Aviation commentator calls on LIAT officials to ensure all is in order before return to the skies

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Daily Observer: The former head of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority is calling on LIAT officials to ensure that they “dot their I’s and cross their T’s” as efforts continue to restore the carrier.

Gatesworth James said that these measures are important due to the nature of the aviation industry.

“… It is sophisticated and highly regulatory, and it is so because of the kind of services and products that we are carrying,” he advised. “You don’t leave anything unturned.”

James was speaking on the Observer Radio’s Big Issues on Sunday after Prime Minister Gaston Browne had accused St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados, last weekend, of discriminating against LIAT.

On Friday, Dec. 4, LIAT announced a suspension of services to these destinations, less than a week after restoring its commercial passenger flights.

A scheduled flight to Barbados was made on the Monday prior, but officials from LIAT said they have since been informed by both territories, that new arrangements must be made for entry into the countries.

Browne called the situation “unfortunate” and said the requirement from Barbados and St Vincent is not in line with the expectations from other airlines.

The Prime Minister is calling for a complete review of the decision.

However, Prime Minister Ralph Gonslaves doubled down during the week claiming that Antigua was “tardy” in dealing with several outstanding issues.

James said the carrier should have had everything in place before flights were scheduled.

“I cannot see why this matter occurred so early in the age of this new LIAT,” he said.

However, the aviation consultant said the issues at hand are easy fixes.

“The question of the relationship with IATA (International Air Transport Association) and that sort of thing, those to me are red herrings… those are not issues that should block the re-take-off of LIAT,” he said.

James is encouraging the carrier to conduct business with professionalism, since that will help the public regain confidence in the carrier.

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15 COMMENTS

    • Anon the 1st you are being ambiguous here. Who or what is the relic you refer to? Is it Gaston Browne or LIAT?

  1. PM Browne should be commended. He is the only PM that has made a semblance of a sensible decision on regional aviation.
    That decision was to operate a scale down version of LIAT with the assets they own. Right now CAL is incurring huge lease costs on approx 13 aircraft that they just don’t need at this time., some Over.15years old. CAL is carrying staff and passing salaries to pilots that are doing no work… Insanity!
    Gonzalves and Mottley, are not making sense, and are behaving like children on the playground. The question to these 2: What is more important, building the economic infrastructure to enable the survival of the region, or playing “if I can’t get it, you can’t either”? It’s senseless to move the LIAT base at this time Ms Mottley. And all you have to do Mr Gonzalves, is to integrate One Caribbean into LIAT, to operate a carrier with assets you own.
    Gatey my friend, don’t buy that narrative being pedalled by BGI & SVG. They are just ashamed that Browne got LIAT back in the air without them.

    • Talldog don’t understand why you are looking at the coin from one side just turn it to the other side and look Barbados and st Vincent just rightoff millions in dollars that does not belong to either of them but the country they represent and both did it without they people consent now you would like for them to let Liat run-up big bills again you and the rest hoping for that would have to be crazy.

      • Firstly you need to pay attention to what I commended PM Browne on… Operating LIAT with the assets it owns. This means no lease costs, one of the biggest on the p&l.
        Which brings me to the second point… All of these current CARICOM PMs keep taking knuckle – head decisions on aviation… Dumb advisors that have no clue on how an airline runs keep encouraging these clueless leaders to abuse their tax payers…they should all go back to the PM manning model. Mr manning brought in Catalise, a well known airline management consultancy firm, and took a hands of approach and let them do their work. The result was a well run CAL until manning was removed from office
        More than likely, your precious PM is going to spend a heap of your taxes to incentivize a private company to provide you with proper air transportation, and that would be hidden from you… There are sufficient well trained and knowledgeable airline professionals in the region that know what to do… The problem is the politician and their friends that they pay to give them terrible advice…

    • Barbadians are suffering, the prime minister of barbados cannot continue to prop up liat, how can Ms. Motley explain to us Barbadians that she is spending millions of our tax dollars on liat and we are suffering? Ms. Motley has to answer to us Barbadians about our money,

      • Well she could never explain spending your money to prop up LIAT. However, she could easily explain an investment in a well thought out regional aviation project.
        From what I’m seeing coming out in the public there was never, nor is there any well thought out plan in place anywhere in CARICOM.

