(CaribbeanLifeNews) Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne said there appears to be a general consensus on the way forward regarding the issues Antigua and Barbuda has had with Barbados as it relates to the sale of its shares in the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT.
He said the “consensus will result in the recapitalization of LIAT as well as the restructuring of LIAT to place it on a path to sustainability.”
The prime minister said he was not in a position to give details at this time, “but to say that the issues that we have had, there has been some convergence and there is now a consensus on the way forward.”
Antigua and Barbuda currently holds a 34 percent of the shares in the airline and had discontinued its interest in purchasing some of the shares owned by the Barbados government.
The Barbados government had initially indicated it wanted US$44 million for its LIAT shares that Prime Minister Browne has said was too steep and that while his government wanted a bigger stake in the regional airline, it had no intention of “giving away money.”
Antigua and Barbuda had sought to acquire the LIAT shares owned by the Barbados government through a takeover of the liability of the government to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and would have given it 81 percent of the airline that employs more than 600 workers and operates 491 flights weekly across 81 destinations.
The other shareholder governments of LIAT are Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.