Air Caraïbes

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Air Caraïbes
Air Caraibes 2019 logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
TX FWI FRENCH WEST
Founded1969; 53 years ago (1969) (as Société Antillaise de Transport Aérien)[1]
Commenced operationsJuly 2000; 22 years ago (2000-07) (as Air Caraïbes)[1]
Hubs
Focus citiesFort-de-France
Frequent-flyer programPreference
SubsidiariesAir Caraïbes Atlantique
Fleet size11
Destinations13
Parent companyGroupe Dubreuil [fr]
HeadquartersLes Abymes, Guadeloupe, France[2]
Key peopleMarc Rochet
Employees1,105 (2019)[3]
Websitewww.aircaraibes.com

Air Caraïbes (French pronunciation: ​[kaʁaib]) is a French low-cost airline[4] based in the French West Indies, with its headquarters in Les Abymes in Guadeloupe. The airline's main base of operations is at Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport in Guadeloupe, with a focus city at Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport, near Fort-de-France in Martinique. It operates scheduled and charter services in the West Indies, as well as transatlantic flights based at Paris Orly Airport in Metropolitan France.

History[edit]

The airline was originally established as Société Caribéenne de Transports Aériens, and started operations in September 1994. In 2000, Air Guadeloupe was acquired by Groupe Dubreuil [fr], which had previously established Air Vendée before the airline was acquired by Air France, rebranding it as Regional Airlines.[5] The current Air Caraïbes was founded in July 2000 through the merger of various local airlines Air Guadeloupe, Air Martinique, Air Saint Barthélémy, and Air Saint Martin, and was created in response to the air transport needs of the French Caribbean territories. In 2002, the company flew 445,000 passengers and had €68 million in revenues.

In July 2003, the airline received its first ATR 72-500.[3][6] On 12 December 2003, the airline began services to Orly Airport from Guadeloupe and Martinique using an Airbus A330-200.[3] The transatlantic services were operated under a franchise agreement by Air Caraïbes Atlantique, a jointly run subsidiary airline of Groupe Dubreuil, which was registered in Martinique with its own air operator's certificate, using an ICAO airline designator of "CAJ" and callsign of "CAR LINE".[7][8][9] Its operations were further integrated with and operated under the airline codes of Air Caraïbes at a later date. In June 2006, Air Caraïbes expanded its Airbus A330 fleet in receiving its first Airbus A330-300, and also planned to receive another A330-300 to replace one of its A330s.[10]

On 13 December 2013, Air Caraïbes announced it had ordered the Airbus A350, with a fleet of three A350-900s and three A350-1000s, the first of which were expected to be delivered in 2016 and 2020 respectively.[11] On 14 December 2016, the airline received its first ATR 72-600.[12] The airline received its first A350-900 on 28 February 2017, and its first A350-1000 on 19 December 2019.[13][14] However prior to the delivery of some of the airline's A350s, parent company Groupe Dubreuil allocated some to sister airline French Bee,[15] before ordering additional A350s for both airlines by June 2019.[16]

Corporate affairs[edit]

The airline is owned by Groupe Dubreuil [fr] (85%) and had 1,105 employees as of 2019.[3] Air Caraïbes uses Travel Technology Interactive's airline management system, Aeropack.

Destinations[edit]

An Air Caraïbes Airbus A330-200 in the previous livery

Air Caraïbes operates both a regional network in the West Indies, and a transatlantic long-haul network based at Paris Orly Airport in France.[17]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Air Caraïbes has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[18]

The airline also codeshares with the SNCF, the French national railway operator.[19]

Previously, Air Caraïbes had codeshare agreements with Aigle Azur until the airline ceased operations in September 2019, and with Corsair International until 26 October 2019.[20][21]

Fleet[edit]

Current fleet[edit]

An Air Caraïbes Airbus A350-900 in the current livery

As of June 2022, the Air Caraïbes fleet (including Air Caraibes Atlantique) consists of the following aircraft:[22][23]

Air Caraïbes fleet
Aircraft In
service
Orders Passengers Notes
B PE E Total
Airbus A330-200 1 12 24 267 303
Airbus A330-300 2 12 35 307 354
Airbus A350-900 3 18 45 326 389
Airbus A350-1000 3 24 45 360 429
ATR 72-600 3 74 74
Total 11

