Lisa Gale: ‘LIAT must be saved’

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Barbados-based International Trade and Management Consultant, Lisa Gale, is confident that the fortunes Caribbean airline LIAT can be turned around.

In fact, Gale, who is also a former trade negotiator and business executive, insists that LIAT has to improve in the interest of its role.

Gale said in an interview that one of the reasons why businesses do not succeed is because of their systems, which are counterproductive.

LIAT needs to overcome its system and with the new structure in place, this can be done.

She called for an audit of the airline, following which those in charge should then undertake the necessary changes and not be hesitant to make the hard decisions in the interest of LIAT.

Former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur is the new chairman of LIAT, whose board of directors include some prominent businessmen.

“LIAT is an important cog in the business of travel, which is a critical element of regional development,” Gale said.

“LIAT is very important to us and in carrying out their duties, the board may need to put an interim committee in place and bring the skill set to the fore,” she advised.

Gale recalled that when Redjet appeared in the Caribbean some years ago offering cheap flights, it was able to offer stiff competition to LIAT while forcing the Caribbean carrier to offer reduced fares. As such, LIAT has to behave as though competition is there.

Barbados currently accounts for the majority of the shares in LIAT. Other shareholder governments are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

There have been repeated calls for LIAT’s headquarters to be removed from Antigua and Barbuda to a more central location like Barbados.

However, Gale said she sees relocating LIAT to Barbados as a moot point.

“I would not focus on that, but instead put more emphasis on such internal mechanisms as IT, management systems, and forge more regional cooperation for the benefit of LIAT,” Gale added. (Barbados Advocate)

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