June 10, 2012 LIAT – LIAT’s Hangar #1 building complex and a Dash 8 – 300 aircraft were destroyed by fire.
The fire was first detected by a LIAT engineer close to 10:00 pm. He contacted the Airport Fire Department who responded promptly but were unable to prevent Hangar #1, adjacent workshops and two administrative buildings from being destroyed along with their contents.
LIAT personnel on site were able to save further losses by removing company vehicles that were parked in close proximity to the affected buildings and by towing an aircraft from Hangar #2 to safety on the airport parking apron.The hangar facility, located in Antigua and Barbuda, had been used by Caribbean Aircraft Services to conduct maintenance on ground support equipment.
Arson was ruled out as a cause of the fire. It was determined that the fire was sparked off by a golf cart left charging in the facility. The damages were estimated to be in excess of US$50 million. At the time of the fire LIAT was owned by regional shareholders with the majority shareholders being Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and operated daily flights to some 21 destinations in the Caribbean.
The onset of the Covid Pandemic negatively impacted the already financially struggling airline and by July 2022 LIAT 1974 was liquidated. Presently the airline in Administration as the Government of Antigua and Barbuda works to secure investment to restructure into the proposed new company.