Tag Archives: Barbados Aviation News

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

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Pilot James Lynch: Barbados will not achieve ICAO Category One

“PM Stuart and Minister Sealy are both leading aviation in Barbados into hell in a handbasket…

I hate to see a once-thriving country stagger to its knees because EVERYTHING is at the very apex of mediocrity…”

To:
PM Freundel Stuart
Minister Richard Sealy

Gentlemen…

by James Lynch, Twotter pilot extraordinaire!

by James Lynch, Twotter pilot extraordinaire!

I am advised by an inside source that the current Director of Civil Aviation, Mitchison Beckles, will be retiring within months, and my informant understands that his successor has already been chosen (and will be yet another career Air Traffic Controller).

About 1970 I was an Air Traffic Controller in Barbados for two years and worked with Mitchie Beckles (I went on to become a charter and airline pilot, among other things). He was professional and competent, but he did not – and still does not – have the wider world’s breadth of qualifications, knowledge and experience to be a Director of Civil Aviation to deal at a high level with every aspect of that office, including dealing with commercial aviation.

The same can be said of all of the Directors of Civil Aviation in Barbados for the last four decades, starting with Clyde Outram… Barbados has experienced one former career Air Traffic Controller / incompetent Director of Civil Aviation after another, but yet I understand that – despite recently failing the ICAO Category One competence evaluation again – it is government policy to continue doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

Do you ever learn anything? Do you really want ICAO Category One? Because THIS is not the way to go about achieving that objective.

And this appointment is not from lack of other qualified Barbadians… as someone with almost 40 years in a wide range of aviation situations I have myself tried for the same position over the last 15 years and have been unable to even apply – because no vacancy was ever advertised, and each time yet another Air Traffic Controller was appointed.

I also know other qualified Barbadians who are interested – but who have also never seen a vacancy advertised.  Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

LIAT Leadership Asleep At The Wheel Again

by Robert MacLellan

by Robert MacLellan

In the first month of 2014 Caribbean regional media reported that LIAT has had to choose between paying employee salaries and paying aircraft lease charges in order to maintain flight operations. Even before the news of LIAT’s latest financial crisis, the flight chaos of last summer was nearly repeated in December 2013, at the start of the Caribbean’s tourism high season, and was only averted through last minute decision changes by LIAT’s board of directors and its temporary CEO.

The LIAT fleet was reportedly due to reduce to only nine aircraft last December. At the same time, aircraft conversion training for flight deck crew was planned to be ongoing and flight deck crew annual vacations were scheduled to peak that month. With a similar mix of factors to those which caused LIAT’s summer meltdown, the potential for major disruption to flights appeared to be equally great for this winter. Unbelievably, the LIAT board and senior management had authorised this disastrous scenario to coincide with the Christmas holidays and the start of the international tourism high season in the Caribbean.

Having just avoided that mismanagement disaster in December, LIAT executives have been faced in mid January with the imminent grounding of six company planes by the aircraft leasing company.  Lease payments are reportedly tens of millions of dollars in arrears and a collapse in flight operations has only been avoided by delaying payroll for LIAT’s long suffering employees.

Ongoing disarray at LIAT     Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism