Dominica remains “prepared to invest in any airline that serves the Caribbean”, the island nation’s prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, declared during an interview with the DBS Radio programme Talking Point.

He was speaking on January 12, ahead of the planned cessation of operations of Liat 1974 Ltd, dba LIAT (Antigua and Barbuda) (LI, Antigua), on January 24 and the hoped-for launch of newco Liat 2020 Ltd shortly afterwards. Losing LIAT for any length of time would jeopardise the region’s interconnectivity, Skerrit said, and he called on all governments to contribute to its rescue with a solid strategic plan and responsible management, an executive president, and a board.

“I told Dominicans that if LIAT doesn’t fly for one day, we are in trouble in the Caribbean,” he said. “I always held the view that governments must be involved for any sustained airline business in the Caribbean region among these island nations to provide service properly.”

He added: “Yes, we need USD20 million to start the airline. [...] The governments will stay out of the running of the airline and let the board and the management make and implement the strategic plan of operations.”

In December, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, affirmed that the Antiguan government had allocated about XCD30 million East Caribbean dollars (USD11.1 million) from its 2024 budget to breathe life into the new LIAT.

The shareholders of the existing cash-strapped version of the carrier are the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Browne has said that several regional governments have expressed interest in reviving LIAT, without naming them, and that the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank will play a role in finalising an agreement between the governments, as well as a deal with Air Peace (P4, Lagos), “so that LIAT 2020 can begin operations.”