Caribbean Airlines is the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago, with its main hub at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad . It operates international services in the Caribbean and to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and South America. The airline is wholly owned by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and began operations on January 1, 2007 to replace its predecessor BWIA West Indies Airways.
Caribbean Airlines was incorporated
in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on September 27
. For legal purposes the airline has a fully owned subsidiary in the United Kingdom
, named Caribbean Airlines (UK) Ltd. that was registered on October 4
. The company commenced operations on January 1 2007
and operates the routes formerly handled by BWIA West Indies Airways
Caribbean Airlines got approval following the recommendation of Peter Davies CEO of BWIA in September 2006 from the Trinidad and Tobago Government to begin operations, after the failed negotiations between the unions and the management of its predecessor BWIA, and took to the skies on January 1, 2007. The airline's initial funding included funds to close and settle BWIA's operations . During the last quarter of 2006, in an effort to scale down operations for the start of Caribbean Airlines, BWIA's management cut routes such as Manchester Airport and London Heathrow Airport , cut its fleet to 6 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, each to be retrofitted with winglets and reduced its staff to 600. The previously operated Airbus A340-300 (9Y-TJN) and Boeing 737-800 (9Y-GND) were returned to the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and GECAS (GE Commercial Aviation Services) in the first half of 2007 respectively.
Peter Davies Era
Starting January 1st, 2007 Caribbean Airlines began operations with a fleet of 6 Boeing 737-800
aircrafts and 1 Airbus A340-313
(operating the London Heathrow Route till May). Many previously operated routes by BWIA West Indies Airways
were removed from the revised schedule. Caribbean Airlines operated daily direct services to Miami, Totonto, and New York, Jamacia (with stops in Barbados and Antigua/Saint Martin), Guyana, Suraname, and London Heathrow (till May 2007) all out of its hub at Piarco International Airport
. Peter Davies resigned effective September 30, 2007 but, remained as a strategic advisor to Caribbean Airlines.
Philip Saunders Era
On October 1
, 2007, Philp Saunders, Star Alliance VP commercial was appointed the new Chief Executive
of Caribbean Airlines. Subsequently, Caribbean Airlines took over operations of Tobago Express
, its domestic arm at a cost of US$24million . Caribbean Airlines intended to upgrade the fleet of Bombardier Dash-8 Q300
up to international standards and add new Caribbean destinations through the arm .
The airline added a daily direct service to the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas using the Dash 8 aircraft in March 2008.
Caribbean Airlines, in May 2008, acquired a 7th Boeing 737-800 aircraft (9Y-SLU) . The airline added a new US route on May 22nd to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from Piarco International Airport. This route began operations four times weekly but, later in July the frequency was increased to a daily service.
Caribbean Airlines increased their frequencies on multiple routes for the summer season. They enhanced their services to New York (3 daily), Toronto (11 weekly), and to other destinations in the Caribbean.
For Fall, Caribbean Airlines revised their schedule to offer easier connections from Guyana to New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Toronto via Piarco International Airport.
At the end of the year of 2008 Caribbean Airlines plans to break-even. This is despite the expected losses projected by economist in the aviation industry due to rise of aviation fuel.
Caribbean Airlines presently operates services from the Southern Caribbean to Jamaica as well as South America including Suriname, Guyana and Venezuela. The airline also serves the United States (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and New York), Canada (Toronto)and has established a code share with British Airways, for services to London and beyond. The airline currently operates a fleet of 7 Next Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and 5 Bombardier Dash-8 Q300 aircraft out of its hub at Piarco International Airport.
Caribbean Airline's image is a hummingbird
in flight . The image is a reference to the republic of Trinidad and Tobago where the island of Trinidad is known as "the land of the hummingbird" / All aircraft in the fleet carry the flag of Trinidad and Tobago as well as the flag of CARICOM
. The airline also uses 5 different designs on the tails of their Dash-8s. One of the designs raised controversy due to its usage of the Balisier
flower, the symbol of the ruling People's National Movement
political party . The logo was subsequently redesigned without the flower . All of Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800
aircrafts are outfitted with the livery while the Bombardier Dash 8 Q300
aircraft are currently rolling out the livery across the fleet.
Caribbean Airlines operates scheduled services to the following :
Currently Caribbean Airlines is looking to expand to destinations in the Caribbean and the United States. During the month February 2008 Caribbean Airlines filed with the US Department of Transport (US DOT) to fly direct flights from Georgetown, Guyana to the United States (Examples Used: GEO-MIA, GEO-JFK). Their application was approved and currently allows them to start the route at anytime. Many people speculate about possible routes but, their are no offical announcements from Caribbean Airlines at this time. Additional aircrafts are expected to join the fleets of Boeing 737-800s
and Bombardier Dash 8 Q300s
to facilitate route network expansion. Caribbean Airlines is in negotations with the lessors for the new aircrafts.
The Caribbean Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (at September 2008):
Caribbean Airlines Fleet
|Boeing 737-800 Next Generation
160 (12/148) |
|Two (2) General Electric CFM56-7B
||USA (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, & New York), Canada, Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname, Barbados, St. Maarten, Antigua, Trinidad (Hub), and Tobago.
||9Y-POS, 9Y-BGI, 9Y-TAB, 9Y-GEO, 9Y-KIN, 9Y-ANU, & 9Y-SLU |
| Bombardier Dash-8 Q300
|| 50 (-/50)
||Two (2) Pratt & Whitney 123 Series
- Acquired when they took over operations of Tobago Express
- Average Age of Fleet: 9 years
|Trindad (Hub), Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, and Venezuela
||9Y-WIP, 9Y-WIL, 9Y-WIZ, 9Y-WIT, & 9Y-WIN |
- Airbus A340-313 -
- 9Y-TJN (Exited Service: May 2007)
- Configuration: 284(32 business/252 economy)
- Boeing 737-800 -
- 9Y-GND (Exited Service: March 2007),
- Configuration: 154(16 business/138 economy)
- 9Y-TJQ (Commenced Service: Novemmber 2007 & Exited Service: March 2008) Wet-Leased for Winter period
- Configuration: 186(all economy)