LIAT and Caribbean Star have reported that joint discussions toward joining forces and creating a new airline combining the best of the two carriers are moving forward, according to each carrier’s CEO.
Skip Barnette, president and CEO of Caribbean Star and its sister carrier Caribbean Sun, praised the “pace and professionalism” of the current talks.
“It’s clear that everyone understands the urgent mission that we all share, which is to safeguard the future of air travel within the Caribbean,” Barnette said. “Caribbean Star’s operations cannot continue to be subsidized by our single shareholder when there is little hope for improvement in its capacity to earn profits in the current environment.”
Mark Darby, LIAT’s CEO, concurred with Barnette’s statements on the progress of the talks thus far.
“The progress in the past month has placed the region’s long-term prospects for viable air service on stronger footing,” he said. “Our teams are focused on building a self-sustainable, world-class airline that will support the development of the region far into the future.”
Although the issue of union representation for staff at the new planned airline has not yet been resolved, both CEOs said that they recognize and respect every employee’s rights to seek such representation. Caribbean Star employees currently are not unionized while LIAT workers are.
“Both Mark Darby and I want to make it clear that staff selected to work for the new company will have the right to union representation if they so choose based on those rights afforded to them under the law. We do not intend to impede those rights,” Barnette said.