In keeping with the commitment made by regional countries in a recent Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting, Grenada has announced that it will soon begin contributing to regional airline LIAT.
Minister responsible for CARICOM Affairs, Oliver Joseph told a media brief on Tuesday that Cabinet had agreed to begin financial contributions to the ailing airline at the end of March.
“We have always maintained that we would like to see LIAT continue to serve the people of the region, but in order for us to contribute state resources to LIAT, the airline must be restructured and operated in a manner that ensures sustainability,” Minister Joseph said.
He said the government is awaiting information from the airline to determine how much it will give, adding “the amount of money that we will contribute will be based on the information submitted to us by the LIAT Board”.
Joseph said the government is also willing to pay the airline additional funds based on the load factor which is an important parameter for assessing the performance of the airline.
“If for example LIAT is operating a flight between Trinidad and Grenada that is unprofitable, Government will pay to ensure that the airline breaks even on that particular route,” Joseph explained.
He said government is hopeful that going forward there will be a financial turnaround for LIAT with sound financial management adding that there should be no political interference in the management of the regional airline.
LIAT is majority-owned by 11 Caribbean governments, the largest shareholders being the Governments of Barbados (49.5%), Antigua & Barbuda (13%), St. Vincent & the Grenadines (12%) and Dominica (10%).