LIAT 2020 (Antigua), the successor to bankrupt LIAT (Antigua and Barbuda), appears to be in the final stages of certification having conducted demonstration flights with an ATR42-600, while an E145 in LIAT 2020 livery has been spotted with shareholder Air Peace (P4, Lagos) in Nigeria.

According to ADS-B data, ATR42-600 V2-LIG (msn 1009), owned by the defunct predecessor, made two test flights from Antigua on April 6 and 7. It was the only ATR - Avions de Transport Régional turboprop in the LIAT fleet that had remained active on inter-island Caribbean routes until January 22, 2024, shortly before the airline closed down on January 24. Work to get the rebooted carrier back in the air has intensified since then.

The test flights tallied with a report by Antigua News Room citing LIAT 2020 interim chairman Davin Joseph that the start-up was nearing operational readiness, the demonstration flights being part of the penultimate fourth phase of the process towards attaining an air operator's certificate (AOC).

ch-aviation requested comment from the Antigua-based Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority.

According to the St Vincent Times newspaper, regional shareholder governments in the now-defunct LIAT have agreed that at least three ATRs will be sold to LIAT 2020. The government of Antigua agreed to pay USD12.1 million into an escrow account to acquire the aircraft owned by the Caribbean Development Bank.

LIAT 2020 is reportedly a 30/70 partnership between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and Air Peace, which would invest up to USD80 million into the venture that is to boost flagging regional connectivity. The Nigerian carrier has committed to providing three E145s to LIAT 2020, Antigua News Room reported.

Recent social media posts in Nigeria and a photo in the St Vincent Times showed Air Peace E145 5N-BVD (msn 145199) sporting the new LIAT 2020 livery. 5N-BXG (msn 145379) was identified as the second aircraft to be sent to the Caribbean, but this could not be verified as Air Peace did not respond to numerous requests from ch-aviation for comment.

Meanwhile, Antigua Commercial Bank is auctioning off 1.1 hectares of LIAT-owned land near Antigua airport. An auction for LIAT assets including the land will take place on April 29, local media reported.