Skerrit wants govt’s to invest in a regional airline

Editorial Staff
13/03/2023

Editorial Staff
13/03/2023

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne came in for some high praises from his regional counterpart Roosevelt Skerrit, as he continues to work towards keeping LIAT in the air.

Skerrit, during a press conference in Dominica on Monday, told reporters that despite Browne’s efforts, there is a need for the governments within the region to invest in inter-regional travel.

“I recognized as Prime Minister of the country the important and unprecedented role that LIAT has played and was playing at the time to intra-regional travel…I do not believe there is any other entity that can be reasonably expected to replace the functions of LIAT in the region”, he said

According to Skerrit, the investment of regional governments in air transportation

within the region cannot be replaced by private sector investments only.

“Governments must invest in inter-regional travel because inter-regional travel for so many islands is a public good. While you want entities to run professionally and great accountability, and greater transparency there are a set of things you don’t expect from them because they have to fly into areas that a commercial airline, running as a private investment will not want to go into, you understand and that’s where LIAT was important”, he said

The Antigua and Barbuda government has been batting for the setting up of a new LIAT 2020 but Browne said he has not been getting the full support of regional governments.

Just last week he says he feels like the twin island state is alone where that is concerned.

The LIAT issue “is affecting all of us…and our economies in a dramatic way since the departure of LIAT from the regional scene. I am saying Dominica is prepared…” Skerrit said

He also defended his government’s decision to buy shares in LIAT, saying “you just can’t travel. We can no longer book a flight this afternoon for tonight. You have to book a flight month in advance. To go from Dominica to Grenada you have to go to Miami” and how many of us have an American visa”.

Skerrit said, “this is a regional emergency, inter-regional travel…but you are going to need a construct like LIAT and that’s why I want to thank the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda for his heroic efforts in at least having a couple of the planes flying and providing the service all be it not to the original level that we were accustomed to,”.

LIAT, is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines.

The airline hit rock bottom during the Covid-19 pandemic. There have been attempts to revive the airline but even that move is plagued by turbulence.

All this is happening while former LIAT workers are agitating for their severance payments, amounting to over $80 M

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Skerrit means well but Mia and Ralph will soon shut him up cause their incompetent airline got to replace Liat

    Reply
  2. Mystic

    One FARE fir All
    Transport Levy .
    Fly or Fly Not
    In Fact Ferry dont Stop.
    InterCarib.
    Miss de Plane
    Use de BOAT..

    Jamaica 🇯🇲 to GUYANA 🇬🇾

    Reply
  3. Concerned

    On point! Prime Minister you are right. We are all feeling the strain.

    Reply

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