James claims that LIAT 2020 was born out of Browne’s desire to spite the airline pilots’ union


REAL NEWS: Gatesworth James, a former executive of LIAT (1974) Ltd., claims that LIAT 2020 was created out of spite for the regional carrier’s pilots union, since Prime Minister Gaston Browne did not want to honour financial obligations to these persons.

It is well-known that Browne and the union representing the pilots –LIALPA – have been at loggerheads for years now over their severance payments.

James says the talk about LIAT 2020 is nonsense and is a vendetta to get rid of the company’s debts, as Browne refuses to pay the airline’s former workers.

He notes that the other shareholder governments are choosing to go their separate ways and are pursuing airline services individually because of Browne’s failure to consult with them.

And he believes that LIAT 2020 could be another failed venture of the Administration if it is not handled properly.

In the meantime, the Browne Administration is accused of attempting to dodge its obligations to the severed airline workers.

It has moved not only to change the carrier’s name, but is seeking to sell majority shares to Nigerian airline Air Peace, which it hopes to have manage the operations of LIAT 2020.





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  1. Everyone is pointing fingers, so I’ll point mine hoping it does not get chopped off.
    LIAT 1974 was a troubled and failing enterprise before COVID 2019.
    There are numerous reasons why.
    I dear someone to explain all the reasons why LIAT stop serving Barbuda and the Barbuda leadership did not complain or fight for LIAT return.
    In another note, The Antigua Workers Union which is an ABLP affiliate are not representative of the workers who were made redundant by the leader of the Labor Party. Given they have been rather quiet in the issue one can only assume they supported Gaston with his enmity against the pilots and their union.
    How ironic? The AWU and the ABLP shows no solidarity with the workers.
    Where was all the solidarity with workers expounded by the Labor Party mouth puppets snd mouthpieces. None that I know of.
    This is not to say that the reason why Gaston reach his distaste for the pilots Union is that he is purely being malicious. The pilots union needed to be rained-in, not bled to death.
    Another opportunity lost, and an airline crippled by Gaston Brown.
    December is 30 days away from the slipping and sliding schedule of the Air Peace take over.

  2. @Dwaine Frazer

    “I dear someone to explain all the reasons why LIAT stop serving Barbuda”.

    Will try to tackle part of your question.

    If my memory serves me correctly
    In 1998/ 1999 LIAT (1974) phased out their Twin Otter Aircraft.
    The new operating model was to only operate one type of aircraft being 2 models of the Dash8.
    LIAT (1974) Ltd at that point had no aircraft that could operate into Barbuda.
    Carib Aviation Ltd under Sir Frank Delisle took up the domestic Antigua and Barbuda route operation with Twin Otter aircraft.
    Carib Aviation Ltd had a special dispensation on the domestic route were they did not pay landing fees.
    Carib Aviation Ltd continued to do this route under new ownership until they ceased operations in September 2008.

  3. Frazer, I rise on a point of information.. AWU Antigua workers union is UPP/PLM affiliated.. ATLU Antigua Trades and Labour union is a Labour Party affiliate. Doesn’t change your argument but some clarity was necessary..

  4. Money is used for what they want it to use for, staff is owed money, no money is there
    Election is due money come from all over to buy votes

  5. @Commentator
    The dear was not a trick question. You did correctly outline the main reason why.
    I raised the question for there were some major malfeasance that took place that drove that decision.
    It speaks to why the Barbudans never complained and the public was never informed about the details and the perpetrators ran off to New York.
    It’s among many things that sapped LIAT 1874 without public knowledge.

  6. Former employees still need urgent medical attention and Gaston Browne still not paying them severance. Smh.

  7. Liat’s demise is a result of a confluence of latent failures over a protracted period. Note Gonzales and Mia comments. We recognize that Liat is a significant logistical support to the economic development of the region, however, we are not going forward with the “past”. And that “past” still persist.

  8. @John Lorde
    I totally agree with you.
    The statements of two primary shareholders is indicative of the same old generalization of the reasons for LIAT failures.
    We are a Caribbean society of people who are afraid to expose ourselves to the venom of the uniformed and dangerous forces protecting there vested interests
    Both Prime Ministers Gonzales and Mia Motley were plummeted by the Caribbean Bar Association when they identified a significant reason why crime rates in the Caribbean Jeep rising.
    It was one of the few cases where leaders identify a source of the problem of crime in the Caribbean.
    Even the Antigua and Barbuda Bar Association who is know for hiding in the woods, never seem to have an opinion on any societal matter; had a statement objecting to Gonzales and Motley opinion article.
    LIAT was a victim of emotional abuse in that everyone was proud of LIAT as an institution.
    LIAT was pampered with mismanagement while we loved (him or her) so much that allowed (him or her) to a spoiled brat who is not redeemable.

  9. LIAT 2020 is dead before it’s started. For starters, where are they going to get pilots and others staff? By now, they have all moved on. Oh snaps! I forgot! Nigeria!
    Everything Gaston touches turns to dust but not before some kind of “creative enrichment” takes place.
    @Frazer. Don’t want to picky but the word is “dare” and not “dear”.

  10. @Zakie,
    Thanks to you.
    Given the rough and tumble nature of this forum, it’s a race to get one’s point across in a timely fashion together with my of impatience with proofreading as I should.

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