The aircraft wet leased for the domestic route was expected to arrive on Wednesday and begin operating on Friday, ahead of the upcoming Easter and Tobago Jazz Experience.
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles made the revelation on Wednesday as he addressed the Weekly post Executive Council media briefing at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex in Scarborough.
Charles said the undertaking was given by Caribbean Airlines, who has given the assurance that they are ready for both Easter and Jazz.
“The information that is available to me is that the leased aircraft is supposed to be in Trinidad today (Wednesday) and it has already been rostered for service on Friday, 12 rotations and that should provide additional seating capacity about, just over 800. All things being equal, it would be checked, and it is possible that the service could begin as early as tomorrow (Thursday) with about three flights I understand,” he said.
Charles said the aircraft comes with its own crew and mandatory rest days, as well as aircraft maintenance have been taken into consideration.
“I’m advised that the operation of the aircraft would be on an alternative basis. One week, it would operate for six days with one day off and the other week, it would operate for five days with two days off. The days that are likely to be off would be Tuesday and Wednesday, so when its one day off it would be Wednesdays and when its two days off it would be Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“So that all is in place for additional capacity for the Easter period and the Jazz period and may I advise that the period of this lease is up until September 8, 2019. So, we have an additional aircraft that is going to service the domestic airbridge for that period,” he said.
The Chief Secretary stated that this wet lease arrangement is as a result of “a discussion with the Secretary of Finance, the Minister of Finance and myself had in February when the case was made for an additional aircraft to facilitate the anticipated demand for this period through to September”.