The Government of Grenada has announced its intention to make a cash contribution to LIAT by the end of this month.
Minister of Trade, Industry, Cooperatives and CARICOM Affairs, Honourable Oliver Joseph said the decision was made at Monday’s Cabinet meeting.
Making the announcement on Tuesday at the weekly Post Cabinet Press Briefing, Honourable Joseph said Government’s decision comes against the backdrop of agreement by CARICOM Heads of Government at their recent inter-sessional meeting, that LIAT should be restructured.
He said, “For Grenada, we have always maintained that we would like to see LIAT continue to serve the people of the region, but in order for us to contribute state resources to LIAT, the airline must be restructured and operated in a manner that ensures sustainability.”
The value of Government’s contribution is yet to be determined as they are awaiting information from the regional airline. Minister Joseph said, “The amount of money that we will contribute will be based on the information submitted to us by the LIAT Board, which we hope to receive very shortly, so that by the end of the month, we can make a cash contribution.”
In addition to the cash payment this month, Government is also willing to pay LIAT additional funds based on load factor. Explaining this concept, Minister Joseph said, “If for example LIAT is operating a flight between Trinidad and Grenada that is unprofitable, Government will pay to ensure that the airline breaks even on that particular route.”
Government is hopeful that going forward there will be a financial turnaround for LIAT. Minister Joseph said, “If you’re operating a business, you have to ensure that it is sustainable over the long run. We have to ensure sound financial management and reporting from the LIAT Board.”
It is also Government’s position that there should be no political interference in the management of the regional airline.