Stakeholders commit to financing LIAT

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Stakeholders for cash-strapped carrier LIAT (Leeward Islands Air Transport) have reportedly made progress in talks on a restructuring plan that could see all parties bearing some of the burden.
The town hall-style meeting in Barbados on Monday focused on discussing and finding avenues to curb the financial crisis facing the Antigua-based airline.
One of those avenues agreed upon was the commitment by the major shareholder governments – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines – along with Grenada, to contribute US $5.4 million to the airline.
Barbados, also a major shareholder, has been
asked to contribute US $1.6 million.
On Wednesday, the President of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA), Captain Carl Burke, said the meeting on Monday between shareholders and unions representing LIAT staff went better than expected. He said the pilots now have until March 20th to respond to the proposals and recommendations made by the shareholders of LIAT.
Chairman of the major shareholder governments, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, shared similar sentiments as Burke on the positive feedback given at the meeting.
“I think everybody is buying into an amended restructuring plan where there is burden sharing and the workers are ready to share some burdens. The extent of what is to be borne, we will know in a couple days-time when they talk to their members, but we had a very positive response.”
That response will be heard in the coming days, as the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union, bargaining agent for LIAT workers, will meet with workers shortly to discuss.

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