LIAT only has enough cash to function for 10 days! The situation is such a dire one that CARICOM needs to intervene with at least US $10 million soon.

Trinidad & Tobago’s prime minister Dr. Keith Rowley is urging LIAT shareholders to act with urgency to keep the airline afloat.

“Currently, part of Liat’s problems is that Liat is flying uneconomic routes with loads that are heavily subsidised. If the airline is to remain flying to countries that have routes like that, the shareholders are saying that such countries will have to guarantee a minimum revenue stream to the airline or the airline would cease to fly those routes,” Rowley said.

“As I speak to you now, I do not know what the situation is for T&T.

“If the routes coming into to Trinidad and Tobago are uneconomic and the receiving country requires the service to continue then we may or may not have to enter an agreement.”

T&T only has a one per cent share in Liat so the country would not be financially impacted if the airline goes belly-up, however, accord Rowley the failure of the airline could still negatively impact the country.

He also listed airline maintenance as one of Liat’s major cost centres.

“I have agreed to allow them to talk with CAL (Caribbean Airlines) to see whether there is any economic benefit of cooperation between CAL and Liat from that standpoint,” he said.

Staying on the topic of inter-island travel, Rowley said the Caricom heads also discussed the viability of a passenger sea ferry to service the islands up the Caribbean.

“T&T was able to give our experience on the cost of operating such a service, which is heavily subsidised because they were talking about a fast ferry service,” he said.

Rowley said he told the government heads that a fast ferry service was expensive but another type of sea vessel might be more viable.

“We are still looking at the possibility of some kind of sea ferry service,” he said.