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Tuesday 21 May 2019
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CAL aims to lead regional carriers

CAL CEO Garvin Medera.
CAL CEO Garvin Medera.

VERNON KHELAWAN

Over the past decade Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL), the national carrier of TT, has served the region with flights to both international and regional destinations. And though it has had its ups and downs, the airline declared an operating profit in 2018.

Now, the airline’s CEO Garvin Medera has said he is making an all-out effort to put the airline at the forefront of regional carriers.

“Our objective is clear and focused: to be the most efficiently run and sustainable airline in the region, to be the best in terms of on-time performance and to constantly delight all our valued customers.”

Medera said being Caribbean means different things to different people.

“Many people say luck! Others say that to be Caribbean is to be easy going, fun or warm; generous or wise, vibrant or respectful. Some would say we are as different as we are alike.”

But he thinks being Caribbean is like a good cocktail, a perfect blend of all these things, with a few magic ingredients added for good measure.

Medera pointed out that Caribbean people do not always appreciate how special it is to be Caribbean, and sometimes take the energy of the musical, the vibrancy of the culture, the beauty of the places and people for granted.

“At Caribbean Airlines, we believe this is the right time to embrace and celebrate our Caribbean identity. We are diving deep into the culture and the spirit of our many diverse nations – bonded by a shared sea and similar heritage – to bring out the best of the region."

Roughly a month ago CAL launched its latest corporation initiative, the Caribbean Identity, through which it will showcase the authenticity of the Caribbean region and all the elements that make it unique. This initiative will be taken to Guyana and Jamaica and all of CAL's 20 destinations.

“This will be reflected across our whole airline identity, from our brand to our community activities and our presence at festivals and major events in the destinations we serve. We will build even further on our role as the airline that brings the Caribbean together by enhancing connectivity across the region and increasing the choices available to our customers.”

Medera said he plans to use new technology in running the airline. CAL will implement a new Caribbean Airlines app, which puts booking, managing and monitoring the journey on mobile devices.

The CEO said the airline also plans to acquire a brand-new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to replace its aging fleet. The first aircraft is expected at Piarco before the end of the year.

“But through all the changes and new opportunities, what will remain the same is who we are at the heart of Caribbean Airlines – a blend of all that is best about our people and our region, the essence of the authentic Caribbean, to share with you, our customers.”

CAL’s statistics show that the airline, while providing 1,053, 918 seats in 2018, carried only 937,368 passengers, with an on-time performance of 76 per cent. Its best month was August, when 92,124 passengers used its services. Second-best performance was in July, with the figures being 86,452 passengers carried, with an on-time performance of 78 per cent.

For the first quarter of 2019 CAL will provide 243,668 seats, with the most being in March when 84,460 seats will be available on the domestic services.

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