St Kitts-Nevis says no to LIAT
BASSETERRE, St Kitts - Regional airline LIAT is not an entity the Team Unity administration in St Kitts and Nevis is keen to invest in at the moment, according to an Observer Radio report quoting Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris as arguing that, while Antigua and Barbuda has invested heavily in LIAT over the years, it has very little for show for those investments.
Harris indicated that St Kitts and Nevis is not eager to sign on to the cash-strapped airline anytime soon. LIAT's consistent financial troubles do not make it an attractive investment option, Harris is reported as saying.
He said his Team Unity administration needs to be convinced that investing in LIAT at this time would make sense. It would be simply bad financial decision making, he asserted, adding that the people of St Kitts and Nevis would want their dollars spent wisely.
He also observed that the many strategic plans LIAT has engaged in have failed to take it out of the red.
However, leading trade unionist, Grenadian Chester Humphrey, whose union TAWU represents a significant number of LIAT employees, said Harris's position is short-sighted. Humphrey said he is concerned that the importance of intra-regional travel is being ignored by governments shying away from investing in LIAT.
Harris shot down criticism regarding his government's unwavering support of other international airlines, arguing that those airlines were more profitable to St Kitts and Nevis.
However, Humphrey said such arguments don't take into account the intra-regional travel aspect of the airline industry, in which LIAT is playing a critical role.
By Ken Richards