries to shut down their borders.

LIAT said prior to its suspension of services, it had been operating to Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines “on valid flight approvals, which have not expired,” adding “ LIAT operated a scheduled flight to Barbados on Monday, Nov. 30.

Prime Minister Browne is adamant that LIAT is being singled out by Barbados and St. Vincent.

“The irony is, there were no such requirements for other carriers. All of the other airlines that resumed services to those countries, they had no such requirement so the question is why are they discriminating against LIAT,” he said.

“LIAT is a regional institution within the OECS and the broader CARICOM and it should be given national treatment; not to be treated as some stepchild, but to be embraced as a regional carrier, and if anything, should be given preference, not to be discriminated against.

“If they were to seek to sustain this type of behaviour then clearly it will be a restraining of trade and I presume that the Administrator would want to consider maybe taking them to the Caribbean Court of Justice in its original jurisdiction. So it is a position that cannot be sustained,” Browne added.

According to Prime Minister Browne the countries in question have also reportedly asked LIAT to make pre-payments for landing fees, but he said this is an unfair request given that other carriers have not been asked to do the same.

“I want to know who has this type of gumption. Which group of individuals has this type of gumption to take this type of policy decision in order to discriminate against LIAT, recognizing that we all have treaty obligations as enshrined in the CARICOM Treaty as well as the OECS Treaty,” Browne said.

“It is really a position that cannot be sustained and I would recommend that they review this position soonest and to allow LIAT to fly into their destinations as it would have done for the last several decades.”

28 COMMENTS

  1. What else is Mia is going to do before we call a spade a spade? UWI, COVID, LIAT.
    PHD can keep its juice. I am not franchising any more Bajan product.

  2. CARICOM has always being, CARRY-GO-BRING-COM!(full of bad mind and jealousy towards another, by spreading rumors and propaganda to destroy others)!

  3. Two of the worst things anyone could do.Burn fences and blow up bridges.Knowing that you would need to cross over that which you blew up.What goes around comes around.I have told you “Beatrice” in the past.Using honey sometimes could come in very useful.You cannot throw around insults and talk down to your counterparts. Then when the dung hits the fans.You expects them to bend over backwards and lend a helping hand.It does not work that way.You have not learned your lessons.You seem to have a very hard head.

    • Why you don’t just hush your bleeping mouth…. PM Browne, we the (sensible Antiguans and Barbudans) people are with you on your quest to bring Liat to a place of Glory… fools will continue to try discouraging you but as I said before we the people support 100%

      UWI Five Islands Campus
      Scotiabank Sale
      Harvard University Reparations
      Saving Liat

      Just a few MAJOR things your detractors tried to convince the people wasn’t in our best interest and you were on the wrong fight but time proved them to be foolish and it will continue to do so because a fool is a fool and you’d be a fool not to expect foolishness from fools….

      ps… PM Browne, you’re doing Antigua and Barbuda and the OECS on a whole Great Justice and Excellent Service.

      • Dinosuar:You say,we the sensible Antiguans and Barbudans.I say: Gaston Browne,why are we so poor and destitute under your Leadership.We have become that way since you came into Office in 2014 to now 2020.Six years of hot air and fluff.

  4. Is this CARICOM or should it be CARIGONE ? We know just how much these Caribbean leaders are willing or rather not willing to work with the Antiguan/Barbudan government . No covering up in any subtle way now. This is pellucid….or as one former prime minister would have said : ” pellucidly clear”.
    It is a big shame though. Really highlights the times in which we live. Selfishness and greed dominate the heart of men.
    I wish for LIAT to have success. At the same time, I question the intent of having a Nigerian investor buying shares in LIAT. The Caribbean airline should be completely owned by Caribbean people. No outside investor should be allowed to have shares in the airline. This idea needs to be revisited and scrapped. The thought of it stinks.
    Get real, Mr. PM: use the “capital” sense if you lack the common ones. It is not all about money but patriotism and dignity. When the Nigerian decides to pack up and go….taking all his shares or selling them to whomever he wishes.
    People: let your leaders listen to you. WAKE UP !

    WORLD “CRYSIS” : END SOON COME !

    • This has nothing to do with bullying.

      Wait what’s really wrong with some y’all?
      Everything just has to be your little local stinking upp politics?

      Jeez man

  5. I was never for Caricom…. how can there be togetherness when we are all surviving from tourism? Its time for Antigua and Barbuda to think about country only and after we can stand on our own then try and help or accommodate others. The minister’s need realize that the other Caribbean countries has always been waiting on the demise of Antigua and Barbuda.
    Question what do they have to offer us that we can’t just pay for without signing any agreement with them? I do not think we have to climb into bed with them over toilet paper, sugar, seasoning, juice and any other products that they produce.
    Oh I forgot we allow the undesirable foreigners to flood our country also.

  6. I understand that our Prime Minister (Gaston Browne) have to be a diplomat and not say publicly what I suspect he is saying privately.

    Let me say it for him: Mia (the man-cow of the caribbean) and Ralph (a snake) are NO FRIENDS OF ANTIGUA & BARBUDA.

    In my opinion, they are enemies of our State (Antigua & Barbuda) and to the extent that we have to deal with them on regional matters THEY SHOULD BE BANISHED.

  7. Whoa!
    Those govt wrote off much of the debt Liat had to them.
    Millions in ‘never will be paid’ landing fees lost.
    Surely it is business sense to ask for pre-payment based on the history an airport has with specific airlines & not repeat mistakes of the past?
    The airport management are accountable to boards, and GAIA has a business-focused board, likely SVG new airport’s board equally business focused.

    Can you go to a supermarket or bakery every day for a year, pick up bread on credit every day, eat your bread…then walk away from your bill at the end of the year declaring bankruptcy?
    I think not, the business assesses the value of their product, the credit-worthiness of the customer & has strict credit terms that can be terminated for non-payment at any time … While the rest of us must pay every time we pick up bread.

    LIAT has to rebuild creditworthiness and trust. Management cannot presume concessions, lines of credit & special treatment just because it is Liat.
    Especially as there is regional discussion about the strength of Liat’s capital – is it sufficient?

    I like many thousands want to see a lean, viable Liat operating again in an accountable, transparent manner that reassures all of us (particularly those with refunds pending) that Liat is a solid business entity.

    • I kinda agree with you, but also these governments need to accept responsibly for the monster they have also created. If my mortgage isn’t paid the bank will surely sell my house and kick me out. By the same token, if the landing fees were not being paid etc, then they should’ve made arrangements to collect.

    • Did St. Kitts, Dominica and Guyana also squash all the same debts the other two snakes did? Both snakes’ country benefited more from liat than St. Kitts, Dominica and even Guyana… they were mojority shareholders which means they had the decisions in their hands… created the debts

  8. It is a good thing I have a Facebook page and other platforms to express myself and not be censored.

    You all can go ahead and not print this comment too because I have copied and uploaded it across my other platforms.

    Have a good day.

    • @Audley Dave Joseph(Beef)…😄😅🤣…”where’s da #Beef?”
      U a throw Carn Beef, lakkah Carn and me kno dat, U nar carl none fowl, ’cause dis #SaltBeef will tun dem bassadee!

    • Beef you are definitely a clone of Gaston Brown.
      Won’t be too long before the other medias ban you.
      Confine yourself to pointe_less fm media.
      Antigua needs better representation.

  9. All that’s there to be said is that the PM is not an island that stands alone…….
    Mr PM you needs to guard your tongue because your words have a way of coming back to bite you.

    Keep up the good work though.
    Keep fighting the good fight for LIAT. Perseverance is the Key.

    GOD BLESS!

  10. When will people learn? In 1961, the people of Jamaica said they didn’t want regional integration especially with small islands who will be a burden. Trinidad and Tobago didn’t want to be alone with the small islands as part of regional integration. Guyana followed then Barbados. The small islands subsequently formed the OECS to band together.

    Fast forward 2020, the OECS is awashed with Jamaicans and Guyanese immigrants all in the name of regional integration. The OECS worked so hard on its own only to develop itself so the same foreign people who rejected them could come and benefit. When the OECS is down and broken again hopefully they will learn this time.

  11. I wonder if the failed, nebvefr won a case dishonest lawyer from Trinidad, now turned CEO of Barbados aviation company, who was working to destroy LIAT from inside out had something to do with that. I also wonder if the other Trini flight attendant who has no qulification, now turned Exec and trying too run the company has been feeding a lawyer conterpart with LIAT’s data. It is a whole mix up Mr PM. Watch them Trini. My candid advice is to fire the ex flight attendant or you will regret it. Traitors within. Examine their horns.

  12. Beef you are definitely a clone of Gaston Brown.
    Won’t be too long before the other medias ban you.
    Confine yourself to pointe_less fm media.
    Antigua needs better representation.

  13. LIAT will overcome even this hurdle. No weapon form against us shall prosper. Sorry Gaston but if these are your friends I really don’t want to see your enemies. Only your friend know your secrets so only he can reveal it.

    • Sidelines:We all know his secrets.Asot Michael revealed them to us.I am just wishing that Asot opened up the vault.Let all the documents be blown out for all to gather and read.Oh what a day that would be.Seeing Gaston’s face hit the ground.

  14. FROM THE SIDELINE I guess you did not hear Asot’s comment after “the letter fiasco and who write letter etc”. What Comrade Asot said then is that our Prime Minister does not have many regional Prime Minister friends (perhaps not even Skeritt of Dominica) because of how he interacts with them and talk to them. He must remember they are not kids and cannot be spoken to or treated the way he treats the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda. I am just saying that is something you might wish to consider.

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