Owen Arthur has warned his former counterparts in the Caribbean that the beleaguered regional carrier LIAT won’t survive their imposition of hefty airport taxes.
The newly appointed chairman of LIAT – who, when Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, himself raised a raft of travel taxes and fees to pay for the expansion of the Grantley Adams International Airport – was giving early assessment of what is required to rescue the airline.
According to Caribbean News Service , Arthur told the Voice of Barbados on radio call-in programme, Down to Brass Tacks, of his conclusion that the rising airport fees continue to be the obstacle to the dream of affordable regional travel and the viability of LIAT, currently owned by Barbados and three other Eastern Caribbean governments.
Arthur revealed that he plans to meet with the CARICOM heads in order to discuss LIAT’s rescue plan, noting that the changes needed rest in the hands of his former colleagues.
His former deputy – Prime Minister Mia Mottley – assumed the chairmanship of the regional bloc as the year began and is preparing to host fellow leaders for CARICOM’s mid-term summit, known as the Intersessional.
Arthur said: “There are a number of matters relating to LIAT that only the governments can help.