Tag Archives: LIAT

James Lynch – LIAT probably gone in less than two years

First, LIAT has ALWAYS been based (Head Office) in Antigua, has NEVER been based (Head Office) in Barbados – no matter what the politicians may tell you. There has been a PILOT BASE in Barbados for decades – a pilot and flight attendant domicile, if you will – but not the registered “home”. Never has been. Never.

Second, airplanes are not tied to concrete foundations by rebar or galvanised water pipes. They are scheduled and flown wherever they are needed, and if you will insist on moving LIAT lock, stock and barrel to Barbados then you also need to clearly understand that you – yes, you, the taxpayer, you personally – will pay Froon, Fumble, Dumble, whatever we may call him now, several HUNDRED MILLION dollars more for the necessary new offices, hangars, facilities, etc., AND lose access to US Territories – Barbados is Category Two, and LIAT (Barbados) Limited will approach the US government as an African-class airline with ZERO safety rating.

You will also not get that many high-paying jobs – all of those are technical, licensed, experienced professionals and permanent employees such as pilots, engineers and mechanics who will just be relocated from Antigua to Barbados – all at YOUR expense. I suggest you start putting the brain in gear before you mash the pedal and burn more than rubber.

Third, having seen LIAT from the inside, I can tell you that Holder & Co are not the only thoroughly incompetent, irresponsible, unaccountable “employees” of LIAT… the airline is riddled with political appointees and incompetents of all stripes from all of the shareholder countries. Virtually NOBODY at LIAT is at risk of losing their job for screwing up, no matter what they do (within reason, of course).  Continue reading

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation

Are LIAT’s major shareholders deliberately destroying the airline in order to re-create it without debt?

liat-airlines-disasterby Passin Thru

Sometimes our assumptions about a situation or problem blind us to simple answers that are right in front of us.

Could it be that the apparent increasing incompetence by senior LIAT management and a rapidly deteriorating cash flow are actually part of a plan to push the airline over a financial cliff as soon as possible, so that it can be reformed without debt and with limited political fallout?

LIAT’s biggest asset is its routes. Nothing else really matters. The aircraft are leased, and LIAT’s facilities are also mostly rented. The airline owns little of any real value that couldn’t be bought at fire-sale prices after a bankruptcy.

So let’s here from those who know about airlines and LIAT in particular… Is it possible that LIAT’s shareholders are deliberately destroying the airline?

9 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation

Jim Lynch: Open Letter To The Majority Shareholders Of LIAT

LIAT Airlines Crash

“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 pilot

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).

Example:

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

5 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Transportation

LIAT: There’s only two basic choices…

LIAT late

by 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.

4 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, CARICOM

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

12 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, CARICOM

So many questions about LIAT Airlines – so few answers from LIAT or governments

LIAT Airline hangar fire destroyed financial & aircraft records.

LIAT Airline hangar fire destroyed financial & aircraft records.

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

As someone who has championed intra Caribbean travel for over 40 years and invested literally hundreds of thousands of Dollars of our own money promoting, what for Barbados is still just about our third largest source market, it gives me no pleasure in witnessing the dramatic decline in regional arrival numbers.

For the first eight months of this year our Caricom (including Trinidad and Tobago) stay over visitors are down by 6,686 persons.

There is probably very little I can add to the many industry professionals and travellers comments made about LIAT over the years, but initially thought that I had misheard one of our policymakers recently stating that, among the reasons why the numbers were down, was due to the airline operating smaller aircraft.

“A number of aircraft are still listed as ‘stored’. Did the destruction of engineering, maintenance and other critical records in the hangar fire prevent the saleable realisation of these assets?”

It sounded so wrong that I looked up a recognised aircraft fleet website and according to Planespotters LIAT currently operate 4 ATR (Avions de Transport Regional) 42-600’s, 4 ATR 72-600 planes and a yet to be confirmed number of Bombardier/de Havilland Dash 8 – 300 equipment.

I did ask LIAT’s Head of Corporate Communications for clarification, but in the week until this column was published, had not heard back. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

100 Days of LIAT’s new chairman doing nothing

by Aviation Doctor

LIAT released a photo of its new Chairman, David Evans. We couldn't resist adding a few details! *

LIAT released a strangely formated photo of its new Chairman, David Evans. We couldn’t resist adding a few details! *

It has been 100 days since David Evans, the new CEO, has taken over at LIAT and we have seen NO real changes. It is business as usual at LIAT, which means burning taxpayers money – very disappointing. At this time I award a grade of C, at best.

The first 100 days of any CEO are very important to lay out what it is you will do, to let people know where you are heading and what changes are needed. By now Mr. Evans should have a good understanding of what lies ahead, the problems, opportunities, possible approaches and likely obstacles. The quick screen should be done, all problems reduced to simple elements and now zero in on key metrics and detailed analysis.

By now, LIAT’s management, Board and Chairman should have gone from the denial phase, through the resistance phase and be at the acceptance phase, and be on board for on going cost reductions to turn the company around. The CEO needs to be creating excitement and enthusiasm in getting all on board for a brighter future.

IF after 100 days it is not there, then Mr. Evans has lost his momentum, and employees will lose faith in any real change. This time it’s different – the Eastern Caribbean has no money.

“Economic stagnation for 6 years and no one is realizing the fact the Eastern Caribbean has lost its attractiveness as a tourist destination.”

Competition is now not only Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, but also new destinations of Thailand, Colombia, Costa Rica and Brazil. The Eastern Caribbean continues to lose its place in the global tourist market.  Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism