Tag Archives: LIAT

LIAT’s Woes Continue With John Maginley’s Idle Talk

Antigua Minister of Tourism John Maginley

Antigua Minister of Tourism John Maginley

Majority shareholders must remember that their junior partners will not always be their best allies.  Although the minority shareholders may initially appear to be highly cooperative, this can change rapidly for any number of reasons (change in business economic conditions, change in personal attitudes, change in personal financial situation, differences in the corporation’s business direction, failure to make further contributions to the advance of the business, impeding the corporation from obtaining further outside investment, etc.).  As such, majority shareholder will want to exercise his or her control over the corporation in a pre-determined manner, which is best undertaken with a well written shareholders agreementShareholder Lawyer

The promulgation by Antigua Minister of Tourism John Maginley that LIAT will not be relocated to Barbados must be interpreted for what it is, an ignorant statement to impress would be voters with a general election looming. The statement exposes the corn beef politics an Antiguan politician is prepared to engage even if the statement qualifies him as most ignorant to onlookers.

Maginley obviously felt he had to respond to and equally strong message which was delivered by Barbados Minister of Tourism  Richard Sealy who promised that some LIAT operations will be relocated to Barbados in the coming months.  Although Sealy stopped short of confirming if his government will push to relocate LIAT to Barbados in the near future, he confirmed that Barbados will be undergoing the process to acquire Category I status which is a requirement to satisfy  FAA International Aviation Safety Assessment Scheme (IASA).

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LIALPA Awaits LIAT Action on ECCAA Report and LIAT Investigation.

Press Release submitted by Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association
LIALPA

LIALPA

St. Johns, Antigua – March 18, 2014 – THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AIRLINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION awaits the recommendations of an investigation commissioned by LIAT’s board of management to investigate the breach of The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation (ECCAA) regulations on November 2nd
2013 by its executive management.

LIAT and senior union officials are already in possession of an Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) report  St. Johns, Antigua – March 18, 2014 – THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AIRLINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION
awaits the recommendations of an investigation commissioned by LIAT’s board of management to investigate the breach of The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation (ECCAA) regulations on November 2nd 2013 by its executive management. LIAT and senior union officials are already in possession of an Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) report which vindicated the stance taken by the pilots union and ruled that as a direct result of the company’s actions, LIAT had in fact committed in three (3) regulatory breaches of safety regulations. Resulting in a possible fine of up to EC $150,000. LIAT offered no defence in regard to the three (3) offenses and having accepted liability has already paid the fines associated with the incident. Reportedly the ECCAA is still investigating the “possibility of tampering with documents” surrounding the same incident which MAY result in additional fines being levied.

This incident represents the first time in its history that the airline has been fined by the authority for breaches of safety regulations.

which vindicated the stance taken by the pilots union and ruled that as a direct
result of the company’s actions, LIAT had in fact committed in three (3) regulatory breaches of safety regulations. Resulting in a possible fine of up to EC $150,000. LIAT offered no defence in regard to the three (3) offenses and having accepted liability has already paid the fines associated with the incident.
Reportedly the ECCAA is still investigating the “possibility of tampering with documents” surrounding the same incident which MAY result in additional fines being levied.

This incident represents the first time in its history that the airline has been fined by the authority for breaches of safety regulations.

Read full text: Press ReleaseLeeward Islands Airline Pilots Association

LIAT Threatens to Shrink Caribbean Airline Network

The board of LIAT airline is clearly feeling the pressure of mounting ongoing criticism of its consistent inability to achieve a stable business model and to provide a vital intra regional air service in the Eastern Caribbean on a reliable basis.

Unfortunately, the announcements of 6th March from the LIAT chairman, Jean Holder, strongly suggest a strategy still devoid of any coherent business sense. Take on huge investment in multiple new aircraft but then shrink the airline’s network? “Passing strange” and “wondrous pitiful”, to quote Shakespeare. If, instead, this is Dr Holder’s idle threat, designed to panic other regional governments in to investing in an airline with such a tarnished reputation, then that also is a strategy likely to fail.

