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LIAT CEO resigns
Published on September 18, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Ken Richards

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- LIAT’s chief executive officer Captain Ian Brunton has handed in his resignation following the summer meltdown during which flight disruptions and cancellations are reported to have cost the regional airline millions of dollars.

ian_brunton.jpg
Captain Ian Brunton
Various complaints surfaced about LIAT’s service during one of its busiest periods, as the airline also took on its ongoing re-fleeting exercise -- converting from its 20-year-old Dash 8 aircraft to new, larger ATR planes.

The complaints included letters from Dominican hotelier Gregor Nassief, who insisted that heads should roll at the highest level because of what was generally felt to be poor service being offered by LIAT during the summer months.

Meanwhile, leading trade unionist, Grenadian Chester Humphrey, has expressed surprise that Brunton is on his way out.

Humphrey, whose union represents some of the airline’s employees, says Brunton’s going will impact negatively on the struggling LIAT.

“We had not anticipated this or had any hunch that was coming. In my own personal opinion it could not have come at a worst time,” he told WINN FM.

Pointing out that Brunton has been intimately involved in the re-fleeting initiative, the trade unionist said a new CEO would have to familiarize himself with what was going on in the company.

“At this time the company needs leadership and Captain Brunton’s resignation at this time no doubt will affect the company, there’s certainly no doubt in my mind about that,” Humphrey said.

He says the unions representing LIAT workers will try to give the company their support at what he describes as a difficult time for the airline.

In late August, Brunton was optimistic when he spoke to WINN FM that the company would ride the storm of disruptions and get back on track.

“I see us pulling through this … certainly before the Christmas and New Year peak LIAT will be in a much better position to face the demand and to provide the kind of customer service and product that is second to none,” he said at the time.

It was confirmed on Monday however, by Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, whose country is a key shareholder in LIAT, that Brunton had tendered his resignation.

Brunton’s resignation is reported to have been delivered to the LIAT board of directors last week.

The board is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

According to Gonsalves, Brunton has made a good contribution to LIAT and it will be hard to find a replacement.

Republished with permission of West Indies News Network
 
Reads: 6686





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Comments:

anthony david:

What a joke this guy should have been thrown out the back door taken to the woodshed and never be heard from again. The very fact that both Misters Humphrey and Gonsalves believes that his exit from the company is a bad thing that would affect the company negatively speaks to the total lack of understanding as to what it takes to run a business efficiently, provide quality customer service and grow a company. Mr. Brunton's performance wasn't just subpar it was disastrous and he should have been fired many flights ago.
Mr.Gonsalves stated that it would be difficult to find a replacement for Mr.Brunton. On that point a few questions are to be asked. Did Mr.Brunton make the airline more efficient, did he improve on customer service, did he improve the company's bottom line, was the selection of the new planes a better choice over upgraded models of their current equipment a prudent and fiscally wise decision. From where I sit along with other Caribbean fliers the answer to these questions is a resounding no. If it truly becomes difficult to find a more competent person to run this Airline that would speak volume about the Caribbean and its viability.

I believe that the Board can walk down the streets of any of the Islands capital pick the 3rd out of every ten persons and in so doing would have found someone capable of doing a superior job than the current CEO. If they are unsuccessful I know of many Caribbean nationals living in the new York tri state area who run their own transportation and logistic companies capable of doing that job far more effectively. Goodbye Mr.Brunton Caribbean travelers are happy to see you exit stage left, you will not be missed.


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