The board of directors of cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, is expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday regarding the sudden resignation of the airline's chief executive officer, Captain Ian Brunton.
But head of corporate communications Desmond Brown would not elaborate on the reasons behind Brunton's sudden resignation, which comes one year into his appointment.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who is chair of the shareholder governments of the airline, also confirmed that Brunton, who took up the appointment on August 1 last year, had decided to step down.
The airline is owned by Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Vincent and Dominica.
"If for whatever reason he wants to go, we will get someone else. It's not always easy to get somebody to fill those kinds of positions because a lot of people talk, but it's a very critical job," Gonsalves said on radio.
Trinidad-born Brunton, a former CEO of Trinidad and Tobago's state-owned Caribbean Airlines Limited, is spearheading LIAT's US$100 million re-fleeting exercise.
Last month, LIAT signed a US$65 million loan with the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank to finance the purchase of new, French-made ATR aircraft. The fleet modernisation project involves the replacement of LIAT's ageing fleet of Canadian-made Bombardier Q400s and de Havilland Dash-8 planes with ATRs, through a combination of lease and purchase of aircraft; the transition costs associated with the changeover; the upgrade of maintenance facilities and other institutional strengthening activities.
LIAT, which flies to 21 destinations in the Caribbean, said reliable and efficient air transport is essential for connectivity, mobility and accessibility within the region, and for some islands, LIAT provides the only air links with the rest of the region.