Government to Make More Contributions to Liat

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Liat ATR 72-600

Since making the announcement that Dominica will be investing a total of eight million dollars to the regional airline LIAT earlier this year, Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit revealed that three million dollars have been invested thus far.

However he did indicate that, the Government has plans to invest into the Regional Carrier in the upcoming financial year.

He noted, with the new ATR 72-600 aircrafts which will replace the ageing Dash 8 fleet, they will certainly assist Dominica in addressing its air access problems.

LIAT recently announced that the French-manufactured ATR is being leased from the lessor GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and is the first of a total of eight ATR 68 seats, ATR 72-600 and four 48 seats ATR 42-600s that will be introduced into its fleet.

The introduction of these brand new ATR-600s in LIAT’s current fleet of 14 aircrafts is a part of the airline’s restructuring plans aimed at fleet modernization and network improvements.

According to the Prime Minister, at the last ALBA meeting in Venezuela; in addition to past discussions with the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, the Government addressed the possibility of Venezuela investing in LIAT.

This would aid in enhancing air access between Latin and South America and the Caribbean.

“So we intend to continue discussions with the Government of Venezuela in respect to the draft agreement MOU, which was submitted to the shareholder Governments for their consideration.”  “Some aspects are straight forward, however there are aspects that we need to further discuss among ourselves as the existing shareholders”, he explained.

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Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit

After this is done, the document will be sent back to the Government of Venezuela for their approval.

LIAT, which flies to 21 destinations in the Caribbean, has put a price tag of US$100 million on the new fleet and said it is seeking to borrow between US$60 to US$70 million from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

LIAT’s new aircraft, the ATR 72-600, made its inaugural flight into Dominica, on Wednesday June 26th at the Melville Hall Airport.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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