Browne admits regional heads do not share vision of a publicly owned LIAT, but says Antigua & Barbuda will soldier on

Antigua and Barbuda might be on its own as it relates to the full resuscitation of regional carrier LIAT.

The airline, which has been struggling financially for years, was grounded in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its return has not been what was expected.

Since then, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has been trying to convince counterparts that investing in the carrier would be best for the region, which is in need of reliable air transportation.

Reportedly, during the recent heads of government meeting held in The Bahamas, Browne made yet another pitch to his colleagues, but was not given any firm commitment with regard to the future of the airline.

He says the other heads are not in support of a regional carrier that is publicly owned, as is the case of LIAT.  However, he disagrees with their position.

In the meantime, the prime minister says that Antigua and Barbuda will persevere with LIAT, including its restructuring, while it hopes that the sentiments about a publicly owned airline will change.

He says he is also hoping that Caribbean leaders will see the need for such an investment and that it will be pursued collectively on the basis of shared burden and shared benefits.

According to Browne, the Government’s model is a little different from what is being promoted at present.  But although this was put to his regional colleagues, he says, they remained unmoved.