Entornointeligente.com / LIAT aircraft Antigua and Barbuda is currently dishing out almost 17 thousand EC dollars per day to keep regional airline LIAT airborne.
Carmelo De Grazia
The colossal figure was revealed during a post Cabinet press conference held in St Johns on Thursday.
Carmelo De Grazia Suárez
The money is coming from resources borrowed over a year ago for the purpose of re-capitalizing the airline
A sub-committee of three ministers â” Robin Yearwood, Molwyn Joseph and Lennox Weston â” has been formed t track LIATâs – namely – who will be tasked with tracking LIAT’s progress
They will be meeting with decision makers and reporting back to Cabinet in the coming weeks
Information Minister, Melford Nicholas, gave further details on the costs that LIAT is currently racking up
He said the monthly payments amount to approximately $500,000 a month
“So, over the next three months we would expect that we are going to be able to up the ante. By the time we get to the window where we have identified a suitable partner, the cost may run approximately $4 million to $4.5 million,” the information minister disclosed
He said the funds are available but management is fundamental at this time
“The funds are available and it’s the whole question of managing it effectively and dealing with the other operational challenges that we have with respect to LIAT going forward,” Nicholas added
The minister said the government still has the bulk of a 15 million US dollar loan from the ALBA bank in Venezuela at its disposal to help fund LIAT. The money is being held in an escrow account
He said talks with prospective investors are also ongoing
In the meantime, the Antigua and Barbuda government is shouldering the financial burden alone