The government of Antigua and Barbuda mulls turning loss-making LIAT (LI, Antigua) into an "essential service" which would allow it to ban labour actions, Pointe FM Radio has reported.

"One of the changes we will make is the change to the law to make sure that LIAT becomes an essential service so that all the disruptions that have taken place in the past ... will come to an end because they are very costly and counterproductive," Prime Minister Gordon Browne said.

He further said that the Caribbean Development Bank clearly recommended restructuring the state-owned carrier rather than closing it down, despite heavy losses it has been incurring for a number of years.

Last year, the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines agreed to jointly provide USD7 million loan to the regional airline. While Dominica also theoretically agreed to partake in the loan, it was later exempted from contributing due to the damage caused to it by Hurricane Maria. The four countries are LIAT's main shareholders.

In 2018, Grenada and Saint Lucia also agreed to participate in funding the airline with an undisclosed contribution, while Saint Kitts and Nevis refused to do so.

LIAT currently operates five ATR42-600s and five ATR72-600s operating across the Caribbean from its bases at Antigua, Bridgetown, and Port of Spain.