LIAT Resizing to Become a Smaller Airline Service

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Over 160 workers of regional airline LIAT have accepted Voluntary Severance Packages as the carrier continues to implement a strategic plan which will see it becoming a “smaller” and more “efficient” entity in 2016.

LIAT Chief Executive Officer David Evans, who revealed the “broad numbers” after the airline’s shareholder governments met here on Friday, said the ongoing process is going well but at a “sensitive” stage.

Evans told yesterday’s post meeting news conference, that LIAT is in ongoing discussions with trade unions “who have a good understanding that if we are going to be a good airline we simply can’t carry the cost.”

The Antigua-based airline wants to send home close to 200 staff throughout the 18 destinations it serves and has also announced plans to cut the number of aircraft it operates.

He said the process was one third complete and added that while Antigua had more LIAT staff than elsewhere “this is not an Antigua cost reduction programme, it’s a LIAT cost reduction programme.”

“In some cases you will see us approaching things in different and more efficient manner, which would require much less staff than we have at the moment,” Evans added.

He said LIAT will continue to talk to trade unions across the Caribbean to ensure that other staff that would have to be sent home who did not apply for the voluntary severance package will be dealt with in accordance with the region’s labour laws.