First LIAT 2020 Embraer ERJ-145 Spotted

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Following LIAT 1974’s closure in late January 2024, LIAT 2020’s first jet has been spotted in the wild wearing its new livery.

In a photo shared by the St. Vincent Times, the repainted Embraer ERJ-145 registered 5N-BVD is seen wearing its new livery with the “LIAT 20” logo on the fuselage side and tail. Inside the letter “A” is a picture of a half-sun similar to that on Antigua and Barbuda’s national flag, with “wings” in the background.

There is an Antigua and Barbuda national flag at the front of the aircraft just under the flight deck window, and majority of the nacelle on the engines are painted red. They also have the liat20.com website painted on in white text.

The 24-year-old 5N-BVD previously flew for Air Peace from February 2018 and entered storage in October 2022. Before that, it flew for Chautauqua Airlines, Aeromexico Connect and Shuttle America.

Credit: LIAT 2020

Turning our attention to their website, it currently serves as a recruitment portal, with every job in the book required to run an airline, minus a few key roles which are most likely filled already. I’m guessing once the airline becomes fully operational, would a proper booking platform be introduced.

Following LIAT (1974) Limited’s closure, the now defunct airline has agreed to sell three of its ATR aircraft in order to support LIAT 2020’s operations. In late December, the new LIAT also said that it would temporarily take on three Embraer ERJ-145 jets from Air Peace in order to support its relaunch until the ATRs are introduced to the fleet.

It will be interesting to see how this works out as the 145 can seat 50 passengers. Depending on what you compare, the ERJ-145 and ATR 42 can work out to have similar operational costs. The ERJs tend of cost less to operate over longer flights while the ATRs excel on short runs. Given that LIAT’s routes aren’t exactly long, they may end up paying more to operate these 145s, but this only appears to be a stop gap until they re-introduce the ATRs to the fleet.

It is understood that two evaluation flights have been planned with the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) as part of its efforts towards acquiring an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for the new entity. They will fly two routes, one between Antigua and St. Lucia, and the other to St. Kitts.

In late November 2023, LIAT 2020 and Nigeria’s Air Peace signed a $56 million deal with Air Peace taking 70% stake in the struggling Caribbean airline, with the government of Antigua and Barbuda taking on the remaining 30%.

Featured image: St. Vincent Times

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