Former fleet[edit]

A former Air Caraïbes ATR 72-500
A former Dornier 228 in Air Caraïbes livery

Air Caraïbes and its franchised partners have operated the following aircraft types. It does not include aircraft types that were retired by its predecessor airlines prior to being merged to form Air Caraïbes.[24][25]

Air Caraïbes former fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
ATR 42-300 2 1986 1999
ATR 42-500 2 1997 2007
ATR 72-200 2 2000 2004
ATR 72-500 4 2000 2020
Boeing 737-300 1 2000 2001 Leased from Islandsflug
Cessna 208 Caravan 5 Un­known Un­known Operated by Air Caraïbes Express[9]
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 3 Un­known Un­known One crashed as Flight 1501.
Dornier 228 2 Un­known Un­known Operated by Air Caraïbes Express and Take Air[9]
Embraer ERJ-145 2 2000 2008
Embraer ERJ-175 1 2006 2008
Embraer ERJ-190 1 2007 2013

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 24 March 2001, Air Caraïbes Flight 1501 crashed into a house while on approach to Gustaf III Airport in Saint Barthélemy with 17 passengers and 2 crew members. All occupants were killed. One person on the ground was killed in the subsequent fire. The investigation concluded that the crash was caused by the pilot's error in managing the thrust lever. The report blamed the crew for accidentally entering the thrust into BETA range.[26]

See also[edit]

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. Archived from the original on 28 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Legal Notices". Air Caraïbes. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Air Caraïbes en chiffres" [Air Caraïbes in figures]. Air Caraïbes. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  4. ^ https://en.aircaraibes.com/en
  5. ^ "A Dubreuil Group company". Air Caraïbes. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Elegance: a touch of class from Air Caraibes". FlightGlobal. DVV Media International Limited. 14 June 2003. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Enterprise Air Caraibes Atlantique au Lamentin (97232)" [Company Air Caraibes Atlantique in Lamentin (97232)]. Le Figaro (in French). 10 September 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Air Caraibes Atlantique code and information". AirportDatabase.net. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "Air Caraibes S.a." Routesonline. Informa Markets. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Air Caraïbes signs for an additional A330-300" (Press release). Airbus S.A.S. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  11. ^ Coffre, Alain (12 December 2013). "Air Caraïbes: premiers vols en A350 en 2016-2017" [Air Caraïbes: first A350 flights in 2016-2017]. Business Traveller France (in French). Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Air Caraïbes takes delivery of its first ATR 72-600" (Press release). ATR, Avions de Transport Régional. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Air Caraïbes takes delivery of its first A350-900, opening up a new era in air transport to the French Caribbean" (Press release). Airbus S.A.S. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  14. ^ "First Airbus A350-1000 joins Air Caraïbes' fleet" (Press release). Airbus S.A.S. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  15. ^ Gliszczynski, Fabrice (16 March 2016). "La low-cost long-courrier French Blue fait des vagues chez Air Caraïbes" [The low-cost long-haul carrier French Blue is making waves with Air Caraïbes]. La Tribune (in French). Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Air Lease Corporation Announces Lease Placement of Three New Airbus A350-900 and One New Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft with Air Caraïbes and FrenchBee". Aviator.aero. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  17. ^ "Destination Map". Air Caraïbes. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Nos accords aériens" [Our air agreements]. Air Caraïbes (in French). Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  19. ^ "L'offre Train + Air" [Train + Air offer]. Air Caraïbes (in French). Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Partenariat aérien" [Airline partnership]. Air Caraïbes (in French). Archived from the original on 14 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  21. ^ Fabi, Serge (27 July 2019). "Air Caraïbes et Corsair arrêtent leur partage de codes sur les Antilles" [Air Caraïbes and Corsair end their codesharing to the Antilles] (in French). Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2019): 14.
  23. ^ "La Flotte" [The fleet]. Air Caraïbes (in French). Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  24. ^ North American Airlines Handbook published by Airways International Inc 1997
  25. ^ "Air Caraibes Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  26. ^ "bea-fr.org" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.

External links[edit]

Media related to Air Caraïbes at Wikimedia Commons