The government of Antigua and Barbuda will partner with Air Peace to revive the Caribbean national carrier LIAT under a new name. Following an agreement between both parties, the privately owned Nigerian airline will acquire a majority stake in LIAT 2020. Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne issued a statement announcing the joint venture.
The governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, and St. Vincent & The Grenadines jointly own LIAT. Following a constant rise in debt, escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister announced that the airline would be liquidated in June 2020
LIAT operated interisland scheduled flights from VC Bird International Airport (ANU), 8 km northeast of the Antiguan capital, St John’s. With a fleet of three ATR42-600s, the carrier flew to ten destinations on 32 routes.
The airline went into administration in July 2020 and resumed operations later that year under a temporary framework and with a reduced schedule. The shareholding governments agreed to replace it with LIAT 2020, the NewCo, without legacy costs.
The plan to launch the new carrier has been stretched over a long period due to a lack of funds. The Antigua and Barbuda government and Air Peace will invest cash and other assets in LIAT 2020, with the Nigerian carrier acquiring a majority stake.
The latest developments followed the Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Minister’s visit to Nigeria last month. Minister Chet Greene met with his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama and Air Peace CEO Allen Onyema to discuss their intentions of developing a sustainable airline.
Their mission is to launch an airline that can meet interisland air travel and connectivity demand in the East Caribbean region. The introduction of LIAT 2020 will provide more travel options and reliable air services for passengers and cargo.
Flights between Nigeria and the Caribbean
Although not all shareholders could come together to finance LIAT, the Antigua and Dominica governments committed to funding the Caribbean carrier. As part of the announcement, Greene highlighted his state’s firm intention to launch LIAT 2020.
Air Peace’s Onyema intends to invest in the airline and ensure it is viable and sustainable. Its launch will contribute to socio-economic development in the region. Investments by all parties will bring the possibility of routes beyond the Caribbean and South America.
St John’s (ANU) and Lagos Murtala Muhammed Airport (LOS) are 4,449 mi (7,159 km) apart. However, LIAT’s ATR aircraft have a range of about 970 mi (1,560 km), so the airline may have to invest in longer-range jets before we can see flights between Antigua and Nigeria.
Air Peace is currently working on launching flights between Africa and the Caribbean by the end of the second quarter of 2023. Negotiations between the airline, Africa Export-Import Bank, and Barbados could lead to flights between Barbados and Nigeria.
Last year, Antigua and Barbuda launched the virtual carrier Antigua Airways, which flew for less than three months. It was meant to connect the Caribbean to West Africa, but its failure has led the state to turn to Air Peace.
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Another disaster in the making!
I don’t think this is wise at all. Considering the recent nonsense with Antigua air ways or rather the air human trafficking
Be guided by the previous fiasco
What happens to the severance for liat employees? You see these wicked government officials! One day, God will deal with them accordingly
God won’t do what you can do for yourself. Time after time people still elect the same wicked government
Wow!!! I guess this administration never heard of learning from your mistakes!!!
The buffoon, PM and leader of ALP, is yet again embarking on another failed venture with Nigerian fraudsters. Gaston is barking mad, his actions will ultimately be to the collapse of Antigua’s tourists industry, as well as the Caribbean basin.
There are already diplomatic disagreements between him and the government of St Kitts with his migrants.
It is unbelievable that other heads of the Caribbean will commit to this venture.
ALP has told us that the Nigerians will be the largest shareholders, so naturally, the major profits will go to the Nigerians. We have been here before and we ended up with a collapse venture.
What is not clear is what the Nigerian fraudsters are bringing to the table to generate profits, could it be more trafficked migrants?
I can not see Antiguans using Liat replacement airline to connect with the Caribbean, nor, can I see Antiguans travelling to Nigeria, a country that is well known for kidnapping foreign visitors.
I smell a stinking rat!! Only time will tell.
Do not criticise a country u haven’t been to, speaking only based on wat u heard from the media, I care less about wat Ur government does but dnt drag a country whose citizen just Wana do business…
Cab we get the men in white coats to declare Gaston Browne as insane?
Pretty please 😂
Air Peace is the largest airline in Nigeria and West Africa. The carrier boasts a fleet of about 30 aircraft, consisting of Boeing 737 (10 planes) and 777 aircraft 3 planes), Airbis 320 (5 planes), Embraer ERJ-145 (8 planes) and Embraer E2 (5 planes). I know since the Antigua Airways debacle we have all become very skeptical of any such development especially with West African connections. From all reports, Air Peace is a well establish and credible Air Carrier and if they can seriously invest in and turn around the fortunes of LIAT, it will be to the benefit of Antigua and the Caribbean as a whole. I am not someone who jump on any bandwagon easily but as a genuine and well establish carrier and one with the capital and other resources to make LIAT successful, I would want to support it. LIAT needs capital and PLANES and if AIR PEACE can provide it, this would mark a turn around in the fortunes of LIAT.
