Pressure from Skerrit may have forced LIAT CEO's resignation
On April 13, 2016 the Board of Directors of LIAT (1974) Limited announced in a press statement that it had accepted the resignation of Chief Executive Officer, David Evans effective 13th April 2016.
The board offered no explanation for Evan's sudden departure.
But earlier reports in the Caribbean press indicated that Evans had resigned following a stormy meeting with the LIAT board.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit may have been at the centre of the Even's storm.
Today, the Antigua Observer newspaper reported that the former LIAT CEO came under severe pressure from a shareholder government days before his resignation.
The Observer said that on April 8, 2016, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit wrote a strongly worded letter to Evans over how passengers to and from Dominica were being treated by the airline.
Dominica government spokesman and Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan made the letter public today and this evening State-owned DBS radio broadcasted excerpts on its news bulletin at 6.00pm from the letter that Astaphan read earlier on an Antiguan radio station.
The letter read by Astaphan and published by the Observer stated:
"Permit me to express my utter disgust at the shabby manner in which the Commonwealth of Dominica is being treated by LIAT.
"There appears an awful negative attitude towards Dominica by senior personnel in LIAT, and I'm warning now that this must stop.
"My information is that LIAT 581 was cancelled this morning due to a shortage of crew, not to operate this flight but the absence of crew to operate another flight, namely the 771 destined for St Lucia and on to Barbados.
"What would possess somebody to remove the 1st officer from the Dominica flight and remove them to another, causing the cancellation of the lone flight into Dominica all morning, is beyond my imagination," the letter said.
Skerrit said the decision to cancel the flight affected 47 passengers which could not be accommodated on the later flight, the Observer stated.
In his letter, Skerrit called for an urgent board meeting and an investigation into the scheduling arrangements for Dominica, the Observer said.
The letter continued:
"While I'm at it, I am still at a loss to understand why and how it is that Dominica is not served by a south-bound flight at anytime of the day.
"This brings about the ridiculous situation where every passenger leaving Dominica on LIAT must fly (north) to Antigua and then connect to Barbados, St Lucia or elsewhere. This is geographical genocide.
"It makes absolutely no sense planes flying over Dominica half empty and my people being asked to spend unnecessarily long hours connecting through Antigua.
"Please investigate today's incident as well as the existing unsatisfactory overall scheduling of flights to Dominica, and I would appreciate a full explanation and rationale," the letter read.