Dominica to inject $8million into LIAT
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt expects half of funds to be delivered this week.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Wednesday June 20, 2012 – The government of Dominica has pledged to pump a cash injection of $8millon into regional carrier LIAT, half of which is expected to be delivered this week.
The move was revealed by Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt who made the disclosure at last week’s Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) meeting in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Just over a week ago, the airline suffered $35million in losses after its maintenance hanger, an aircraft, tools, operations office and several other offices were destroyed by fire of unknown origin in Antigua.
According to Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda Baldwin Spencer, his Dominican counterpart is committed to delivering on his promise of assistance.
Spencer said the Skeritt administration has been expressing these sentiments for a while and felt the time was right in light of the recent events.
“The idea, according to him, is to invest some $8million into LIAT in terms of equity and he is prepared to disburse four of that almost immediately. In a week or so that will be done,” Spencer told the media.
“Clearly, this represents tangible support, particularly at this time.”
Spencer added that a number of other countries, including St Lucia, have also expressed interest in supporting LIAT after the recent fire at its headquarters in Antigua. He noted that the added support at this juncture is critical.
“I would hope as we go through this crisis, which has developed by virtue of this unfortunate burning of the maintenance building, hangar and all other areas of LIAT, that it will bring us together in terms of addressing some of the deep-rooted problems that LIAT would have been encountering over a period of time,” the prime minister said.
LIAT’s management continues to work with the investigative authorities in Antigua as well as the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) to determine the cause of the fire.