Air Caraïbes

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Air Caraïbes
Air Caraïbes logo.png
IATA
TX
ICAO
FWI
Callsign
FRENCH WEST
Founded 1969 (as Société Antillaise de Transport Aérien/Air Guadeloupe)[1]
Commenced operations July 2000 [1]
Hubs Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport
Secondary hubs Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Frequence Plus
Fleet size 8+6 Orders
Destinations 13
Company slogan Du Soleil sur toute la ligne (Sun on the whole line)
Parent company Groupe Dubreuil
Headquarters Les Abymes, Guadeloupe
Website http://www.aircaraibes.com/

Air Caraïbes is a French airline and is the regional airline of the French Caribbean which comprises two overseas departments of France: Guadeloupe and Martinique. The airline is headquartered in Les Abymes in Guadeloupe.[2] It operates scheduled and charter services serving 13 islands in the West Indies. It also operates transatlantic flights to Paris using Airbus A330 aircraft under the Air Caraïbes Atlantique brand. The airline code shares with LIAT. Its main base is Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport, with a hub at Le Lamentin Airport, Le Lamentin, near Fort-de-France.[3]

History[edit]

Air Caraïbes started out of the necessity to have a regional airline responding to the needs of the French Caribbean territories. The company was founded in July 2000 through the merger of various local airlines (Air Guadeloupe, Air Martinique, Air Saint Barthélémy, Air Saint Martin). In 2002, the company flew 445,000 passengers and had €68 million in revenues. It is part of the Carib Sky Alliance, an airline alliance which comprises in addition to Air Caraïbes the following airlines: Leeward Islands Air Transport and Winair (Windward Islands Airways).[citation needed]

It was established as Societe Caribéenne de Transports Aériens and started operations in September 1994. It started services to Paris from Guadeloupe and Martinique in December 2003 using an Airbus A330-200. The airline is owned by Groupe Dubreuil (85%) and has 627 employees (at March 2007).[3]

Air Caraïbes Express uses Travel Technology Interactive's airline management system, Aeropack.

Air Caraibes existed before 1990. They were operating Britten-Norman BN2-A Islander and Cessna Caravan prop aircraft. That year, one of their BN2-A's was sold to a Norwegian parachute club and flown from Guadeloupe to Florida and then to Oslo, Norway.

Destinations[edit]

Air Caraïbes serve the following destinations:[4]

 Dominican Republic
 France
 French Guiana
 Haiti
 Guadeloupe
 Martinique
 Saint Martin (France)
 Sint Maarten (Netherlands)
 Saint Lucia

Fleet[edit]

Air Caraïbes Airbus A330

As of September 2013, the Air Caraïbes(including Air Caraïbes Atlantique)fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Air Caraïbes Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
J Y+ Y Total
Airbus A330-200 1 0 12 0 312 324
Airbus A330-300 4 0 18 39 307 364 Operated by Air Caraibes Atlantique
To be leased between 2016 and 2017
Replacement aircraft: Airbus A350-1000
Airbus A350-900 0 3
TBA
387[5] Will operate for Air Caraibes Atlantique
Entering in service: 2016
Replacing Airbus A330-300 [6]
Airbus A350-1000 0 3
TBA
439[5] Will operate for Air Caraibes Atlantique
Entering in service: 2020
Replacing Airbus A330-300 [5]
ATR 72-500 3 0 0 0 70 70
Total 8 7

Previously operated[edit]

Air Caraïbes has operated the following aircraft types:

At August 2006 the airline also operated:[7]

The airline also operated the following aircraft in the past:[8]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

20 people died after an Air Caraïbes DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed on 24 March 2001 into a house on the "Col de la Tourmente" in the upmarket French holiday island of St Barts killing all 19 adult people on board (17 passengers and 2 pilots) and Augustin Questel, an 81-year old man in the house. The man's wife was injured [2].

Flight TX1501 was scheduled to leave at 16:00 from Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), St Maarten, for the 15-minute flight to Gustaf III Airport in Saint-Barthélemy, and crashed about 1,000 feet from the St Jean airport while on approach to the airport's Runway 10 in clear visibility at about 16:30. The airport's runway is particularly short - about 2,170 feet - and pilots have to obtain a special DGAC certification to land there. Planes approaching the runway must make a quick descent and fly low over houses before landing. The airport's control tower gave the plane permission to land shortly before the crash. That was the last communication with the plane, which did not send out any distress signal.

The aircraft had no cockpit voice recorder, which may hamper the accident investigation. Most of the passengers are believed to be French, though there was an American woman, a Dutch woman, two Belgians and one person with dual French and American citizenship. A pilot from Guadeloupe was on board and another crew member, whose nationality was unknown. The aircraft registration was F-OGES, construction number was 254 and the build date was 1969.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Norwood, Tom; Wegg, John (2002). North American Airlines Handbook (3rd ed.). Sandpoint, ID: Airways International. ISBN 0-9653993-8-9. 
  2. ^ "Legal Notice." Air Caraïbes. Retrieved on 24 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b Flight International 27 March 2007
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b c http://www.businesstravel.fr/air-caraib2-premiers-vols-en-a350-en-2016-2017.html
  6. ^ ILFC, http://www.ilfc.com/resources/press_releases/ILFC_leases_three_A350-900s_to_Air_Caraibes_final.pdf
  7. ^ Flight International, 3–9 October 2006
  8. ^ North American Airlines Handbook published by Airways International Inc 1997

External links[edit]