ST GEORGE ‘S, Grenada (CMC) — Grenada has become the latest shareholder government of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, saying that the island stands to benefit from the decision to become a shareholder.
“When we look at the figures from the number of passengers that LIAT brings to Grenada, of course the multiplier effect is great,” said CARICOM Affairs Minister, Oliver Joseph.
“LIAT brings in thousands of visitors to Grenada every year and therefore from an economic and social point of view Grenada had to support LIAT because not supporting LIAT will mean the loss of revenue and economic development to our country,” he told reporters at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Official Government data shows that last year, 44,072 passengers used the services of the airline to and from Grenada while for the first quarter of 2019 the number stands at 10,896.
Joseph said that Grenada’s decision to become a shareholder had been made and accepted at the shareholders meeting in Antigua on April 30.
“I am pleased to announce that Grenada is now the fifth shareholder in the airline, so together with the governments of Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada at that meeting, is now accepted as the fifth main shareholder in LIAT,” he said.
Joseph, who is also the Trade and Industry Minister here, said that Grenada has given an undertaking to continue supporting LIAT restructuring and a number of models have been examined but a final decision is yet to be presented to shareholders.
“At the meeting, Grenada insisted that LIAT should operate as a business and the operations should be restructured and so as a shareholder we will make our voice heard at the board meeting so that we can see value for money from LIAT,” he said, adding that the investment made by the island to date is EC$1.3 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents).