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LIAT aeroplanes remain grounded at a regional airport.

Dominica pledges support for new regional airline

LIAT aeroplanes remain grounded at a regional airport.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says Dominica will provide “whatever support within our means” to any new entity that emerges following the winding up operations of the regional airline, LIAT.

Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit

Skerrit said that the Antigua-based regional airline had served the island and indeed the Caribbean “well” despite its financial problems.

The major shareholder governments – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines- met over the last weekend and announced plans for the liquidation of the airline that owes in excess of EC$100 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) to creditors and employees.

“In times of challenges leadership must step forward and this is what we are seeking to do. Each of us is a leader in our own right.”

– Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit

LIAT, which operates 491 weekly flights to 15 destinations from Puerto Rico in the north to Guyana in the south, has suspended its operations until July 15 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now we will all agree that LIAT (1974) Limited has served Dominica well. We have had challenges in the past with delayed flights or cancellation of flights, but we have to say that LIAT has been good to us, not only in Dominica, but the entire Caribbean,” Skerrit said on his Sunday night radio and television programme.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, announced over the weekend that regional carrier LIAT will be liquidated.

“I am convinced as a regionalist as and integrationist that whatever new entity comes up that the people of Dominica must provide whatever support we can within our means to ensure that we can have intra-regional travel.

“LIAT has shown its capacity, its abilities, obviously confronting challenges pre COVID and certainly worsened in the COVID period and the next step is to have a meeting of the other shareholders so concrete decisive actions cane be undertaken and the number of attendant issues that we have to deal with,” Skerrit said, adding “let us not be daunted.

“In times of challenges leadership must step forward and this is what we are seeking to do. Each of us is a leader in our own right,” he said.