A month after suspending scheduled service, Antigua’s LIAT has resumed operations.
On November 7, 2023, LIAT announced that it was forced to suspend regular operations due to mounting maintenance issues. In a then release, they stated that the maintenance timeline was unclear “due to logistical and supply chain issues”.
Exactly a month later, the carrier announced that the matter has been resolved,
The management of LIAT wishes to advise that it has resumed flights following its suspension of services due to maintenance issues in November.
The company has been able to resolve the maintenance issues and resumed flying its regular schedule, which is currently open for sale, as of today, Thursday December 7, 2023.
LIAT wishes to apologise to all persons who were affected by the disruptions due to unscheduled maintenance issues. The company wishes to reiterate its commitment to the safety and comfort of passengers and crew as it continues to serve its current destinations.
On paper, LIAT has three ATR 42-600s in its fleet, however it seems that all its operations pivot on just one of those aircraft, registered V2-LIG. According to flight data logs, -LIG operates more than eight flights per day since resumption of scheduled service. At the time of posting, V2-LIF operated its last commercial flight almost two years ago on January 16, 2022. V2-LID fared a bit better, performing its last flight on September 29, 2023.
Air Peace to the rescue?
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%.
As part of that 30% investment, the Antigua and Barbuda government is in negotiations with the shareholders of LIAT 1974 Limited and the Caribbean Development Bank to purchase the three ATRs mentioned above. LIAT 2020 is also working with the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) to acquire a new air operator’s certificate (AOC), as this is one of the major requirements for the conclusion of the ATR purchases. Two ex-LIAT hangars will also form part of the deal.
In a statement to media, Daven Joseph, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador and Development Commissioner said:
“We have been working on it for the last eight months and we had reached the point where we felt that we had a good deal with Air Peace Caribbean Limited who is acting on behalf of Air Peace Nigeria.”
In 2024, the new LIAT is expected to operate its one operational ATR 42-600, and will temporarily take on three Embraer ERJ-145s from Air Peace until the other two ATRs re-enter service in mid-2024.
[Featured Photo: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked]