PRIME MINISTER Dr. Timothy Harris has confirmed that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has done its part to ensure that cash-strapped regional airline LIAT remains flying.
The Team Unity Government has written off the over $11 million debt owed by the airline to St. Kitts and Nevis as part of the restructuring efforts of the regional entity.
During his media briefing yesterday (Dec.1), Prime Minister Harris made the announcement, where he explained that the decision came following a request from the Administrator who is in the process of making the airline viable for a slim-down operation.
“We accept that LIAT is the largest carrier supporting intraregional travel and without LIAT there is a major void that has a significant impact on the ease of movement of citizens, residents and visitors to the region,” Dr. Harris noted.
The Prime Minister said that the Government made the decision being mindful of the challenges that LIAT has faced, adding that “we believe that we must take this position in the best interest of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and the region as a whole”.
LIAT has been under administration for several months after territories closed their borders, which forced the airline to cease operations, and a decision by its Board to have the entity liquidated since it was in over $100 million in debt.
Dr. Harris disclosed that air travel so far has been very modest in the region in terms of load capacity, which reflects the current situation facing the globe of low demand for travel.
Meanwhile, the Federation will receive flights from the airline for one day per week, which started on Saturday, November 28.
According to officials, due to the slim-down operations and the low number of planes the airline has, it is only able to service RLB one day per week, and that being only on Saturdays.