https://268today.com/business/reorganiz ... 8-million/
Gaston Browne is living in a fantasy. At a time of diminished travel he is actually contemplating extra regional service for LIAT. Why not furnish a plan to show how an airline, which has lost money for most of its 64 years in existence, can become viable on its Eastern Caribbean routes. Which routes will it keep? Which will it drop if there are no MRGs? What planes will it use, and if there is a refleet, who will pay for this? How long will all of this reorganization take, and how will LI survive in a more competitive environment?
The regional private sector is going to be no more interested in investing in LI as they already had to write off previous investment in the airline. In addition many of these companies are almost as worried about their future viability as are the gov'ts due to the negative economic impacts of COVID 19.
The reality is that there are 3 viable alternatives to LI, and these are BW, OCL, and JY. WM can also boost its service on LI routes in the northern Caribbean. Either WM or JY can add a ANU SKB and an ANU DOM route, and I believe that WM already has these route rights. Its 19 seater planes are ideally suited. JY might even be able to restart its USVI routes, with feed through EIS, now that LI is off STT.
At some point Gaston has to understand that its been real and that legacy carriers fail. Where are BWIA, or Air Jamaica today? Yes we will miss LI because it offered seamless service throughout the entire Eastern Caribbean. One could have flown from GND to SJU, GEO to SXM, SLU to SKB on one airline. These routes probably too thin to merit direct flights and we have yet to see whether BW, OCL, JY and WM will be willing and/or able to coordinate their services to replace LI. This through coordinating schedules and setting up code share arrangements to allow integrated ticketing and baggage handling.
An ideal will be BW running its larger planes on the denser more profitable routes, with lower frequency flights linking islands in the north to those in the south. But then working with JY, OCL and/or WM to have their planes service the thinner routes, or to provide higher frequencies even on the heavier routes like BGI SVD. This (SXM being ideal as we know that ANU will not be available once Gaston collapses into a tantrum).
Gaston needs to be careful when he makes threats about litigation being directed to gov'ts by creditors, staff and customers. After all if BGI sells their shares to ANU for $1 then ANU becomes the biggest shareholder, and which gov't will be liable now? By being nasty each gov't will compensate their own nationals and CDB plays hard ball and I see ANU being the biggest loser.
Even Rowley would have been more tactical in dealing with other CARICOM heads. He has the biggest economy in CARICOM and (together with Jamaica) the CARICOM nation with some global clout. And he wouldnt do this. Why does Gaston think that he can insult Mia and then have her then have to convince her electorate that sinking MORE money into LIAT makes sense when other airlines have already indicated an interest in these routes. Gaston needs to understand that BGI does NOT need LI as all of its routes to that island are profitable, meaning that there will be others willing to take over without BGI having to spend a cent.