St. Kitts and Nevis has committed to providing emergency funding, of just over EC$1 million, for the cash strapped regional airline LIAT.
The announcement came via a press release from the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service, which stated that the decision was made at a cabinet meeting on April 27.
Caribbean countries were asked to inject US$5.4 million to help keep the airline in operation. Of that amount St. Kitts and Nevis was asked to contribute US$389, 691 or just about EC$1, 032,681.
Following a March 11th meeting with LIAT’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Diane Shurland along with LIAT’s Chief Financial Officer, Rojer Inglis and Chief Commercial Officer, Audra Walker, St. Kitts and Nevis government decided to establish an advisory committee to determine whether to invest or not in LIAT.
The committee was headed by Financial Secretary Hillary Hazel and representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Committee that Cabinet established comprised representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA).
The release also indicated that St. Kitts and Nevis agrees in principle with the idea of participating in a Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG) arrangement on the basis of further discussions and negotiations with high-level representatives of LIAT.
Less than 24 hours before the disclosure of St. Kitts and Nevis’ financial commitment, LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer, Julie Reifer-Jones that the pace of the MRG discussions have been slower than anticipated but the company remains optimistic that the discussions will be concluded shortly.
LIAT’s board of directors as well as shareholders are having back to back meetings this week in Antigua to review the proposed measures for taking the airline forward.