Scrapping LIAT as we know it and starting afresh is one of the strong possibilities being considered by the airline’s management.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister and Chairman of the LIAT Shareholders Governments, Dr Ralph Gonsalves has painted a bleak outlook on regional airline LIAT, joining in via telephone on GBN’s flagship programme ‘ Beyond the Headlines’ on Monday night.
Dr. Gonsalves outlined the options being considered by LIAT, some of which included restructuring LIAT, where everybody has to bear some of the pain of the restructuring. Option 2 is to give it to the private sector. Option three close the airline down and start afresh.
Gonsalves said that only Grenada has responded positively to LIAT’s call for regional assistance with a contribution of one million dollars.
He said if other governments do not contribute their quota to the airline, routes will be cut.
Gonsalves said that if the airline was to fold operations it will need an approximate US$50 million to pay workers severance.
President of the Senate Chester Humphrey who was the Chairman of the LIAT Shareholders group of unions from more than a decade, one of the panelists on the programme, said LIAT is not receiving the assistance a regional institution needs.
He said if the scrapping of the airline is to be implemented, Grenadians will be among in excess of 600 regional workers that could become unemployed.
Humphrey spoke to the possible implications if LIAT was to collapse, withTourism possibly taking the greatest hit.
LIAT is currently seeking an injection of US$5.4 million to help keep the airline in the sky.