Caribbean Idea: Should Virgin Buy LIAT?

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 16, 2013

CARIBBEAN air carrier LIAT’s recent struggles have been widely publicized. It’s even been suggested that the company merge with another regional carrier, Caribbean Airlines.

Some have even said that Venezuela could throw its hat in the ring. (There are 11 Caribbean governments with a stake in the company.)

But what about a bigger player, with proven expertise in aviation— Virgin?

Sir Richard Branson has long been one of the Caribbean’s most notable part-time residents, owning Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, and famously tweeted a link to a LIAT complaint letter over the summer that went viral worldwide.

And he announced he had moved to the island full-time. Branson has also been active in the Caribbean in other areas, including with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.

LIAT is struggling, to be sure, but some critics charge that it’s as much from a lack of funding as it is a management issue.

Could Branson’s team could turn things around? Virgin already has transatlantic air links with a number of Caribbean countries.

This is just an idea, of course — but what do you think?

Note: we have no information of any move by Virgin to do so — this is purely hypothetical.

— CJ

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