Last update: 05-Dec-2013 12:18 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Brunton quits as Liat CEO
The Board of directors at Liat is expected to issue an official statement tomorrow confirming the resignation of its chief executive officer, Ian Brunton. Brunton in an e-mail to Guardian confirmed his resignation and that he plans to meet with the board on Wednesday. Brunton, who took up the job of managing the airline just over a year ago in August 2012, has faced many challenges with the regional carrier including problems with its fleet and a deficit of approximately EC$344 million at the end of last year. Liat’s Corporate Communications Manager Desmond Brown confirmed in a telephone interview yesterday that the T&T-born Brunton had tendered his resignation.
The resignation comes just days after chair of the shareholder governments of the airline, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves, signaled his intentions to restructure the airline to strategically compete with Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL). Brunton has been leading a US$100 million re-fleeting process from ageing Dash-8 aircraft to ATR’s which is designed to help move the airline back into profitability by lowering maintenance and fuel costs. His resignation comes ahead of the meeting between Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Gonsalves in Port-of-Spain today where he will table a proposal for regional governments to pitch in and prop up Liat.
Brunton, who has more than 50 years experience as a pilot, starting his career in the Royal Air Force flying military jets, before moving to commercial airplanes at the former BWIA. he is the former chief executive officer of Caribbean Airlines Limited. Gonsalves said Brunton’s resignation has come at a crucial time, but “nobody is indispensible.” “He has tendered his resignation. Under his contract, I have been advised, that he has to give three months’ notice. Naturally, the board of directors will respond to say whether they are accepting it. But that is the factual situation,” Gonsalves said.
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