COMMENTARY: LIAT (2019) Limited

Basil Springer
By Basil Springer
“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment … a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins … the wine will burst the skins.” – Mark 2:21-22
Last week we suggested that a solution-oriented leadership approach is a preventive maintenance and curative process which is vital for government departments, NGOs, statutory corporations and private businesses.
We postulate that Caribbean unity cannot be successfully fostered and the economies of the Caribbean cannot survive without the services of a sound and efficient regional airline to connect countries and territories in the Caribbean.
Caribbean countries and territories and, indeed, all stakeholders must engage immediately in a visionary session to effect a global innovative search for a financially strong airline partner, e.g. Emirates or Virgin Atlantic, to set up a new airline. The biggest challenge is to get the patient, LIAT, to agree to this treatment solution.
In the last column, we took a cursory look at LIAT and concluded that, if this approach were to be applied to LIAT, the shepherd’s likely recommended treatment solution would be to close the airline, get the best price for any valuable assets, strike the best deal with staff and creditors and enter into an arrangement with Caribbean Airlines to provide interim essential services until a new airline is established and operational.
We propose the establishment of a new entity, say, LIAT (2019) Limited.
In the coming weeks, in this column, we shall explore this visionary space in greater detail, and share potential solutions based on five pillars: (1) no-nonsense governance policies to establish a sound foundation from which to monitor success, (2) innovative investment finance to provide financial security, (3) global marketing to bring new revenue life to the entity, (4) disciplined operations to engender profitability and growth, and (5) affirmed abundance staff culture to stimulate sustainability.
No-nonsense shareholder governance policies include ownership, board appointment, management monitoring, headquarters agreement(s), government interference, mendicancy, relative country economic benefits from the airline, anachronistic taxation and unprofitable routes.
Innovative investment finance includes partnership with rich countries, the private sector and development institutions for mutual benefit.
Global marketing must include tourism and business linkage strategies for inter-regional travel and international travel, building on the Caribbean brand.
Disciplined operations include high productivity (human, technology and process) and cost containment.
Affirmed abundance staff culture includes a positive affirmation of passion, persistence, and patience to attract abundance in the business, emotional, financial, mental, physical, and spiritual health of staff, leading to happiness.
The Caribbean is a unique diverse multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-culinary, multi-genre (musical) and multi-lingual region, made up of an archipelago of islands and selected mainland emerging territories in and bordering on the Caribbean Sea. This is a natural haven for a virtual operation business environment and a warm weather tourism experience.
The movement of people (regional residents and tourists) and cargo in this archipelago, comfortably, profitably, efficiently, daily, in a timely manner and at an affordable price, is mandatory to promote Caribbean unity and sustain economic development.
Let us make a determined collected effort to fix this problem once and for all by putting the new wine into fresh wineskins.
Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is [email protected]. His columns may be found at and on

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  1. Not at all impressed with this circumlocutive advice to rectify LIAT by this consultant. Some recommendations make absolutely no sense, whatsoever, and the rest are what we already know.
    When someone or a company engages the services of a consultant (fees range between $5000 to $12,000 us), they expect to get new and workable solutions. In this case, it’s all embellishment of the same old solutions.
    This man needs to come to Antigua and speak to us.

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