Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has hinted that a rescue package may be required to keep LIAT flying as the region recovers from COVID-19. He says “LIAT was already in a very precarious situation and COVID would have worsened the situation. So right now, LIAT, just like any other airline globally, will be in need of a bailout,”.
This was in response to the downgrading of the Eastern Caribbean Aviation System by the FAA last week.
The Eastern Caribbean airports have been downgraded to Category 2 which means that LIAT cannot expand or introduce new schedules into the United States or fly within US territories including the US Virgin Islands. However, LIAT can continue with its current schedules based on the route rights that it currently has.
“In fact, LIAT’s first situation now is to stabilize it’s situation,” said Browne. This adds to LIAT’s financial troubles which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic which has resulted in the suspension of LIAT’s passenger services until May 15.