A release issued on Monday, July 2nd, by the Office of the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis reiterated the administration’s stance on ensuring the financial stability of regional air carrier LIAT before considering investing in the airline.
According to the release, at the recently concluded 65th Meeting of the OECS Authority, the matter of LIAT was raised in the Caucus session with the Prime Minister of Barbados, and that as on all occasions when LIAT has been discussed, the consistent concern of those Governments that are not currently shareholders of LIAT has been the need to ensure the financial sustainability of the airline, and that The Government of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis has been insistent that any participation in LIAT must involve measures that will guarantee the sustainability and profitability of the airline.
This comes after Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Gaston Browne revealed that both Grenada and St. Lucia have agreed to subsidize the operations of the regional airline. According to media reports, while Browne did not give the details of how the two governments would be making those subsidies, he did say an agreement was made during the latest OECSHeads of Government meeting in St. Lucia.
The Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister stated, “The whole idea is to spread the burden and the benefits of LIAT. They have signalled that they are willing to come onboard to provide some financial subsidies to LIAT.”
Meanwhile, the statement by the St. Kitts and Nevis government outlines the decisions taken at the OECS Meeting in regards to LIAT.
“All Governments present recognized and accepted the importance of LIAT as a public good that is essential to the free movement of people not only in the OECS but the wider Caribbean.
All Governments agreed that it was necessary to take a frank and hard look at the current situation facing LIAT and agreed to convene at the earliest opportunity a meeting of all stakeholders and shareholders to examine the way forward for LIAT.
All Governments present agreed that a new appropriate business model needed to be developed that could be presented in a draft shareholder agreement involving Barbados, the current shareholders and other interested parties.”
The release concluded by stating that the administration looks forward to the convening of this meeting to discuss the way forward for LIAT and the next step thereafter.
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