“LIAT’s total passenger load (= income, revenue) in the last year was half what it was the year before – yet the expenses remain the same or even greater, considering the constant arrival/delivery of new airplanes.”
by James Lynch, former LIAT Captain
Since before 2012 I have repeatedly heard of calls by the current majority shareholders of LIAT, through Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent, to take up more shares or to simply contribute towards the airline’s losses.
Gentlemen, I can reveal to the Press that you know my own name well by now, it has been before you literally hundreds of times both privately through letters, emails, faxes, text messages, and recently in public in the Press.
For almost a decade I have been trying to communicate with you mostly for just one reason, and that is to take the politics and non-competence in aviation out of eastern Caribbean aviation, whether that is at the Civil Aviation Department (or Civil Aviation Authority) level or at the airline level (meaning LIAT).
Barbados is ICAO Category Two for very simple reasons – incompetence, lack of proper regulations and lack of oversight. With a little more interest, Barbados could be Category One, but for the last decade nobody has been interested.
Last time the FAA visited to conduct an evaluation, when they left they told the Civil Aviation people it was so bad that they ought not to bother to call for the next evaluation for at least another ten years.
But for some five decades LIAT has been abused as much as your own taxpayers for no good reason. Board after Board, management after management continue to be politically appointed buffoons – whether they are your “friends” or not – who know little or nothing about aviation (which is NOT the same as tourism) and continue to lose money and market share to the point where the airline is now on the brink of the precipice.
And you need not respond that this is not the case, because if all were well you would not be out in public demanding that other governments join you in throwing money at the existing form of LIAT to keep it alive.
Since at least 2012 Dr. Kenny Anthony has told you, in public, that his country’s taxpayers would not be supporting LIAT’s excesses, and that if you wanted St. Lucia at the airline’s table you had to make major changes in its oversight (Board) and management.
Nothing has changed, yet now here you are again making the same demands. And in the process you are also trying to rope a brand new Prime Minister into the fold before he can catch his breath after the election. Shame! Continue reading