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Monday 19 March 2018

CAL flies to Havana

Finance Minister Colm Imbert yesterday announced that state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) will begin flights to Havana, Cuba.

He made the announcement at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s.

Imbert is the line minister for CAL. The inaugural flight will take place tomorrow.

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon will be among the people on the flight.

Imbert said this service would operate twice weekly and would allow people from surrounding Caricom countries the opportunity to travel to Cuba if they wished.

This route also opens the possibility of tourism and trade linkages with Cuba, he said, as a Chinese airline has a route from Beijing to Havana, with an intermediate stop in Montreal, Canada. He explained, this could provide the opportunity for Chinese tourists and business people to come to TT.

Imbert said CAL told him its fleet of jet aircraft is currently underutilised and CAL’s pilots may also be underutilised on certain routes. Explaining this has to do with take-offs, landings and the amount of time spent in the air, Imbert said CAL’s consultants have said this is the best use of the aircraft at this point in time.

He added, “It will not affect CAL’s jet schedule in any adverse way.”

CAL’s Boeing jets could accommodate approximately 160 passengers travelling between Havana and Port of Spain in either direction, he said, and the same jet aircraft used to fly to Havana would be used to return to TT.

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young said Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh will soon make a major announcement with respect to the Couva Children’s and Adult Hospital. Young also said Cabinet decided that TT will sign the Paris Climate Change Agreement and this intention will be conveyed through the Caricom and Foreign Affairs Ministry.


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