BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – AN emergency meeting was held yesterday (Mar. 11) in Barbados, where it was said that regional officials would have been targeting St. Kitts and Nevis to pay US$389,691 to assist in LIAT’s bailout.
The announcement was made by St. Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who told the National Assembly in Kingstown that the financially hit airline needs S$5.4M.
According to reports out of Kingstown, yesterday’s meeting in Barbados would see the shareholder governments, the airline’s management and the trade unions holding talks on the situation.
Speaking to the airline’s bailout, Gonsalves explained that the 11 destinations that are not shareholders but are being serviced by LIAT would have up until March 15 to respond to the airline’s minimal revenue guarantee (MRG) proposals.
The guarantee was made public after it was revealed by Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Keith Rowley that the regional carrier was cash strapped and only hand funds to last for 10 days.
That announcement came several days after regional leaders met in Basseterre for the CARICOM Intersessional Meeting, where they were updated on the airline’s operation.
According to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), under the proposal Barbados is being asked to contribute US$1.614M and Antigua and Barbuda, US$960,310.
In its report, CMC noted: “Dominica is being asked to contribute US$347,938 in light of its 25 weekly flights, St. Vincent and the Grenadines with 52 departures per week will contribute US$723,711 while Grenada, which has 35 LIAT departures per week, is being asked to contribute US$487,113.”
According to PM Gonsalves, the shareholder governments are targeting a further three countries - Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia - for contributions.
In the case of Guyana, the shareholders are looking for US$292,280; US$389,691from St. Kitts and Nevis and US$584,536 from St. Lucia.