Hurst: Sir Richard Branson ‘interested’ in investing in LIAT

The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda has indicated that the British entrepreneurial magnate, Sir Richard Branson – of Virgin Atlantic fame – has shown interest in investing in the financially challenged regional airline, LIAT.

This was according the Chief of Staff within the Of- fice of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst, who made the revelation yesterday at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing.

According to Hurst, discussions held with the British capitalist involved growing the struggling air- line out of its situation, with the hope that it would be- come a profit-making enter- prise.

According to the Cabinet notes, LIAT would have to enlarge its fleet and add other aircraft types. Hurst said, “The entrepreneur has proposed in- vesting several million dollars. He would wet lease several aircraft, jets, and they would fly from Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica, Haiti and down into Antigua and Barbados.

“The whole idea is to enlarge LIAT, rather than collapse LIAT or making it a smaller entity.” This investment, Hurst said, would allow the air carrier to fly to destinations out- side of the region.

“He [Sir Richard Bran- son] is not going to plow his resources into a smaller LIAT that would not be able to achieve a profitable status. There just is not [enough] passengers and other kinds of possibilities to make LIAT profitable within the Caribbean,” he said.Read More..

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