LIAT is set to restart service on November 1, 2020, at least according to information from the Antigua and Barbuda cabinet.
The airline entered into administration in July after years of financial difficulty were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cleveland Seaforth of BDO was assigned as the airline’s administrator and was tasked with charting the company’s plans for recovery.
According to the Antigua Observer, the first flight will take place from Antigua (ANU) to Dominica (DOM) as a signal of intention to return to the market. Regular service is expected to start from November 8, to a limited number of destinations.
As it stands, the airline’s administrator still has to seek court permission to scale back operations to fit into the new plan.
“To the best of my understanding, legally the administrator would have to go back to court to seek the court’s consent to be able to deal with the type of separation and rehiring at different rates – all of these issues where they would have to officiate existing contracts – these are measures that would have to be done at the level of the administrator and the courts,” said Minister of Information Melford Nicholas spokesperson.
The Observer is also reporting that Seaforth was given permission by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to terminate leases for seven of the airline’s ATR turboprops, which would leave them with just three aircraft in their fleet if executed.
Even though no routes have been announced as yet, this ‘new’ LIAT faces an uphill battle as competing carrier Caribbean Airlines has started gobbling up a number of Caribbean routes, with prop service out of countries including Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and others. Caribbean Airlines also put in an application with the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority to fly from both Trinidad (POS) and Barbados (BGI) to Olge (OGL) in Guyana.
[Featured Photo: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked]