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Thread: Caribbean Airlines MAKING MOVES to TAKE OVER L.I.A.T.

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    Registered User marabunta is offline
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    Caribbean Airlines MAKING MOVES to TAKE OVER L.I.A.T.


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    Registered User direct_effect is offline
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    Daily Observer Online – OPEN SKIES: LIAT leaves door open to CAL

    ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – The Antigua government says regional airline LIAT is not for sale, even though as one of its primary shareholders it is leaving the door open to talks with the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) about deepening cooperation between the two carriers.
    Tourism Minister John Maginley articulated the position of the Baldwin Spencer administration during a local radio programme on Thursday, saying there were lessons to be learnt from the many roadblocks faced by####CAL####in its effort to take over####Jamaica’s debt-ridden national carrier, AirJamaica.
    “They (CAL) have been in negotiations with Air####Jamaicaand they can’t seem to complete the turn,” Maginley said, adding “I haven’t heard any official news that they have taken over Air####Jamaica.
    “But LIAT is in a different position, LIAT is a lot stronger than Air Jamaica, they are not bleeding for money, ####so this is what we said, “why would we sell to you when we are making money?”
    He pointed out that LIAT made a profit last year for the first time in recent times and that the carrier was expecting to break even this year.
    In January, officials of the two airlines met in####Barbados, with their main agenda item being closer cooperation between them.
    While there was no mention of the word merger, a joint statement issued by the two sides said the airlines held “frank” and “cordial” discussions.
    Prime Minister Spencer is due to meet on May 9 with his regional colleagues####David####Thompson ofBarbados####and Ralph Gonsalves of####St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who are also shareholders in LIAT, to take forward discussions on the matter.
    “Caribbean Airline’s mandate is different to our mandate; their mandate is to make an efficient airline and just make money,” Maginley said.
    “They don’t have a responsibility to make sure that there is interconnection. If a route isn’t making money they are going to stop it.”
    He said LIAT, which is seeking to renew its fleet would not close the door on####CAL, which he said was in a financially strong position.
    “The discussion is if we do that and we take this on, there must be some consideration as to how we fulfill your philosophy as well while fulfilling our mandate,” Maginley said.
    “Caribbean Airlines has a lot of capital, so if you need to renew the fleet Caribbean Airlines has the funding to do that. They have a lot of money sitting around that can be used so there are some benefits to look at a joint (venture) but right now the heads are not too much in favour of a sale.”
    In December last year LIAT’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Brian Challenger announced that the carrier would spend at least US$54 million upgrading its aging fleet in 2010.
    The Antigua-based carrier presently has a fleet of 18 Dash-8 aircraft, with 15 that have a seating capacity of 50 and three 37-seater planes.
    LIAT is seeking to replace the 37-seater planes with newer aircraft.
    Last edited by direct_effect; 05-04-2010 at 06:36 AM.
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