Investors seek companies with proven management expertise. Yet, in his 100 day strategy announcement last week, Dr Holder stated that the current directors and senior management have invited “some experts” to undertake route analysis of the LIAT network. Outside consultants are needed for a basic management task – even after 57 years of LIAT operations? No wonder there are accusations of amateurism in LIAT management and no wonder years of persuasion by Dr Holder have failed to elicit much new investment in the airline from other governments in the region.

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A Discussion About LIAT…flying us where – Part II?

A Discussion About LIAT…flying us where?

LIAT

LIAT, our regional airline.

This Sunday, the subject is LIAT and Regional Air Transportation. Persons invited to the discussion include myself, Robert MacLellan, Gregor Nassief and Tomas Chiumecky.

The Caribbean regional television programme Time to Face the Factsis a production of Island Media Communication Inc. with headquarters in St Vincent & the Grenadines, and was successfully launched in April 2013 with the mandate to highlight and deal with issues that affect the Caribbean.

The programme is hosted by Jerry George and is live and interactive on Caribvision the last Sunday of each month, 8:pm to 10:pm [EC time], with rebroadcasts on local stations in various territories. “Time to Face the Facts” is broadcast from the studio of CMC in Bridgetown, Barbados and also streams live onTime to Face the Facts” Facebook page.

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LIAT Leadership Asleep at the Wheel Again

In the first month of 2014 Caribbean regional media reported that LIAT has had to choose between paying employee salaries and paying aircraft lease charges in order to maintain flight operations. Even before the news of LIAT’s latest financial crisis, the flight chaos of last summer was nearly repeated in December 2013, at the start of the Caribbean’s tourism high season, and was only averted through last minute decision changes by LIAT’s board of directors and its temporary CEO.

The LIAT fleet was reportedly due to reduce to only nine aircraft last December. At the same time, aircraft conversion training for flight deck crew was planned to be ongoing and flight deck crew annual vacations were scheduled to peak that month. With a similar mix of factors to those which caused LIAT’s summer meltdown, the potential for major disruption to flights appeared to be equally great for this winter. Unbelievably, the LIAT board and senior management had authorised this disastrous scenario to coincide with the Christmas holidays and the start of the international tourism high season in the Caribbean.

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Complaint Letter To LIAT Airline

Submitted by Corey and Karen Burns
Julia Reifer-Jones, CEO of LIAT(Ag)

Julia Reifer-Jones, CEO of LIAT(Ag)

It is with great disappointment that I have to express my disapproval with Liat and how Liat conducts business. Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from A to B quickly as possible. I find it preposterous that Liat can just change a flight plan while customers have already boarded the aircraft (on a direct flight I might add).

My wife and I were departing from our honeymoon in Antigua on Monday, October 28th, 2013 and were on Liat flight # 362 from Antigua to Puerto Rico which was a direct flight to San Juan. The flight was delayed of course (“island time”) however once on the aircraft an announcement was made that we were stopping in St. Kitts on our way to San Juan, but not five minutes later we were told that we were now going south to Dominica (total opposite way than San Juan).  We arrived in Dominica at which time a grand total of 8 passengers boarded the plane.  We were then told that we had to wait for a fuel truck, which was not ready when we arrived in Dominica.  We ended up waiting on the tarmac for over an hour with no water, no food, and no air conditioning. I used to work in the airline industry and had that happened in Canada, PEOPLE WOULD BE FIRED!!! Numerous passengers asked for information about when we would be taking off and when we would be landing in San Juan as every passenger on the plane had a connecting flight to catch.  None of Liat’s customer service agents would give us a straight answer. We finally left Dominica sometime after 1:30 pm, over an hour after we should have LANDED in San Juan.

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LIAT Update

Click image to sign the PETITION!

Click image to sign the PETITION!

The following was circulated to those who signed the petition by James Lynch, PETITION FROM THE TRAVELLING PUBLIC TO THE OWNERS OF THE CARIBBEAN AIRLINE LIAT.

