Stuart mum on LIAT plans
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is keeping any developments regarding the cash-strapped airline LIAT close to his chest.
However, responding to a question from this newspaper during a tour of the annual Barbados Manufacturers’ Exhibition (BMEX) this evening, Stuart would only say that shareholder governments were at “a fairly delicate stage of a transition in LIAT”.
Yesterday the shareholder governments met at the Hilton Resort in Barbados where they agreed to stick with their February 13, 2015 restructuring plan designed to keep the airline from collapse.
The Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica, joined Stuart in deciding not to back out, despite the losses being incurred by the airline, but to invest a further $5 million in short-term capital.
Following the approximately four-hour meeting yesterday, chairman of the shareholder governments, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines, told Barbados TODAY that while LIAT was benefiting from that short-term cash injection, management of the company would try to secure a new loan of an unspecified sum from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Gonsalves described the meeting as fruitful.
However, today when asked what exactly the plan was with LIAT and if there were plans for Barbados to establish its own airline, Stuart said that just as he said nothing on the matter yesterday he was not prepared to say anything today.
“Yesterday we met as shareholders and we took a conscious decision not to engage the press after that meeting because we are at a fairly delicate stage of a transition in LIAT and we do not want to say anything that might compromise that transition,” he said. (MM)