Delayed departure

Prime  Minister Gaston Browne says the Antigua-based LIAT 2020 has received its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), but has slammed the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for further delaying  the airline’s return to the regional skies.

The  LIAT 2020 airline is being formed in partnership with Air Peace, a private Nigerian airline founded in 2013 and earlier this year Browne had said that Air Peace would be putting in close to US$65 million, while the government is investing US$20 million.

But, speaking on his weekly radio programme, Browne confirmed that while the AOC had been obtained, the return to the skies are being hampered by the tardy response of the CDB to the sales agreement for the planes.

Earlier this year, the Antigua and Barbuda government said it would pay US$12.1 million into an Escrow account for the acquisition of other planes owned by the CDB as efforts continue to launch LIAT (2020) Limited.

The government has already made an offer to purchase the three aircraft owned by the CDB and had been used by the inter-regional airline, LIAT, which is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines, but ended its operations on January 24 this year.

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