|Founded||31 December 2006 (predecessor in 1939)|
|Commenced operations||1 January 2007|
|Focus cities||John F. Kennedy International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Caribbean Miles |
|Airport lounge||Club Caribbean |
|Company slogan||The Warmth of the Islands (Trinidad and Tobago)
One Vision,One Caribbean,One Airline (Jamaica) 
|Headquarters||Tunapuna-Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago|
|Key people||(CEO) Mr. Robert Corbie (Ag.)|
Caribbean Airlines Limited operating as Caribbean Airlines is the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean Airlines Limited operates both Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica brands and as such is also the flag carrier to Jamaica through its brand, Air Jamaica. In December 2012, the Government of Guyana also granted the airline flag carrier status.
Caribbean Airlines began operations on 1 January 2007, replacing its predecessor, BWIA, British West Indies Airways, which was affectionately known as "Bee-Wee". BWIA also previously operated as British West Indian Airways. Its headquarters are in the Iere House in Piarco, Tunapuna-Piarco region, Trinidad and Tobago. Its inflight magazine is Caribbean Beat. Caribbean Airlines flies from the Caribbean to the United States, Canada, South America and Europe.
Caribbean Airlines was incorporated in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on 27 September 2006.
In September 2006, following the recommendation of Peter Davies, the CEO of BWIA West Indies Airways, Caribbean Airlines got approval from the Trinidad and Tobago government to begin operations, after the failed negotiations between the unions and the management of its predecessor, BWIA. As a result, it was announced on 8 September 2006, that BWIA was to be shut down before the launch of Caribbean Airlines.
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, London Heathrow Airport, New York City and Toronto, with intermediate stops at Barbados or Antigua, ceased services to and from Saint Lucia, cut its fleet to six Boeing 737-800 aircraft retrofitted with wingtip devices (winglets) and reduced its staff to 800, with a majority of the staff former BWIA workers now contracted.
On 27 July 2009, Mr. Philip Saunders announced his resignation as CEO of Caribbean Airlines, due to personal reasons. Caribbean Airlines appointed Captain Ian Brunton in October 2009 as CEO of the airline.
Upon the airline's launch in January 2006, the airline retained the in-flight magazine, Caribbean Beat, and in-flight video, Caribbean Essence, of its predecessor BWIA. Caribbean Beat has been published since 1991 by Media and Editorial Projects Limited out of Trinidad and Tobago, and Caribbean Essence is produced by JCD & Associates, also out of Trinidad & Tobago.
Additionally, Caribbean Airlines continues to market itself as one of the few airlines still offering complimentary meals and refreshments, as well as two free checked bags. A movie is also shown on long-haul flights.
Colours, livery and logo
BWIA's logo was a steelpan. Caribbean Airlines' 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 had five designs on the tails of its de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 regional aircraft before these twin turboprops were phased out of the fleet, One of the designs raised controversy, due to its usage of the Balisier flower, the symbol of the former ruling People's National Movement political party. The logo was subsequently redesigned without the flower and replaced with fruits. The tail designs featured a steelpan, cricket balls, fruits, corals, fish and butterflies.
Operations: Past & Present
Caribbean Airlines began operations with a fleet of six Boeing 737-800 aircraft and one Airbus A340-313, operating the London Heathrow route until May 2007. The airline offered two classes of service, first/business class and economy class on both the Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Caribbean Airlines operated daily direct services to Miami, Toronto, New York, Jamaica (with stops in Barbados and Antigua/St. Maarten), Guyana, Suriname and London Heathrow till May 2007 due to the ICC 2007 Cricket World Cup, all out of its hub at Piarco International Airport. Peter Davies resigned from his position as CEO, effective 30 September 2007, but remained as a strategic advisor to Caribbean Airlines.
On 1 October 2007, Philip Saunders, Star Alliance VP Commercial, was appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of Caribbean Airlines. Subsequently, the airline took over operations of Tobago Express, its domestic arm at a cost of US$24 million with the intentions to upgrade the fleet of Bombardier Dash-8 Q300 to international standards and also adding new Caribbean destinations to be served via this regional airline subsidiary.
In March 2008, the airline added a daily direct service to the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas, using the Dash 8 aircraft. In May 2008, Caribbean Airlines acquired a seventh Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The airline added a new U.S. route on 22 May to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from Piarco International Airport. This route began operations on a four times per week schedule and later in July of the same year, the frequency was increased to daily service.
