by Linda Straker
- LIAT needs US$5 million injection to keep flying
- Grenada to make one-off payment, followed by monthly payments based on load factor
Caricom Affairs Minister Oliver Joseph disclosed that government will be contributing to the survival of LIAT by making a lump sum payment in March to ensure it continues flying, and additional monthly payments based on load factor to the island.
“We will make a cash contribution to LIAT this month and going forward we will pay LIAT additional funds based on load factor. Government’s decision is based on what was presented at the recent intersessional,” said Joseph.
“LIAT is in a dire financial situation and that one-off contribution is to ensure that it continues flying so that cash contribution for March has nothing to do with the load factor,” he said, reminding journalists that Caricom as a body has called on all member states to contribute to LIAT’s survival.
Without the disclosing the amount government intends to contribute as the one-off payment, Joseph said that it will be based on a report from the Board of Directors. “When we get the report from the board, we will decide how much we will contribute to that,” Joseph promised, assuring that whatever Grenada contributes, will ensure LIAT’s survival in the short term.
Joseph explained that government has requested the regional airline submit a formula to them about its restructuring plans, because that formula will be used to determine the amount the contribution will be under the load factor arrangement.
Following the Caricom Intersessional meeting in St Kitts last week, various regional heads disclosed that LIAT needs an immediate financial injection of US$5 million to keep flying or it could cease operation.