Will the demise of LIAT Airlines bring down CARICOM too? Do you remember “one from ten is zero”?

Liat Airline

Our old friend Jim Lynch has been following the news that Barbados wants to pull out of LIAT Airlines and establish a national carrier. You can follow the story at CRANe – The Caribbean Regional Aviation Network.

That got us thinking… you remember the old CARICOM cry “one from ten is zero”?

LIAT isn’t CARICOM, but it is perhaps the most visible expression of Barbados’ commitment to the organization.

If LIAT falls, does it harm CARICOM?

Proposal for Barbados to Quit LIAT

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, March 28 2015 – Caribbean News Service (CNS) has obtained a document titled “Proposal for the Establishment of a Barbados Air Carrier.”

The document, allegedly authored at the senior management level of LIAT, points to Barbados, LIAT’s majority shareholder, planning to quit airline

The document proposes that a Barbados air carrier be established with its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and Route Licensing Authorisation. The new company would effectively replace the majority of existing LIAT services throughout the region and would seek to develop new markets.

An approach, methodology and structure for the establishment of the new Barbados air carrier were detailed in the document.

It said a traditional approach to fleet planning in a startup airline with a projected requirement of 10 aircraft would be to launch initially with two to three aircraft and a limited route network and build thereafter incrementally over a period of 18 months to the final fleet number. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has funded, via shareholder governments, LIAT’s wholly owned ATR -42 aircraft.

The plan calls for the title of those aircraft to be passed on to the Barbados Government either through shareholder agreement or through CDB taking charge of the aircraft and reassigning them.

… finish reading CNS article Proposal for Barbados to Quit LIAT


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, CARICOM

12 responses to “Will the demise of LIAT Airlines bring down CARICOM too? Do you remember “one from ten is zero”?

  1. de castro

    Unfortunately we live in a global village that is changing ….some naturally others more dramatically/drastically.
    Carribean Barbados no exceptions.
    LIAT is and has existed on subsidies….uncompetitive attitudes abound.

    Airlines are today under pressure to offer “value for money” ….
    Profiteering by multi and national airlines CEO s attitudes must change…
    Sacking 10.000 front line staff to double profits is certainly “history”
    Survival of the most adaptable of the species.

    Do the maths.


    Bye bye LIAT welcome TAIL ?

    Change we have
    Change we will
    Change we must

    Or die we shall.
    Que Sera sera

  2. Party Animal

    I hope the New Barbados Airline would be Privately owned, or it will end up like LIAT. Our Politicians don’t need any more money in there pockets.
    Virgin can make Billions and now there is an Irish Airline offering flights from Ireland to the USA at $ 14.00 USD.
    We pay LIAT $ 800.00 Bds to go to Grenada or St. Lucia out of that LIAT gets $ 29.00 USD, or is it the Politicians that get the rest ?

  3. de castro

    Party animal
    can fly easy jet or Ryanair to Dublin from UK for £50 rtn bookable 6 months
    in advance…..$14 Dublin to new York…..bookable over internet may tempt me to visit Dublin and NYK for weekend.

    I do. “easyjet.com” to malaga from Gatwick on 11 may to 21 may for £49 rtn
    booked since Dec 2014.

    Hey its the age of the plane 😇


  4. de castro

    When corruption is at every level in society…
    Its is viral and endemic….more difficult to remove….

    Que Sera

  5. Anonymous

    Here we go again! A nonsensical opinionated piece of pseudo journalism. Barbados will never be able to afford a national airline it just isn’t wealthy enough. It did not manage in the good times how could it manage in times of international competition in this global marketplace?
    There are never nothing positive written on this paper.
    Finally the leaders of the Caribbean needs to get rid of Barbados once and for all, it is a parasitical partner in the Island nations. It did the same thing to T&T when it took the money to build their airport then not pay back, they were also responsible for the demise of carifta. When the Hurricane devastated their Island James Mitchel gave them thousands of Banana plants among other Island nations, what has Barbados give to the others? as the old Trini saying goes Barbados is belonging to the gimme gimme gang!

  6. de castro

    No man is an island…..
    We all need each other….some more than others.

    To each his own….most umbilical cord is cut at birth…..maybe Barbados
    still attached !

