Two major decisions were taken when the shareholder governments for regional airline LIAT met at the Hilton Hotel in Barbados today
Those decisions are to reduce staff and to reposition the base of the regional air carrier to Barbados to cash in on the lucrative South Caribbean market.
At least 180 workers will be retrenched starting with voluntary cuts as the airline struggles to stem projected losses of nearly 30 million dollars.
The leaders including Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados. Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Public Utilities, Civil Aviation and Transportation Robin Yearwood decided that there had to be a retrenchment and that the staff complement of around 800should be reduced to about 620 to save just under 10 million BDS since 27 percent of its revenue went to salaries and wages.
LIATs problems dont stop at staffing, according to Dr Gonsalves Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the airline is in need of a injection of cash to stabilize its revenue . The Caribbean Development Bank has been asked to render assistance in this regard.
The Caribbean Development Bank has provided some 65 milion to help LIAT replace the ageing Dash fleet with the modern ATR aircraft.
Another problem LIAT faces is difficulty in getting rid of its older Dash 8 aircraft because of what Chairman Jean Holder called a “weakening market” and the loss of documentation in a fire. This situation LIAT an estimated 22.2 milion dollars each year.
Friday, February 13th 2015