Regional Stakeholders Government Agree to Sell Aircraft for Launch of New LIAT 2020

Source:  CNW News
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced that regional shareholder governments of the now-defunct LIAT (1975) Limited have reached an agreement to sell a minimum of three aircraft to the newly established LIAT 2020.

Prime Minister Browne emphasized the significance of this agreement, heralding it as a crucial facilitator for the seamless transition into the operations of the reimagined airline.

The collaboration with Air Peace, a private Nigerian airline established in 2013, underscores the international partnerships driving LIAT 2020’s inception.

Operational timeline accelerates
With approvals secured from all shareholder governments, including the recent endorsement from the Caribbean Development Bank, LIAT 2020 inches closer to its operational debut.

Prime Minister Browne outlined a timeline, suggesting the possibility of the airline launching within 60 to 90 days, signaling a swift progression toward re-establishing vital air links across the region.

Financial commitments and investment
Detailing the financial aspects of the acquisition, Prime Minister Browne disclosed that the aircraft purchase would amount to a total of US$12.1 million.

However, additional investments estimated at approximately eight million US dollars are deemed necessary to ensure the aircraft’s full operational readiness.

Late last year, Browne’s administration pledged a significant investment ranging from US$15 to 20 million, reaffirming their commitment to revitalizing regional air travel amidst unprecedented challenges.

Severance payment standoff
In a separate but equally significant development, Prime Minister Browne addressed the contentious issue of severance payments for former LIAT employees.

Firmly asserting the government’s position, Browne reiterated their refusal to entertain negotiations for a 100 per cent severance payout.

Instead, the government remains open to discussions regarding a compassionate settlement, currently standing at 32 per cent of the original proposal.

The government had originally offered a 50 per cent compassion payment in cash and bonds to the former employees that Browne said amounts to EC$110 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents).

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