@Audley Phillip, whilst there might be truth to your support for Air Peace you might to check the following:
It appears that Gaston is only attracted to wanted criminal and fraudulent Nigerian business men.
@Audley Phillip… now this is well research post… People need to research rather than come here and post from emotions ….. Liat needs to make a comeback
I would be the first to admit that Air Peace is NOT yet a profitable airline according to my research. In fact the airline is yet to become profitable even amidst its expansion plans. Reportedly, the Airline lost $3.3 million USD in the last year just flying to coastal West African countries such as Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Still if the owner can refleet LIAT and recapitalize it, we might see a resurgence of the LIAT we are accustomed to seeing in its hey days. I think it is worth looking at seriously. With the correct fleet and capital injection, the Caribbean is LIAT’s territory and we witnessed this for many years.
Thank you @audleyphillip
You all have the wrong impression of Nigerians. Every country has its fair share of fraudsters who are lazy, greedy people who want a faster route to making money.
Nigerians are the most industrious people, dedicated and hardworking people. I’ve ever met. They aren’t all fraudsters.
My Nigerian friend who moved to Antigua last year is making waves with her African food , photography, fashion and makeup businesses.
Don’t judge a place you’ve never been to because of things you read in the news.
Air peace from what I know is one of the biggest carriers in that country who has done a lot of pro bono services in helping to reduce stranded Nigerians in various parts of the country.
Gaston administration should have done their due diligence before partnering with that Mike Character who has no history of understanding how aviation work.
Even from the pictures seen, Nigerians attested that he was a fraud just from the way he was dressed.
We know an established and wealthy Nigerian businessman when we see one and they don’t look hungry 😂😂
I just want to know
If we live on an island
And liat fail ever since it built
Why invest more in it when u can invest in ferry and boat?
Nobody audits failing entities cool
Frankly the PM is either crazy or desperate or both. Air Peace is renown to be a complete disaster of an airline. Good luck Mr. PM.
Antigua and the Caribbean basin should be extremely cautious with entering into any business arrangements with Nigerian business men, especially, those who are wanted for international fraud, like the CEO for Air Peace.
I can not see any good resulting from Air Peace
You all need to be cultured I guess. You go flipping your mouth calling people names, Nigeria fraudsters and so on are you serious with yourself? Failure of so called Antiguan airways doesn’t mean it was fraud or nothing good can come out of this government. As a matter of fact, I don’t know much about the government but I do know is that whatever the intentions of the government were of good not evil, when it spoke about the Antiguan airways. It was quite unfortunate that situation turned up the other way. However you all need to learn to support each other fervently, believe in yourself, allow the government do its work rather than completely criticize it with no positive contribution on your individual. As for us, check the records we don’t joke with patriotic citizens as Geoffrey Onyeama. Go for his track records before you come here flipping your mouth. Some of you all, I mean not every Antiguan respectfully I say you do need to travel out of your comfort zone and see how the world functions outside. Get up one day, pick your family and take a vacation. If you don’t have anywhere to go ,please go to Nigeria, Kenya or Tanzania so when you come back you will have a better view of the world and stop being narrow minded. Probably you would have learned how to treat people nicely and be more humans.
It’s about time all Caribbean countries should start looking back to Africa for business partnership because that’s where your ancestors came from. You all are Africans. The western world are now struggling with each other to tapping into Africa’s abundance natural resources and you guys are here cursing and discriminating your own ancestoral home.
American blacks have started tracing their African ancestoral roots so it’s time you guys should start doing the same.
History told you guys that your African people sold your ancestors into slavery, but I’m here to let you guys know that the story has been a tool created by the west to cause division. Most of your ancestors who were brought to the Caribbean were kidnapped by the then slave traders after African empires were conquered by the white man. For example the Benin empire in west Africa Nigeria. Your African brothers did not sold your ancestors into slavery. It’s time we all come together and form a strong Pan-Africanism.
The good PM Browne is doing by waking the Caribbean up from their long sleep on Africa is being misread. Every Caribbean Man and woman should take this opportunity and open and explore the opportunities in education commerce and industry. The AU / Caricom meet last year was all about the two regions co operation in many areas. P M Browne is on top of this South South initiative and he will get the support of over 800 million Africans
If Airpeace eventually takes over Liat, I bet you no other inter-caribbean airline can compete with them because they will definitely take over Caribbean. Nigerians strive to be the best in whatever they do. It’s in their DNA.
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