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LIAT CEO Evans resigns amidst complaints from Dominica

DAVY HILL, Montserrat
On  April 13, 2016 LIAT (1974) announced the resignation of Chief Executive Officer, Mr. David Evans effective immediately.

The Board of Directors of LIAT Limited advised that it had accepted the resignation of the CEO and that Mrs. Julie Reifer-Jones, Director Finance and ICT, was appointed to act as Chief Executive Officer.

The release with the announcement said “the Board of Directors thanks Mr. Evans for his service and wishes him every success in his future endeavours.”

Following the seemingly urgent resignation there have been much speculation. The following article then appeared today, April 21, 2016 by CNN headlined:

Dominica blamed for LIAT CEO resignation

By Ken Richards

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (WINN) — There might be a possible Dominica link to the resignation of LIAT’s chief executive officer David Evans, according to one media entity in Antigua and Barbuda.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

However, a spokesman for Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, attorney Anthony Astaphan, said that is mere speculation at this point.

In its lunchtime edition on Monday, Observer Radio in Antigua indicated that the Evans resignation was preceded by a major complaint from Dominica about poor service to the Nature Isle by the regional airline.

“It has emerged that the former chief executive officer of LIAT David Evans, came under severe pressure from a shareholder government days before his resignation. On April 8, 2016, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit wrote a strongly worded letter to Evans over how passengers to and from the Nature Isle were being treated by the airline. The letter was made public by Dominica government public spokesman and lawyer Anthony Astaphan,” Observer Radio reported.

Meanwhile, authorities in Dominica have made it clear that they are still expecting a LIAT shareholders meeting to be held to address what Skerrit has described as serious shortcomings in the airline’s service to Dominica.

Skerrit’s letter to LIAT, now circulating widely, calls for an immediate investigation into the cancellation of a morning flight into Dominica earlier this month, on April 8.

The cancellation is reported to have affected some 47 passengers in Dominica.

David Evans, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LIAT

David Evans

In a strongly worded letter to LIAT’s then-CEO, David Evans on April 8, the Dominican leader said he was disgusted with what he described as the shabby manner in which Dominica was being treated by the airline.

The letter copied to major shareholders of the airline, alleged that LIAT was treating one of its shareholder countries – Dominica – in an awful manner and displaying a negative attitude toward the island.

Former St Kitts and Nevis tourism minister Ricky Skerrit has backed the claim that Dominica is not receiving the kind of service it deserves from LIAT.

“I’m speaking on the LIAT issue with great reluctance, even when I was a minister of aviation etc, I said very little about LIAT because I think LIAT needs the goodwill of the region and it needs as much support and input as it can get but the truth is that in my own experiences with Dominica, Dominica needs more and better airlift service, so whether it’s going to get it from LIAT or whoever else, it has to get it. Dominica has tremendous potential, Dominica to me is one of the hot tourism destinations of the future and they’re going to need more airlift and so LIAT and Dominica need to be on the same page,” Ricky Skerritt said.

Roosevelt Skerrit, in his letter to LIAT, said he was still at a loss to understand why and how it is that Dominica is not served with a south-bound flight at any point of the day.

He contended that this brings about the ridiculous situation where every passenger leaving Dominica on LIAT must fly north to Antigua and then connect south to Barbados, Saint Lucia and elsewhere.

He made reference to planes flying over Dominica half empty and “my people are being asked to spend unnecessary long hours connecting through Antigua”.

Passengers out of Dominica to Antigua complained of not being able to get flights to Antigua, having to fly through St. Martin at greater expense and time; then unable to get a flight back to Dominica except in the mornings.

Barbados-based LIAT chairman Gene Holder, when contacted by Winn FM on Tuesday, said he couldn’t comment on the matter, except to say that it was being looked into.

 

 

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DAVY HILL, Montserrat
On  April 13, 2016 LIAT (1974) announced the resignation of Chief Executive Officer, Mr. David Evans effective immediately.

The Board of Directors of LIAT Limited advised that it had accepted the resignation of the CEO and that Mrs. Julie Reifer-Jones, Director Finance and ICT, was appointed to act as Chief Executive Officer.

The release with the announcement said “the Board of Directors thanks Mr. Evans for his service and wishes him every success in his future endeavours.”

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Following the seemingly urgent resignation there have been much speculation. The following article then appeared today, April 21, 2016 by CNN headlined:

Dominica blamed for LIAT CEO resignation

By Ken Richards

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (WINN) — There might be a possible Dominica link to the resignation of LIAT’s chief executive officer David Evans, according to one media entity in Antigua and Barbuda.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

However, a spokesman for Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, attorney Anthony Astaphan, said that is mere speculation at this point.

In its lunchtime edition on Monday, Observer Radio in Antigua indicated that the Evans resignation was preceded by a major complaint from Dominica about poor service to the Nature Isle by the regional airline.

“It has emerged that the former chief executive officer of LIAT David Evans, came under severe pressure from a shareholder government days before his resignation. On April 8, 2016, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit wrote a strongly worded letter to Evans over how passengers to and from the Nature Isle were being treated by the airline. The letter was made public by Dominica government public spokesman and lawyer Anthony Astaphan,” Observer Radio reported.

Meanwhile, authorities in Dominica have made it clear that they are still expecting a LIAT shareholders meeting to be held to address what Skerrit has described as serious shortcomings in the airline’s service to Dominica.

Skerrit’s letter to LIAT, now circulating widely, calls for an immediate investigation into the cancellation of a morning flight into Dominica earlier this month, on April 8.

The cancellation is reported to have affected some 47 passengers in Dominica.

David Evans, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LIAT

David Evans

In a strongly worded letter to LIAT’s then-CEO, David Evans on April 8, the Dominican leader said he was disgusted with what he described as the shabby manner in which Dominica was being treated by the airline.

The letter copied to major shareholders of the airline, alleged that LIAT was treating one of its shareholder countries – Dominica – in an awful manner and displaying a negative attitude toward the island.

Former St Kitts and Nevis tourism minister Ricky Skerrit has backed the claim that Dominica is not receiving the kind of service it deserves from LIAT.

“I’m speaking on the LIAT issue with great reluctance, even when I was a minister of aviation etc, I said very little about LIAT because I think LIAT needs the goodwill of the region and it needs as much support and input as it can get but the truth is that in my own experiences with Dominica, Dominica needs more and better airlift service, so whether it’s going to get it from LIAT or whoever else, it has to get it. Dominica has tremendous potential, Dominica to me is one of the hot tourism destinations of the future and they’re going to need more airlift and so LIAT and Dominica need to be on the same page,” Ricky Skerritt said.

Roosevelt Skerrit, in his letter to LIAT, said he was still at a loss to understand why and how it is that Dominica is not served with a south-bound flight at any point of the day.

He contended that this brings about the ridiculous situation where every passenger leaving Dominica on LIAT must fly north to Antigua and then connect south to Barbados, Saint Lucia and elsewhere.

He made reference to planes flying over Dominica half empty and “my people are being asked to spend unnecessary long hours connecting through Antigua”.

Passengers out of Dominica to Antigua complained of not being able to get flights to Antigua, having to fly through St. Martin at greater expense and time; then unable to get a flight back to Dominica except in the mornings.

Barbados-based LIAT chairman Gene Holder, when contacted by Winn FM on Tuesday, said he couldn’t comment on the matter, except to say that it was being looked into.