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PM on LIAT Funding: I Have No Regrets Whatsoever

by: - July 13, 2020
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The Hon Minister for Finance and Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit says he has no regrets about investing in LIAT over the years.

LIAT’s departure from the regional air travel scene leaves travellers to Dominica with five airlines from which to choose.

LAT, after bailouts from its shareholder partners, is slated for liquidation amidst a heavy debt burden exceeding a hundred million dollars, accoridng to Chair of Shareholder Governments, Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

“We appreciated the exceptional contribution of LIAT to Dominica’s economy and to the Caribbean. LIAT had its own issues which is natural to the circumstance because in many respects LIAT would fly to destinations that they should not be flying [to] from an economic standpoint but realizing they had a greater regional responsibility. We treated LIAT as a public good,” Hon Prime Minister Skerrit said responding to a question of why its financiers would continue investing in a sinking company.

“This is why four governments continued to invest in LIAT and we have done so with no regrets  I have no regrets whatsoever for putting our taxpayers money into LIAT.”

He said that Dominica is grateful for the service which the now failed airline has delivered.

““We have always stated that our investment in LIAT was to assure Dominican residents and visitors of Dominica the ability to get in and out of Dominica and LIAT provided in great respect that assurance. LIAT during that period served us pretty well and we are grateful especially during disaster times.”

He described the airline’s failure as a sad reality worsened by the covid recession but said to critics,  “There is the saying you never miss the water until the well runs dry. All of us who were criticizing LIAT are now asking where is LIAT and why isn’t LIAT coming back to the air.”

The Prime Minister added that if a new LIAT is to emerge, Dominica will continue to support.

“…We have indicated our position on this. That…if this is going to assure flights to Dominica, we will support.”