On 15 November 2008, Transavia Airlines agreed to operate a wet-lease operation on behalf of Caribbean Airlines, it increased its fleet to eight Boeing 737-800. The aircraft was re-fitted to the standard 16/138 configuration including an extra nine inches of seat pitch in the business class cabin, due to a different galley and closet placement. This allowed the airline to increase flight frequency to meet demand for the peak travel periods. The lease was contracted to be in effect until 15 April 2009. The aircraft was returned in June 2009, and Sun Country Airlines, a U.S. air carrier, then leased a Boeing 737-800 to Caribbean Airlines.
In April 2009, the airline increased its frequency of service to Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas from a daily service to ten flights per week. The route was operated by the Bombardier Dash-8 Q300, configured for 50 passengers in an all economy service. Daily flights to its gateways Fort Lauderdale and Miami continued. Services to Toronto and New York remained at twice daily and 20 weekly (up to 28 weekly in peak season), respectively.
In 2009, Caribbean Airlines operated services from the southern Caribbean to Jamaica, as well as South America, including Suriname, Guyana and Venezuela. The airline also continued to serve the United States and Canada, in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Toronto, having also established a codeshare agreement with British Airways, for services to London and beyond. As of 2009, the airline operated a fleet of eight Boeing 737-800 aircraft and five Bombardier Dash-8 Q300 aircraft, out of its main hub at Piarco International Airport, Trinidad. The Dash 8 aircraft have since been replaced with new ATR 72-600 propjets.
In August 2010, Caribbean Airlines and Air India signed a travel pact for Trinidadians travelling to India. In October, the airline announced a fleet renewal consisting of fifteen (15) Boeing 737-800 Next Generation jets and nine ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft. The new Boeing jets were intended to replace Air Jamaica's operating fleet of Airbus aircraft.
Acquisition of Air Jamaica
Caribbean Airlines Limited, through the government of Trinidad and Tobago, announced plans to operate a base in Jamaica following the divestment of Air Jamaica which was slated to occur between 30 April 2010 to that same period in 2011. Caribbean Airlines is providing a seamless transition following Air Jamaica's closure. Once the deal is finalized, Caribbean Airlines Limited will become the largest airline in the Caribbean with a new hub in Kingston Jamaica's Norman Manley International Airport. The divestment was scheduled to become effective on 30 April 2010 after it was rescheduled from 12 April 2010. On this day, it was planned that Air Jamaica would cease operations and Caribbean Airlines will then acquire the airline's most profitable routes and their remaining six aircraft. Plans were also announced to replace the aircraft fleet with all Boeing 737-800 Next Generation jets.
On 4 March 2010, Caribbean Airlines announced they would terminate their codeshare agreement with British Airways for the Port of Spain-London Gatwick route effective 27 March 2010 thus paving the way for a nonstop service to be operated by Caribbean between Piarco International Airport and London, UK.
On 28 April 2010, Caribbean Airlines Limited and Air Jamaica signed a final agreement for the purchase of Air Jamaica by Caribbean Airlines Limited, following the signing of a letter of intent to merge in January of the same year. The agreement stated that Caribbean would continue operating Air Jamaica's routes and also retain 900 of Air Jamaica's employees. Financing was provided by the government of Trinidad and Tobago, which contributed around $50 million to complete the merger, and Jamaica, which assumed more than $800 million in costs related to the closure of Air Jamaica.
On 27 May 2011, the acquisition of Air Jamaica was completed, with Finance Minister Winston Dookeran and Jamaican Finance Minister Audley Shaw at the Prime Minister' St. Clair office, signing the shareholding agreement. This agreement allows the Jamaican government to own a 16% stake of Caribbean Airlines Limited.
Talks have begun between Caribbean Airlines' management and LIAT (Leeward Islands Air Transport, a regional airline operating Dash 8 turboprop aircraft in the Caribbean) regarding a possible partnership or merger between the two airlines. The former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning had also expressed interest in Cayman Airways also being merged into Caribbean Airlines, but, with the recent changes in government, the future of these plans is uncertain.
According to Chairman of the Board of Caribbean Airlines George Nicholas III, Caribbean Airlines is pursuing a relationship with Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance, in an effort to support Jamaican hoteliers.[dated info] It is also reported they are preparing to start a route to Mumbai, but no date has been given. Also, Nicholas announced that Johannesburg, Nigeria, and Brazil are possible contenders for new routes. Chicago and Atlanta are the two new U.S. gateways that are being considered, Nicholas stated.
