By Caribbean News Now contributor
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — A meeting of LIAT shareholders’ is to be held in Barbados soon, according Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who said this is necessary to deal with the issues that have long been plaguing the regional carrier.
Barbados is a majority shareholder in LIAT, with a 49.5 percent stake. The other major shareholders are Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.
Mottley said the people of the region deserve to have the problems with LIAT resolved, as, without transport, there can be no CARICOM Single Market.
The long-standing and ongoing problems with the airline recently created more controversy when Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne disclosed that, after an OECS Authority meeting, St Kitts and Nevis continued to resist contributing financially to LIAT’s operations, while the governments of Grenada and Saint Lucia had agreed to subsidise the carrier.
Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet subsequently denied that the government of Saint Lucia had agreed to subsidise the airline, which in turn prompted a forthright statement from Browne, saying that his precise words were: “They have signalled that they are willing to come onboard to provide some financial subsidy to LIAT.”
“Please forgive me for interpreting Saint Lucia’s final agreement to meet to address the issues affecting LIAT, as a signal to come on board to support the sustainability of LIAT,” he continued.