LIAT 2020 to take off in June


POINTE XPRESS: LIAT 2020 is scheduled to take to the skies within the next four months as discussions enter the final stage with potential investors.

An advertisement yesterday outlined that LIAT 2020, which will be based in Antigua, is looking for experienced people to fill several positions crucial to the airline’s operations.

Vacancies include CEO, captains, first officers, cabin crew, maintenance and engineering, information technology and ground operations.

Minister of State within the Ministry of Finance, Lennox Weston, said the airline will become a reality and, while he did not disclose names, he said several Caribbean governments have indicated an interest in being part of the carrier.

He added that discussions are also underway with potential private sector investors.

Indicating that a feasibility study revealed that Antigua and Barbuda can shoulder the financial responsibilities of the airline’s operations on its own following the restructuring exercise, Weston said the administration in Saint John’s does not intend to move ahead alone.

“We have about three governments who have already indicated their desire to participate and we are still in the final stages talking to two additional investors,” Minister Weston stated.

In the past, Prime Minister Gaston Browne proposed the creation of LIAT 2020 out of a restructured LIAT 1974 Limited as the alternative to liquidating the airline.

While the new carrier is taking shape, the issue of severance and other benefits claimed by former LIAT employees continue to linger.

More than one hundred workers have accepted the government’s compassionate payment – fifty percent of what they are owed – but many other former staff continue to hold out in the hope that their union will be successful in getting the government to settle on paying their severance and other emoluments in full.

But Prime Minister Browne has insisted there will be no further negotiations on the issue and he has reminded the ex-LIAT staff that his government was under no legal obligation to paying the former workers at all.

Even if the government was disposed to paying off the former LIAT workers in full, Minister Weston said that would require an investor with “deep pockets” who was willing to settle all outstanding debts estimated at more than $120 million.

This figure includes taxes owed to the government which he says will prove difficult. This means any hopes of former employees receiving what they are expecting will not materialize.

“If LIAT 1974 Ltd. doesn’t get that kind of level of investment, then it will be dissolved and the dissolution will take place based on the law when you dissolve a company and the benefits of the workers will be paid from the sale of the assets from LIAT 1974 Ltd.

“That is why the compassionate offer from the government we find quite attractive. But they have a different view. They believe that the assets will yield tremendous benefits and the government is trying to rob them of those benefits,” Weston added.

According to Minister Weston, LIAT 2020 is the government’s vision for a regional airline headquartered in Antigua, adding that LIAT 1974 Ltd. is owned by several governments and for which the receiver Cleveland Seaforth is still searching for investors.

“The Antiguan government is moving quickly ahead to form an airline LIAT 2020 that can viably and commercially provide services, which are essential to the VC. Bird Airport, and to our product and the tourism product of several regional governments.”

The establishment of the new airline will allow for a clean slate where the principals are expecting to implement a management structure that will be effective and profitable. POINTE EXPRESS.

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  1. Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “The Afrocentric method is a form of cultural criticism that examines etymological uses of words and terms in order to know the source of an author’s location. This allows us to intersect ideas with actions and actions with ideas on the basis of what is pejorative and ineffective and what is creative and transformative at the political and economic levels.”- Dr. Molefi Asante, Afrocentricity, The Theory Of Social Change!

    “What’s Past Is Prologue!” – Shakespeare, The Tempest!

    As far back as the early mid 2000’s, this mere voice in the wilderness, from a prone position on Fair Helen, as “mi gud frens” at CA who knew of the dalliance, signaled that a huge transformative change, redesign, reengineer, realign and restructure, of LIAT was needed immediately to stave of the inevitable collapse!

    Antigua and Barbuda, under the Spencer administration had ceded not only the locus but more so the center to the Southern States throwing the Vision, Mission, Values and tactical Modus Operandi and Vivendi out of alignment as the Northeast Caribbean Centripetal forces of stability were overcome by the Southern Caribbean Centrifugal forces of the ‘Hi brow’ Colonized Caste mentality! This mismatch became so glaring it was shameful if not pathetic! LIAT was operating three southern hubs (A Major on Barbados and two smaller ones in St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago) in a 200 Mile radius! Clearly, Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat – “those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad!” Not only was this strategic and tactical operation madness but also financial suicide as both SLU and POS who had the minor hubs and Grenada (which benefitted from increased airlift) Governments refused to contribute one penny to LIAT!

    The Board, baffled by CDB and its Praetorian IMF and WB Guards Economic Development Models, was broken in its embrace of the tactical leadership of that inveterate gambler and shameless trader Cap’n Brunton and De British Embalmer Evans to “Marabou” LIAT! “The unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

    Leave behind all the turbulence of Flying the Friendly, Sunny Caribbean Skies and Fast Forward to 2020! GoAB has decided to abandon the “cruel plan to assemble a band of Spades who would head he other way … a selection of Clubs with dazzling masquerading skills and truly heartless masks to complete this task and cruel mission” (Edgar Lake, The Devil’s Bridge) of clipping LIAT’s wings and submerging it beneath the calm and healing waters of the Caribbean Sea! “The more the people understand, the more watchful they become, and the more they come to realize that finally everything depends on them and their salvation lies in their own cohesion, in the true understanding of their interests, and in knowing who their enemies are. The people come to understand that wealth is not the fruit of labor but the result of organized, protected robbery.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

  2. Notes From a Native Son Of The Rock! Sankofa: African Routes, Antigua and Barbuda Roots through the Middle Passage with Each Endeavouring All Achieving!

    Quo Vadis! LIAT 2020! Why! “Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming!”- William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming!
    GoAB in its effervescent, ephemeral and evanescent bubble has learned very little from the past and is doomed to repeat one of the deathliest failures! Gaining the Trust and Confidence of the People of African Descent to lovingly climb aboard and tightly enjoy the warm embrace of LIAT 2020 Vision Mission and Values! Many of us were given names that said or portended nothing in our future! They were names of our enslavers and wiped away our culture and led to “black, dislocation disorientation, decenteredness, and lack of agency!” Why not have the People of African Descent who are paying for this enterprise put their creative and innovative minds together to name the Phoenix! This mere voice is aware of the difficulties in doing so now! “Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth! That is the responsibility of a caring and loving GoAB!

    The name LIAT is a Colonial relic which must be jettisoned in this the International Decade for People of African Descent 2024 – 2015! “Come, then, comrades; it would be as well to decide at once to change our ways. We must shake off the heavy darkness in which we were plunged, and leave it behind. The new day which is already at hand must find us firm, prudent, and resolute. We must leave our dreams and abandon our old beliefs and friendships from the time before life began. Let us waste no time in sterile litanies and nauseating mimicry.” Frantz Fanon! All Mi Gud Frens on CA know that JFII has advanced a name that is more in keeping with our position on the Caribbean and Lucayan Archipelagos! Hopefully GoAB will retain the fortitude and strength in its new partnership to be able to have the People involved in a rebrand!

    “The consciousness of self is not the closing of a door to communication.” Frantz Fanon!

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