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More job cuts at LIAT

More job cuts at LIAT

Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy is hinting at further job cuts at regional airline LIAT.

It was just last month that the chairman of the airline’s shareholder governments, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said staff numbers had dropped from 1,200 in 2001 to 669 at present.

Sealy told Parliament this morning even more jobs could be slashed as the financially ailing company seeks to improve efficiency.

“This Government has made tough decisions because we understand it cannot be business as usual. That’s the reality. And you know what? We’re probably going to reduce that staff count [at LIAT] by another 30.

“Now it is true that only 90 of those people [total staff] are based here – most of them are based in Antigua, but we are trying to run a lean, mean and more efficient operation, but at the same time not compromise our social responsibility to the people of the Caribbean,” Sealy stated.

He added that LIAT would have to explore more opportunities for code-share agreements, similar to the just-ended arrangement with Caribbean Helicopters, which serviced Nevis and Anguilla.

LIAT announced last weekend it would not renew the short-term agreement, which expired on Saturday.

The much-maligned Caribbean airline currently services 16 countries directly, and the company has already announced plans to rationalize some routes.

According to Sealy, the carrier is now looking to partner with other companies, including the charter airline, Trans Island Air.

“Trans Island Air are not using brand-new aircraft out of a showroom, they’re using aircraft that have some miles on them. We have to be doubly sure we have to go through the regulatory process.

“Trans Island Air is not going to be any competition for LIAT directly, it is an opportunity to work together. Their smaller aircraft, the so-called third-tier carriers, can work with LIAT and that is what we’re doing,” Sealy said.

Meanwhile Member of Parliament for Christ Church East Dr Denis Lowe told legislators LIAT remained critical to the regional integration process, notably the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy.

“LIAT cannot be described exclusively within an economic zone.  It has to be looked at relative to its socio-cultural relevance to the region, and whether or not that side of the equation is as equally important or more important than the economic good that is to be attached to the LIAT experience,” Lowe said.

3 Responses to More job cuts at LIAT

  1. Tony Webster November 23, 2016 at 6:56 am

    “LIAT cannot be described exclusively within an economic zone. It has to be looked at relative to its socio-cultural relevance to the region, and whether or not that side of the equation is as equally important or more important than the economic good that is to be attached to the LIAT experience,” Lowe said.

    Given that this gemtleman has so many more letters both before and after his name (sorry, His name), I tremble to ask a cupple simple, obvious, questions:-

    1. “At what point, will LIAT’s losses become un-sustainable…like $20M p.a….$40M p.a., or $100M p.a.?
    2. The PM yesterday said that “figures given him”, shows that a boogle ($140M?? or summuch) of economic benefit accrues to Barbados, owing to LIAT. Never to doubt “statitics”…oven even “damned lies”, may I ask for fuller details/ verification of this? Even so, would not the same benefit accrue to Bim…if any OTHER airline was to take over from LIAT?
    3. Does one take medical intervention to save a patient, before expiration, or after this occurs?
    4. What ever became decision to relocate LIAT’s hub here?

    BTW, Dr. Low, when you have the energy and the time, please attend to your own ministerial duties and responsibilities.

    The very least we cud do, is to form a “Save LIAT think-tank”…at the CARICOM secretariat: their report cud not possibly be finalised before the passing of two years…and by then…elections would be safely past.

    Reply
  2. Alex Alleyne November 23, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Moving in the right direction. Soon LIAT will be NO MORE.

    Reply
  3. James Lynch November 23, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Barbados now has a national debt of $11 Billion.

    That is eleven thousand million dollars, or $11,000,000,000.00

    And they are still printing money.

    So, if LIAT loses $100 million they will just print some more and tack it on.

    The real question is, how many future generations are Bajans willing to let these idjets load up with debt before they say “enough”.

    And you KNOW that when this Jackass Club gets thrown out of office, they will bear NO responsibility OR accountability for the debt they have caused, but will receive a fat pension every month – BIGGER THAN YOURS – which still comes out of YOUR pockets.

    No wonder Chris Sinckler has that big fat juvenile smile on his face all the time. He has suckered all of us for perpetuity.

    Reply

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