Above: a new LIAT plane
By the Caribbean Journal staff
LIAT shareholder governments Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Barbados have signed off on a $65 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.
The loan, which was first announced in July, will cover a 13-year period.
Co-financing in the amount of $41.7 million is being provided by equity contributions and the sale of the company’s Dash-8 planes.
The funding is allocated based on the equity stakes of each government, led by Barbados, which will receive $33.2 million. Antigua will receive $21.9 million; St Vincent will receive $7.5 million while Dominica will receive $2.4 milion.
“Our relationship dates back to 1975 when we funded the purchase of aircraft, spares and equipment to improve its (LIAT’s) inter-island air service in the Eastern Caribbean,” said CDB President Dr Warren Smith. “In the ensuing years we have provided financing to the tune of $153 million to improve and safeguard the financial viability of LIAT. CDB remains committed to LIAT and the development of intra-regional air transportation in the Caribbean. …reliable and efficient regional air transportation is an indispensable underpinning of Caribbean development.”
Smith said LIAT’s services were “important to the continued viability and sustainability of the Region’s critical industries including agriculture, tourism and other services.”