Cabinet Concerned as Caribbean Airlines Expands, Potentially Replacing LIAT Routes


CABINET NOTES: The Cabinet took note of the scaling-up of Caribbean Airlines (CAL), including the purchase of several ATR Aircraft with the expectation of placing them on routes serviced by LIAT 1974 ltd.

The statement about CAL’s expansion came from a Trinidad and Tobago parliamentarian who spoke in their parliament recently; it is evident, the Cabinet concluded, that reviving LIAT is not an objective of Trinidad whose leaders are determined to capture the aviation services that Antigua and Barbuda once exported.

Cabinet is determined to have LIAT resume its role, providing hundreds of jobs to residents and Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.

Air Peace has agreed to purchase a significant share in LIAT (2020) and to provide the capital necessary to return LIAT to its former glory.







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  1. Lets talk real money.

    US$350 Million to keep Caribbean Airlines in the game and clean up BWIA’s mess up to 2007.

    “CAL’s profitability has been as cyclical as the aviation business, posting some profits on paper over the years 2009 and 2019 but those figures were outweighed the TT$1 billion debt. CAL, which began operations in January 1, 2007 debt free but made several bad investments over the years, which cost the airline more than TT$1 billion in losses.

    The airline was capitalised with US$100 million (TT$677 million)—a clean balance sheet, a leaner flight schedule, subsidised fuel and a smaller staff. However, it later accumulated losses of US$454,550,903 million (TT$3 billion), according to its 2020 management accounts.

    CAL was birthed based on a plan by its former chief executive, Englishman Peter Davies, came after T&T Government had already invested US$250 million (TT$1,692,500) in an attempt to keep its successor British West Indies Airways (BWIA) alive.”

  2. @Commenter: your comments on CAL seems as though you have some insider information that only a CEO, CFO of an establishment will know.

    You could be releasing sensitive information that only a few “officials” would have discussed amongst themselves during a cum ba yah conference!

    Thanks for the info. I hope it is helpful in making your case for the recapitalization of LIAT 2020.

    Many months have passed. Now that the squeeze is being applied and the pressure is increasing. The
    “BIG RED MACHINE” might blow a head gasket!

    Fund the project of keeping LIAT in the skies. Leeward Islands Air Transport is an essential and important source of revenue for Antigua and Barbuda. Show Rowley who’s “WORLD BOSS.”

  3. Good, competition. That is great for the public, and bad for the government who thinks only of themself. Buy again, that is what the people are trained to support.

  4. @Freetownson.

    No I am not an insider .
    My observations are based on the figures from the story I put the link to.

    What I am trying to show is the amount of capital required to keep a good sized airline going or start one up. Including keeping good will by paying off the debts of the previous incarnation . If the investors are not committed to these kinds of amounts then it is best not to start up becaue the venture will fail.

    We have not even gone into the operational losses.
    Just the initial capital to get started with good will in place.

  5. @ Dion Pelle

    Yes. Every Caricom country wants the benefits of an airline hub or base or multiples of the same based in that country . Barbados is the one country that will have the benefits without having to use their own taxpayers money to invest in any airline venture . They have INterCaribbean and Virgin Atlantic and are working on attracting Caribbean Airlines to establish a hub .
    To have a feasible hub the airlines have to expand their routes and it does not hurt to trim any potential competition out at the same time. LIAT(1974) Ltd is one thing but LIAT(2020) has no current market share or operation so trying to put them out of the game even before they start up is not unfair .

      I understand where you’re coming from not one of these people are talking about all those millions collected from the paying customers still waiting to be repaid and the same customers they will be depending on to fly with them again.

  6. This was long in coming and a welcomed move. Caribbean Airlines is simply trying to fill a void created by the void and failure of LIAT and regional leaders inability to do anything about it. My only hope is that regional air travel would return to its hey days and be affordable for all travelers. Sadly this could mark the final nail in LIAT’s coffin.

    • This I agree with. I am on a forum with a large group of LIAT employees and they cannot wait to jump ship to CAL at the earliest possible opportunity. They view LIAT, its Management and the Government as a total failure and the promise of 2020 nothing but any empty promise that will never come to fruition. They are forced to work at half pay and rarely get paid on time. Who can blame them when they look next door and see CAL expanding, purchasing new aircraft and paying their staff on time!!

      BTW…former LIAT employees can now forget about any severance!! Gaston and his mismanagement has permanent killed that…

  7. Why can’t they all merge to form a true ‘Caribbean Airlines’ or ‘Liat the Caribbean Airlines.’ The latter sounds pretty good.

  8. @ Freetownson
    We live in a region where there are few original stories. In most cases as is the case with this story, it reported up the story verbatim without any analysis or context, but depend on the comments of its readers which are unfortunately patrician.
    @ Commentator found a relevant public source to brought relevant context to the article in his or her comments.
    That’s a good thing for the outlets the using the titles aren’t even aggregators
    Not only do they have no sources, they make no effort to bring analysis and context to what they provide.
    Let’s hope there is room for both Caribbean Airlines and Air Peace owned LIAT to survive.
    For the politicians the Airline service is about jobs, and prestige.
    For the traveling Caribbean public including Antigua and Barbuda; they are looking for dependable and reasonably priced flights, with consistency and high quality customer experience.
    A good news portal editor would expand the coverage to the implications of a privately owned airline competing with a publicly owned airline.
    Air Peace will be majority shareholder and and as a private s company they will need to bring to bear the management efficiencies to the operations required to be profitable. The expected jobs may never materialize. Or maybe they will
    If Air Peace has the Midas touch and is able to deal with the politicians goals of lots of jobs.
    Caribbean Airlines may learn something from Air Peace or visa versa or team up on the reservation system.
    The principal of Air Peace gave the Nigerian Legal fraternity a tongue lashing recently. I’m looking forward to his reactions to the local bureaucracy once his LIAT initiate regional airline services.

  9. What Antigua/LIAT could do:
    1. Get agreement with T&T to revert to the good old days of interline relationship whether through shares in exchange for the Northern Gateway, or whatever clever exchange they decide. Antigua is a very important hub of value which has historically served the USVI/BVI/P.R.
    2. Conclude the mid-Atlantic route with Air Peace Abuja/Lagos/Antigua/Lagos/Abuja.
    Enter Air Peace into an interline agreement between the CA/LIAT operation.
    3. Recognize that a ‘Local’ or ‘Regional’ airline requires majority ownership be local or regional. Otherwise it is a foreign airline.

  10. Liat still alive? CAL is addressing the serious need for intra regional transport that LIAT never properly fulfilled… All LIAT in Antigua doing is not paying its workers and bankruptcy… LIAT needs to end their nightmare, sell the planes, pay all staff they owe and just close down… of course the favored persons with those useless office jobs who cannot even answer the phones, need to be terminated…what a joke! The way forward for liat would have been to merge with another of the regional airlines CAL, Winair etc in the Caribbean, but all the cushy jobs in Antigua would have been lost….

  11. The Cabinet Notes briefing by Lionel Hurst makes it unequivocal clear that for the ABLP Cabinet that this latest maneuver with Air Peace and LIAT is purely about jobs.
    Much of LiAT failure is rooted in the fact that it remains a tool for political interest and purposes.
    LIAT has for too long been saddled with an incompetent and the politically connected management and administrative workforce. The quality of service never matters.
    With CAL in the picture service and price will determine who controls the market.
    Rather than the Administrator who is supposedly responsible for a bankrupt LIAT while it’s in receivership; taking the lead it’s Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs who reportedly did the negotiations.
    Neither the local, or the regional media or the opposition parties question how this transaction is being handled.
    Once the transaction is labeled “Jobs” no one will see any reason to criticize it.
    The Owner of Air Peace will take over the ownership and management of LIAT. The dead weights will be sent home; head counts will be reduced. And the jobs promised will not materialize.
    The market will be governed by price and quality of services.
    CAL will be subsidized by the T&T government; forcing Air Peace/LIAT to invest heavily to compete.
    Should Air Peace not willing to invest like Stanford did; Air Peace will be faulted as not having the resources and necessary experience to run an airline in the Caribbean.
    For those who dream of a nostalgic trip to Africa: go to London first; and spend a few weeks observing how the West Africans in the England treat the Caribbean people in the UK like dogs.
    Even professional African Americans working for the likes of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and BBC are looked down on by the classless but wealthy West Africans in Belgravia

  12. Give me CAL any day, it is the most reliable airline in caricom. It has already filled much of the void left by LIAT. CAL is an established international carrier…..

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