  2. “Worl Boss” needs to look keenly at LIAT. That uneducated Trini flight attendant turned LIAT exec. who is working with the “fired’ Trini lawyer, now CEO of the Newly formed Barbados Aviation Company, is killing LIAT, which is their intention. Gaston, you need them out.

    Then you have the rest of the Exec team running around like headless chickens in a pen all fighting for power. Backstabbing each other and cutting each others throat hoping to be CEO. This is the same failed team which brought LIAT to its knees along with the British team which was working secretly with Barbados to move LIAT there.

    Gaston there are many bright young minds around the Caribbean and the OECS who can turned LIAT around in no time. Get rid of the traitors and the failures and watch LIAT take to the skies. Hold on to then and watch LIAT fail within months.

    • It is so obvious that PM Motley and Gonzalves are listening to blockheads.
      In Trinidad, the CEO of CAL and his band of clueless executives, supported by BOD that is lacking in governance skills (imagine that, a bod that does not know governance), was spending away millions rebranding the airline whilst the industry was heading for collapse. This was the only airline in the world that was expecting growth whilst the market was collapsing in China and Europe. Those jokers are being advised by big time consultants that have absolutely zero airline experience.
      Im in agreement that PM Browne should get the best of the Caribbean airline professionals on this project. And I predict that if he does, in a couple years LIAT would be taking over CAL, and be the prominent airline in the region.

      • I forgot to add PM Rowley to the list… He has a chairman in CAL that came out publicly and said he was going to change public behaviour, as in his insane mind the customer was wrong… Yes CAL ‘s chairman thinks the customer is wrong, and still heads the bod … Complete madness.
        CAL has advisers that believe that IATA’ s advisory menu for airlines is not useful at this time, IATA is the international Air transport association, and they have literally hundreds of programs to help airlines to successfully navigate the current landscape. Call advisors believe what is needed is for an executive and a board with almost no airline experience to think outside the box…. That’s why they are paying lease costs on old planes, that they not using now, haven’t been used for over 9 months, won’t be using within the next 3 to 6 months, and are worth less than half the price they paying.
        So Caribbean people up the proverbial creek without a paddle with these leaders that just won’t respect the hard fact that airline professionals should run airlines, not telecommunications engineers and chicken farmers.

  3. You all are speaking like barbados and barbaduan don have any econo sense to think on our own, liat is a business, barbados has a choice to finance or not to finance liat, are we suppose to waste our money and see nothing in return but promises? I am sorry for liat but I think that if Antigua can manage their own airline ( liat), that would be the best thing for them, then you would not have any one to blame but yourselves. Leave barbados 🇧🇧 out of it for now, we cannot afford liat at this time , we are in an IMF program.

  4. You all are speaking like barbados and barbadians don’t have any econo sense to think on our own, liat is a business, barbados has a choice to finance or not to finance liat, are we suppose to waste our money and see nothing in return but promises? I am sorry for liat but I think that if Antigua can manage their own airline ( liat), that would be the best thing for them, then you would not have any one to blame but yourselves. Leave barbados 🇧🇧 out of it for now, we cannot afford liat at this time , we are in an IMF program.

  5. I forgot to add PM Rowley to the list… He has a chairman in CAL that came out publicly and said he was going to change public behaviour, as in his insane mind the customer was wrong… Yes CAL ‘s chairman thinks the customer is wrong, and still heads the bod … Complete madness.
    CAL has advisers that believe that IATA’ s advisory menu for airlines is not useful at this time, IATA is the international Air transport association, and they have literally hundreds of programs to help airlines to successfully navigate the current landscape. Call advisors believe what is needed is for an executive and a board with almost no airline experience to think outside the box…. That’s why they are paying lease costs on old planes, that they not using now, haven’t been used for over 9 months, won’t be using within the next 3 to 6 months, and are worth less than half the price they paying.
    So Caribbean people up the proverbial creek without a paddle with these leaders that just won’t respect the hard fact that airline professionals should run airlines, not telecommunications engineers and chicken farmers.

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