New transatlantic service to London
It has been determined that LAN Airlines did indeed lease two (2) Boeing 767-300ER aircraft to Caribbean Airlines. These aircraft, being registrations 9Y-LGW and 9Y-LHR, are currently being used to provide scheduled nonstop transatlantic service between Port of Spain and London Gatwick Airport.[dated info]
Caribbean Airlines (CAL) pushed hard to have everything in place for its return to Port of Spain to London, England nonstop route. Because the Arthur Lok Jack Board (which initiated and managed the change from BWIA to CAL) sold the prized Heathrow slots, which British West Indies Airways (BWIA) had used for decades via the use of Boeing 707 and Lockheed L-1011 jetliners, the new service to London had no choice but to land at Gatwick Airport. Advertisement has been heavy lately and includes a dedicated page in the on board airline magazine Caribbean Beat promoting the London, England route.
Caribbean Airlines operates cargo services using a wet-leased Boeing 767 freighter from ABX Air of the United States. The service operates to several destinations in the airline's route network including Port of Spain, Guyana and Miami and operates three times weekly. The aircraft are flown by ABX pilots using Caribbean's callsign and Caribbean Airlines flight numbers.
The Caribbean Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of May 2013[update]) :
|Boeing 737-800||15||0||16||138||154||13 leased from ILFC
9Y-SXM Leased from ALAFCO
9Y-MBJ Leased from Air Lease
|Boeing 767-200F||1||0||Wet-Leased from ABX Air
Operates as Caribbean Airlines Cargo and Air Jamaica Cargo
|Boeing 767-300ER||2||0||30||191||221||Leased from ILFC|
- 2 Airbus A340-312 and Airbus A340-311 (left service in 2007).
- 5 Bombardier Dash 8-300 (left service in 2013).
Caribbean Airlines Frequent Flyer Programme
The airline's frequent-flyer program is called Caribbean Miles. This program offers many benefits to its members, and there is no joining fee. The three tiers of the program are called Silver, Gold and Executive Gold.
Incidents and accidents
On 30 July 2011, Caribbean Airlines Flight 523 - Reg: 9Y-PBM overran the runway in rainy weather and crashed through the perimeter fence while landing at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana. The incident occurred at approximately 1:32 am. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, broke into two just behind the first class area. There were no fatalities. At least two passengers suffered broken legs and others suffered lacerations and other injuries. The majority of the injured were treated at Diamond Diagnostic Hospital and then later transferred to Georgetown Public Hospital. Caribbean Airlines confirmed 157 passengers and 6 crew members were on board the aircraft.
On October 26, 2012 Caribbean Airlines Flight BW300 took off from Piarco International Airport bound for Caracas with four crew and 44 passengers had a section of exterior panelling,which became detached on lift-off at 6.49 a.m.The aircraft, an ATR72, landed back at the Piarco International Airport safely at 7.15 a.m. without injuries.
- 2010, 2011 - The "Caribbean's Leading Airline" - by World Travel Awards
Caribbean Airlines has a  arranged in a traditional Trinidadian calypso music style. It was originally recorded by Explainer and the song is called "Lorraine". The original lyrics, which talk about a man who needs to escape the cold United States and get back to the Caribbean, were modified to fit Caribbean Airlines.
- Caribbean Beat, the in-flight magazine of Caribbean Airlines
- Caribbean Miles, Caribbean Airlines Website, Accessed 2 July 2008.
- Club Caribbean, Caribbean Airlines Website, Accessed 2 July 2008.
- "Contact Us > Caribbean." Caribbean Airlines. Retrieved on 13 September 2012. "Iere House Golden Grove Road Piarco Trinidad, West Indies"
- Friendly skies Caribbean Airlines forecasts profit next year, Trinidad Guardian, Accessed 2 July 2008.
- Bye Bye BWEE, Trinidad Guardian, Accessed 2 July 2008.
- Caribbean Airlines CEO resigns 27 July 2009.Mr. Ian Brunton resigned as the CEO in November 2010 and Mr. Robert Corbie is currently acting in this capacity.
- Caribbean Airlines launched, Trinidad Guardian, Accessed 2 July 2008.
- Caribbean Media Corporation: Hummingbird for BWee's replacement, CANA News, Accessed 2 July 2008
- Caribbean Airlines gets ready, Trinidad Guardian, Accessed 2 July 2008.
- Caribbean Airlines flies the balisier, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Accessed 2 July 2008
- PNM joins Gingerbread House campaign, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Accessed 2 July 2008
- Caribbean Airlines on course to break even, Trinidad Guardian, Accessed 2 July 2008.
- "Caribbean Prepping for 737s, ATRs". Aviation Week. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- Edwards, Al (14 January 2011). "Caribbean Airlines to take Air Jamaica to new heights". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- Terror at CJIA… Caribbean Airlines plane crashes on landing Kaieteur News with pictures
- Caribbean Airlines News Releases
- Staff writer (2011). "The Caribbean's Leading Airline". World Travel Awards. Retrieved 16 December 2011
- original lyrics
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Caribbean Airlines|