Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler wants to see LIAT’s management and shareholder governments working together to quickly resolve the issues facing the airline.
Although he is not in charge of Barbados’ international transport or civil aviation, Sinckler is the one responsible for signing off on any financing Government provides to the Antigua-based carrier, and he has an interest in seeing the carrier step up its service.
“Of course we would hope, given that Barbados is the single largest shareholder in LIAT, that LIAT runs and that it runs not just profitably, but where profit cannot be made that it runs efficiently, and that it offers a proficient service to the public,” he said. “Because, after all, it is the taxpayers’ money that is subsidizing LIAT.”
In recent times, the Caribbean airline has faced mounting complaints and scathing attacks for its poor customer service, as well as flight delays and cancellations. Earlier this week, officials of the troubled airline admitted that
they were operating under “major constraints” to service countries in LIAT’s network.
Asked to share his views on LIAT’s operations and any plans the Freundel Stuart administration had to tackle the troubles of the airline, Sinckler said he hoped to see issues addressed as soon as they popped up.
“So if there are service issues then we have to address those, the management has to address those, the board of LIAT has to address those, and hopefully that will be done,” he said. “But I am sure Minister [of Tourism] and International Transport Richard Sealy, and Prime Minister [Freundel Stuart] and the other shareholders will deal with those matters as they come up.”
Besides Barbados, LIAT’s other shareholder governments are St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.