There is a new strategic plan to address financial issues at LIAT

A new strategic plan aimed at turning around the fortunes of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, is being developed, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has announced.

LIAT has a new board with a new mandate to help address the company’s financial issues.

Gonsalves, speaking to reporters at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Inter-sessional summit in Barbados, said that he was confident that the plan being developed by the new board of management, led by former Barbados prime minister Owen Arthur, would turn around the fortunes of the Antigua-based regional airline.

LIAT’s major shareholder governments are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, and Grenada, and Gonsalves said that the strategic plan had “many elements.

“LIAT now has a new board with a new mandate to be able to ensure that regional affordable transportation is made available to Caribbean people.”

— Mottley

“They are seeking to prioritise these various elements and to look at them,” said Gonsalves, who opted not to give further details on what was initially discussed at the board level.

Earlier, host Prime Minister and CARICOM chairman, Mia Mottley told regional leaders that the niggling issue of regional transportation needs to be resolved even as she acknowledged that it would be a work in progress.

“While all of the members of the conference of heads are not shareholders in LIAT, it is necessary for me to report that LIAT now has a new board with a new mandate to be able to ensure that regional affordable transportation is made available to Caribbean people,” said Mottley.

But she said “to run a country without transport is to condemn that country. Similarly, to run a community without affordable transport is to condemn that community.”