DePeiza: Bring LIAT home to Barbados

Barbados Today's Estimates-01While Antigua’s prime minister is calling on LIAT to slow down and rethink its plan to move its fleet base to Barbados, a Government Senator is urging quite the opposite.

Senator Verla DePeiza wants the move completed as soon as possible – in time for Crop Over this year.

Saying that it simply made more sense to have LIAT’s planes based in Barbados where they would be closer to destinations in the South, she supported the move announced by the airline’s shareholder governments last month as part of a wider plan for the carrier’s operations.

Senator Verla Depeiza is ready
Senator Verla Depeiza is ready

“Bring LIAT home to Barbados and let’s get the inter-island traffic of people working for us again in CARICOM. There may come a moment in time when we can head north again but the harsh reality is that the islands in the south are closer to each other and it makes more sense to deploy our planes in the south for the time being until LIAT can show improvement in its finances,” DePeiza said.

“It may be a bitter pill for one of our neighbours to swallow, but it is an even more bitter pill for more persons than that should LIAT not succeed without having tried to change.”

She added that the move would be a signal event in regional travel.

Shifting the airline’s fleet base is part of a bid to raise revenue, cut high overheads and stem perennial losses at the cash-strapped airline. The announced plan would also include cutting about 180 jobs.

Antigua’s prime minister Gaston Browne, who did not attend the shareholders meeting and whose country was represented by Minister of Public Utilities, Civil Aviation and Transportation Robin Yearwood, is resisting the plan.

However, DePeiza said the adjustments were necessary as a measure to reduce the cost of intra-regional travel.

She contended that the current situation did not augur well for tourism or business, adding that investment opportunities had been “crippled” because travelling around the region was expensive.

8 Responses to DePeiza: Bring LIAT home to Barbados

  1. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne March 25, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Only problem, Antigua’s airport has a higher FAa rating than Barbados’ for airlines based therein. No?

  2. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole March 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Where is the factual evidence that moving Liat’s base will increase travel? If travel by this airline does better in the southern Caribbean something is already working. Concentrate the marketing efforts where the airline is already stationed in the northern Caribbean. The pill will be even more bitter for Barbadian taxpayers. Who will help pay for this move? The tax payers or will the MOF borrow more money? How much more money does this Senator want Barbadians to spend on this failed venture. Instead of seeking support for its move, she should have been asking for it to be sold. Does the Senator realize that this proposed move has nothing to do with the best interest of regional travel? The PM is just trying to fulfill a promise to his campaign funder. It is just a payback. He already placed him on the board. Next he will be in control.

  3. James Lynch March 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    The sooner LIAT moves Head Office to Barbados the sooner the airline will fold and we will see the back of it – and also be rid of the annual hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars poured down its bottomless waste pit every year, year after year, for many decades now.

    So for THAT reason alone, yes, MOVE IT TO BARBADOS. You all think an airline is like a harware store or a haberdashery? It is time you short-sighted, uneducated, igrunt people learn something hard and real.

    Why? IASA/ICAO Category 2. LIAT will lose access to all US markets – PR and the USVI – with the new registration.

    Why? Due to political mismanagement (so what else is new??) the Barbados CAD is short-staffed, short-handed and short of competence in leadership, management and Inspectors. It cannot handle, oversee or control an airline like LIAT, and it STILL has neither the appropriate regulations nor the competent personnel to run what they have now, far less adding a busy airline to the schedule.

    Why? Go and live elsewhere and then move back to Barbados and FEEL the weight of the bureaucracy. It ain’t easy, and no LIAT can survive under that immovable load of red tape.

    Why? Have you EVER seen The Fumble make a decision? Just ONE? How is LIAT going to function without the Chief Jackass making decisions concerning its future? Becauise the other Chairman Jackass Holder does not make any either – except to spend the occasional US$250 million of taxpayer money on boondoggles so they can all make some baksheesh.

    Go ahead, move it. I support that 100%. Then maybe we can be relieved of the massive annual financial burden and something else can come along and replace it (private, not government) and we can all move on.

  4. Antonio Cozier
    Antonio Cozier March 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    leave liat there, barbados should have done right by REDJET and let them deal with liat

  5. Candice Elenor
    Candice Elenor March 25, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Three very wise comments .. there are some really intelligent folks here for a first

  6. Alex Alleyne March 25, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Bajans just TALK while the others in the caribbean deal with ACTION. LIAT coming to BDS, Antigua Leader said put it on hlod and not a word from the people here in BIM on the next move . Is it going back to the CARICOM leaders for another vote or it will be business as usual . Is T&T have a hand in this ?????????????

  7. James Lynch March 27, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I am myself considering an aviation start-up (I am a born Bajan) and last night I sent an email to the Secretary of the ATLA stating in the first paragraph that I was not making an application and then asking some very easy questions about permissions.

    In response I received a pile of application forms and questionnaires, advuised to submit them with the appropriate fees – and not one of my questions was even attempted.

    If the bureaucracy of this UnCivil Service continue to do as little as possible to earn the big bucks that private sector employees can only dream about, then Barbadians as a whole will suffer. Certainly I hjave alternatives to dealing with the wide swathes of red tape that are sufocating Barbados and its people.

    I responded with my expression of disappointment and frustration, but I doubt that good lady will lower herself to send me a reply – I can only assume I might interrupt one of her many, many breaks.

  8. James Lynch March 30, 2015 at 8:53 am

    I’m wondering where this Senator – with no apparent knowledge of Caribbean history and no apparent interest in the regional integration movement – got the testicular fortitude to say “Bring LIAT home to Barbados”.

    Barbados owns just half a percent over half of LIAT, but after Frank Delisle sold it to the governments 57 years ago it has always been a regionally owned entity.

    Indeed, the rest of it is STILL owned by other countries of and individuals and groups in the rest of the EC.

    Do the arrogance, ignorance and incompetence of today’s politicians have no limits?



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