Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has revealed that the governments of Grenada and St Lucia have agreed to subsidise the operations of Leewward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) but St. Kitts and Nevis has not come of board.
These governments have been two of the airline’s biggest critics and after years of dialogue, Browne said they now see it fit to support the operations of the airline.
Browne did not reveal the details of the contribution by these two governments but said it was agreed to at the just concluded OECS Authority meeting in St Lucia.
“The whole idea is to spread the burden and the benefits of LIAT,” Browne said on a radio station on Saturday.
“They have signalled that they are willing to come onboard to provide some financial subsidy to LIAT.”
Grenada and St Lucia have resisted calls in the past to invest in LIAT, saying that the Antigua-based airline must first address its inefficiencies.
Meanwhile, Browne revealed that the government of St Kitts, headed by Dr Timothy Harris, is still not ready to contribute to LIAT. “Unfortunately, we have not had a commitment yet from my dear friend, comrade Harris of St Kitts and Nevis but I hope he’ll understand the need for us to keep LIAT in the air,” Browne told radio listeners.
“I don’t see why the OECS and Barbados cannot maintain its own airline,” he added.
The governments of Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica are LIAT’s main sharehold