LIAT Statement On Barbados Free Press Blog Post
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Jan 21 2014 – LIAT (1974) Ltd. has taken note of the post, dated 17th January 2014, in the Barbados Free Press online blog of an Article entitled “Report of Conflict of Interest: Saint Vincent PM Ralph Gonsalves said to own 2 LIAT aircraft”.
The anonymous author concludes that “The conflict of interest arises because SVG is one of the major shareholders in LIAT. Government funds are involved and Prime Minister Gonsalves is heavily involved in decision making about the airline”.
The two aircraft mentioned in the article are owned by a publicly listed US based Leasing Company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). LIAT has always had arms length negotiations with this Lessor and its relationship with this Lessor is firmly set on a commercial basis. LIAT has no Aircraft Leases with Prime Minister Gonsalves or any shareholder of the Company and categorically denies the suggestion that the Prime Minister has anything to do with the leasing of aircraft to LIAT. LIAT views conflict of interest very seriously and abides by principles of good corporate governance.
LIAT supports the freedom of the press in all media and the highest standards of journalism which includes the verification of sources and information obtained. At no time was LIAT requested to comment on the allegation before the publication of the anonymous blog.
Acting CEO Mrs. Julie Reifer-Jones commented that: “These statements are reckless and mischievous. Such reports negatively impact the travelling public, our Caribbean community constituents, and the staff of our airline. LIAT distances itself from these unverified reports and remains committed to channeling our energies into our modernization programme and to putting LIAT on a profitable footing”.
LIAT is one of the leading Caribbean airlines. It is owned by regional shareholders, with major shareholders being the Governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. More information about LIAT may be found at http://www.liat.com.
| Desmond L. Brown | Head of Corporate Communications | LIAT (1974) LTD | Head Office, Coolidge Business Complex | Sir George Walter Highway | Antigua | Telephone: +1 268 480 6222