    Que sera

  7. Party Animal

    Where on earth would Barbados find money for their own airline, when we can’t even pay our sugar workers, run the Hospital, pay for medication, UWI, old age pension, etc. I wonder if we are still the largest share holder in LIAT ? and how do we pay up ?

  8. de castro

    No …think its Trinidad…..and largest subsidiser.
    Tourists from Europe and USA use the multinational carriers.’BA AA VIRGIN
    etc…..interisland transport is better served by ……Ferries…..
    Hovercraft…etc…..UK to mainland euro is served by hovercraft and ferries.
    In competition with Chunnel under English channel…..Folkstone to Calais.

    Maybe interisland ferries is an alternative.

  9. Iain Edghill

    That was not a Caricom cry. That was Prime Minister Eric Williams of Trinidad responding to the results of the Jamaican referendum on seceding from the Federation of the West Indies. When Jamaica voted NO to remaining in the Federation, Williams supposedly responded, “Well, Ten minus One equals Zero.” And then shortly after that Trinidad was also gone into independence, despite the valiant efforts of Sir Grantley Adams, the Prime Minister of the Federation, to hold it together.

    The “One from ten is zero” (sic) comments was long before Caricom.

  10. Party Animal

    What is CARICOM anyway ? an excuse for Caribbean Leaders to waste more of our taxer payers money

  11. James Lynch

    Somehow (nobody can tell me how) Barbados now owns a fraction over 50% of LIAT, then comes Antigua with about 30%, then St. Vincent, Dominica and the rest.
    LIAT is run by political professionals who are aviation amateurs, every last one of them, and we are at a point where the shareholders can no longer afford to pour the cash down the LIAT bottomless money pit – and is why Rude Ralph is shouting at the other islands for MORE MONEY!! MORE MONEY!!
    But Kenny Anthony of St. Lucia was 100% correct when he told the Comic Comrade to clean LIAT up financially, instally proper Board and management and St. Lucia would reconsider.
    Instead, Rude Ralph and his two Amigos have continued with “Business As Usual”, expecting at any moment that the money volcano will blow and the lava stream of hot cash will flow into LIAT’s coffers.
    LIAT will close, I have no doubt about that now. It seems to be the political will, and certainly Fumble will do what he does best – nothing – and keep waiting for LIAT to fix itself.
    I will say it again: Get the politicc out of the airline, appoint a Board who have a fraction of a percentage of knowledge about aviation, and let them hire REAL airline professionals to get on with break-even or better. If management cannot perform, fire them. And if the Board cannot get management to perform, fire them too.
    Only in the Caribbean can an entire executive structure lose hundreds of millions of dollars and go from disaster to meltdown to screw-up and continue with “Business As Usual”.
    It is taxpayers money – but taxpayers are told the accounts are none of their damned business by the shareholders.
    *WHEN* LIAT fails I fully expect some kind of uprising in the eastern Caribbean. And if there is none, the shareholding taxpayers will get back exactly what they deserve for the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in LIAT over the decades – nada.

  12. Iain Edghill

    As I see it, there are only 2 choices facing LIAT and its government shareholders. EITHER, it has to be deemed an “essential service” and continue to be subsidized despite the operational inefficiencies inherent in its structure; OR, it has to be fully privatized, de-politicized, and forced to be self-sustaining.

    Both options are problematic. In these tough economic times, when governments are cash-strapped and are trying to figure out how to stretch their dwindling resources, many constituencies will argue that subsidizing a national airline should be very low on the priority list. Conversely, there are those who will argue, not without just cause, that LIAT is crucial to inter-island communications and commerce.

    Has any study ever been done as to exactly how much LIAT contributes to the GDP of CARICOM? That is crucial to the discussion here. What would the economic impact be, in $$ terms, if LIAT were to disappear? Once that figure is empirically established, that could be used as the baseline for government subsidies, a quid-pro-quo, so to speak.

    Perhaps the solution is a form of public-private sector partnership, with CARICOM governments providing a baseline subsidy, and the private-sector, with aviation professionals providing the operational expertise in running the airline, as Mr. Lynch correctly suggests, being the other half of the operational and financial equation.

    One thing is for sure with regard to LIAT: the status-quo is both financially and operationally unfeasible.