The government of Antigua & Barbuda and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have finalised details on the purchase of three aircraft currently owned by the bank that were part of the fleet of Liat 1974 Ltd, dba LIAT (Antigua and Barbuda) (Antigua), which was dissolved last month.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced the progress on the acquisition on February 12, highlighting that agreement was reached after initial disagreements between the two parties, Antigua News Room and reported. On February 2, it was reported that Antigua and Barbuda had made an offer to buy the three aircraft owned by the Barbados-based bank.

The main point of contention was the value of the aircraft. The market value of each is USD12.5 million, and the government currently has USD4.1 million in escrow, which will be remitted once the agreement is signed. The deal is to be completed in the coming weeks. However, two of the three aircraft are currently not airworthy, according to the reports.

LIAT operates a fleet of three owned ATR42-600s, all of which are stored (V2-LID (msn 1006) and V2-LIF (msn 1008)) or in maintenance (V2-LIG (msn 1009)), the ch-aviation fleets module shows.

Browne has spearheaded the launch of a debt-free newco, LIAT 2020 Ltd. He said this week that his government aimed to apply for LIAT 2020 Ltd’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) within the next few weeks so that flight operations can resume in 60 to 90 days.

He claimed to have secured concordance from the prime ministers of Barbados, Dominica, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the four major shareholders of the earlier LIAT, with Dominica’s PM - who has promised continued collaboration - already signing.