BASSETERRE, St Kitts and Nevis – Regional Airline LIAT is being urged to become a successful and profitable carrier by taking specific measures that can ensure its survival and end its status of a financially struggling company.
The man who says he has the solution to LIAT’s problems is a former pilot who served with the regional airline for sixteen years.
Aviation Consultant James Lynch is recommending that “the politics and political appointees MUST be removed from the airline in its entirety – at all levels”.
According to Canada-based Lynch, the airline needs a Board who are responsive and pro-active, and who actually understand the intricacies of anything about the airline that is being presented to or discussed with them.
He suggests too that “there MUST (at least initially) be a “turn-around artist” with global experience (and preferably eastern Caribbean experience) who is able to pull the airline back from this constant repetition of bankruptcy conditions”.
The former pilot laments what he describes as a continuing pattern of incompetence in political appointment, management abuse and wanton waste of Company funds.
He is holding “the political representatives of the shareholders” responsible for LIAT’s problems, contending that these problems do not lie with the employees or even management.
James Lynch is warning that the fact of LIAT’s actual demise is now in the hands of these political representatives.
He has sent a proposal with recommendations on how to, in his words, improve the LIAT situation to shareholder governments of the airline.
Lynch tells WINN FM that his take on how to fix LIAT was sent to seven prime ministers including Freundel Stuart of Barbados, Antigua’s Gaston Browne and Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
His ten-point plan calls on the Prime Minister shareholders of LIAT to “immediately terminate the tenures of all current Board Members, including the Chairman, as well as all of their known appointees in the airline”.
The aviation consultant also wants the Prime Minister shareholders of LIAT to immediately cease making political appointees to the Board, and that they direct a neutral party to seek OTHER regional citizens to serve as Directors.
Lynch’s drastic measures include encouraging the prime ministers concerned to direct broad objectives for a new board and then “withdraw totally from any and all involvement in the airline”.
The plan proposes as well that the current executive management of the airline be given immediate notice of termination, and that a new board of directors be mandated to seek other regional citizens for executive management positions who are qualified in the required skills as well as have experience in international or regional airlines.
Aviation consultant Lynch says while Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne confirmed receiving the proposal, there has been no word from the other six.
They are: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, St Kitts and Nevis’ Dr Timothy Harris, and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of St Lucia.
James Lynch says the proposal was also sent to the Premier of Montserrat, Donaldson Romeo. (WINN FM)