St.George’s, Grenada-Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen who was acting Prime Minister at the time, chaired a meeting on Friday April 26 between visiting LIAT officials and the Government appointed Technical Committee to consider LIAT’s request for funding.
Recently due to financial challenges, regional airline LIAT asked shareholder governments and destinations of the region to which they fly to support a cash call. Grenada was asked to provide US$487,000 (approx), which it promptly did in March. Additionally, a request came for Minimum Revenue Guarantees (MRGs) following which the government appointed a technical advisory committee to consider the proposal. The Minister then invited LIAT to the meeting at the end of which it was agreed in principle that Grenada will participate in the MRG proposal. The Minister is currently attending the shareholders meeting of LIAT and more information will be given upon her return. LIAT is requesting monthly MRG payments over the next nine months to safeguard the company from bankruptcy and place the airline’s finances on a firm sustainable footing.
According to statistics, LIAT accounts for the single largest annual passenger arrival into Grenada, and the second largest number of hotel stay-over visitors to the destination annually. Support to LIAT will not only secure local business interests but also improve their opportunities for code-share with major airlines. This means LIAT could also facilitates passengers particularly in the summer when the destination does not have some direct flights from Europe and when North American flights reduce frequency.
Attending the meeting were Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen, Chair of the Technical Committee Lyden Ramdhanny, Chair of the Grenada Airlift Committee Richard Strachan, CEO, Grenada Airports Authority Wendy Francette-Williams, LIAT Commercial Manager Audra Walker and LIAT Finance Manager Roger Inglis.