You need to know that LIAT are about to have another huge meltdown. Yes, it’s probably going to happen again, and maybe even worse.

All the ATR Pilots trained at the beginning before the aircraft were delivered are now due for re-currency training, and many of the senior pilots are going on their usual booked holiday in December. That’s the start of it.

So, unless somebody comes up with a small (large?) miracle, LIAT are going to have to park many of their planes and cancel/reschedule/ delay many of their flights.

LIAT management were warned by both the ECCAA (the Civil Aviation Authority) and the LIAT Pilots Association LIALPA that this was going to happen unless they made alternate plans (LIALPA also warned Brunton before the first meltdown), so the many shortages which came to a head in August are going to be dwarfed by what is about to happen again at LIAT approaching and during the Christmas Season.

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LIAT

Jean Holder resigned two years ago but continues to perform the role as Chairman.

Jean Holder resigned two years ago but continues to perform the role as Chairman.

We were asked to share the following article with the BU family. Although against our policy which is to be original in our postings sometimes we have to concede when there is merit in deviating from policy.

Business: LIAT’s turning point?

9/30/2013

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

THE Caribbean is a diverse multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-culinary, multi-genre (musical) and multi-lingual region officially made up of an archipelago of islands and selected mainland emerging territories nested between North and South America, Central America in the West and the Atlantic Ocean in the East, in and bordering on the Caribbean Sea.

The 17 English heritage administrations in the Caribbean are distributed as follows: North (7); South (7) and West (3) with an estimated population of six million, including the mainland territories of Belize and Guyana. The six French heritage administrations in the Caribbean are distributed as follows: North (5) and South (1) with an estimated population of 17.2 million, including the mainland territory of French Guiana. The seven Dutch heritage administrations in the Caribbean are distributed as follows: North (3); South (1) and West (3) with an estimated population of 0.8 million, including the mainland territory of Suriname. The three Spanish heritage administrations in the Caribbean sea are all in the North with an estimated population of 22.5 million, including the US territory of Puerto Rico. There are 33 Caribbean administrations with a total population of 46.5 million, albeit over managed, which is not to be ignored as a geographical market to be explored within the wider Latin American and Caribbean region.

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One Scapegoat Does NOT Fix LIAT or Caribbean Airlines

Robert MacLellan is Managing Director of MacLellan & Associates

Robert MacLellan, Managing Director of MacLellan & Associates

Some might believe that, for the second time in only three years, Captain Ian Brunton has been made a scapegoat by the board of directors of a Caribbean airline company – fired as CEO of Caribbean Airlines Limited in late 2010 and, this week, he resigned as CEO of LIAT. Indisputably, the overall operation of LIAT has continued to be disastrous during the last four months but so has the marketing / P R / communications function and yet the senior management there appears unchanged going forward. More importantly, the chairman, Jean Holder, and the LIAT board – which has authorised the strategy, business plan, operating budget and bank loans underlying the recent chaos and financial uncertainty – also appear unchanged going forward.

While Captain Brunton has resigned, Mr Holder is reportedly on vacation in the midst of the crisis. The chairman has been in position since 2004 and submitted his own resignation two years ago, although this was not accepted by the LIAT government ownership group at that time.

“Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.” When Mark Darby, an undoubted airline industry expert, was fired from the LIAT CEO position in 2009 (and subsequently sued successfully for unfair dismissal) Caribbean 360 News carried excerpts from his interview concerning LIAT in Flight Global, a leading airline industry website. Darby pointed to “the lack of focus of the shareholder governments and the board of management as major stumbling blocks to the regional airline moving to higher heights”. He spoke of the complexity of three governments owning the airline, which involved conflicting agendas. Darby commented that this problem was compounded by weak corporate governance, with a board where few directors had held senior roles in major companies. “Instead, it operated more like a government department”, he said. Darby continued, “Board members got themselves involved in operational areas. This is one of the company’s greatest weaknesses”.

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