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LatinNews Daily - 29 June 2020

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In brief: Antigua’s prime minister reveals ‘likely liquidation’ of regional airline

* Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has indicated that Caribbean airline Liat will almost certainly be closed due to unsustainable finances exacerbated by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and that a new company will be formed in its place. In an interview with local radio, Browne announced that “from all indications” Liat, formally known as Leeward Islands Air Transport, “is likely to be liquidated”. He explained that in 2019 the airline operated at a loss of EC$12m (US$4.4m), but that Covid-19 had increased losses exponentially. “It must be recognised”, he continued, that the regional shareholding governments – Liat is owned by regional shareholders with the majority being the governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, and St Vincent & the Grenadines – can no longer subsidise it. The shareholders will meet this week to decide its fate, Browne said, after which the countries in the region will have to come together again to form a new entity. Browne added that hundreds of jobs will be lost in the closure of Liat and that he hopes neighbouring countries will not fight Antigua over the location of the new firm's headquarters.