Black Immigrant Daily News
By Makeda Mikael
Caribbean leaders have met again in another failed attempt to raise LIAT from the dead, but once more failed.
This failure is compounded by ignorance of post COVID aviation economics, and the need for creative financing measured by expanded opportunities.
In these times on the brink of a global recession, a small airline like Liat requires a broader revenue base which ensures viability, because of the cost of its ‘essential services’ component.
LIAT will always have to give discounted or cost free services to the many small islands often in need, due to natural disasters, and sometimes abject poverty, from a downturn in the fickleness of tourism and the absence of any other means.
LIAt is the envy of well established regional airlines in the US in their 60 year production of efficient and well rounded engineers and pilots, whose education in the air is guaranteed by the amount of Take-offs and Landings on this delightful chain of islands.
Whereas most pilots on the continent have two or three sectors per flight our Liat pilots over the years have had the milk- run Antigua to Barbados or Trinidad stopping at several islands on route, gaining experience and confidence on the most difficult and focused part of flying, touchdown and take-off.
LIAT 2020 must expand its revenue base beyond just flights of people and Cargo.
The time has come for real investment possibilities like an MRO catering to serve all of the ATRs in the region which are close to 60 aircraft including newly acquired equipment topping up regional fleets.
The opportunity exists to offer J/V operations in an international sized MRO to many of our scheduled Carriers, and Latin American Operators, some of which could be encouraged to establish sub-station maintenance in Antigua, well placed between North & South America.
Finally, LIAT could share its critical logistics by establishing a Flying School Exchange program where Airlines crews from America and elsewhere send their pilots to gain take-off and landing expertise on our chain of islands.
This proposal was considered by an American carrier which enquirer about buying LIAT simply to train its pilots while supplying the service to the islands. Why not do it ourselves!
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