(Photo: Yahoo News)

CAL implements precautionary measures as coronavirus threat spreads

(Photo: Yahoo News)

Regional airlines Caribbean Airlines (CAL) says it is implementing contingency plans for its crew and passengers in preparation for possible disruptions caused by the new coronavirus.

The Trinidad-based carrier said it will permit people travelling on its flights with connections to or from mainland China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Singapore to rebook without change charges, subject to conditions.

The countries, in particular China, for which flights may be rebooked are the primary sources of confirmed cases of the virus and where the majority of the 3,100 deaths have occurred.

Regionally, many countries, including Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago have implemented travel restrictions to most of those territories.

What’s more, CAL said it is monitoring the outbreak to respond to it as needs be.

“While authorities have not issued travel restrictions to its destinations, Caribbean Airlines is committed to the health and safety of both its crew members and customers, and is working directly with health and security officials as well as industry leaders to keep updated and to ensure that it continues to implement best practice,” it said in a statement yesterday, March 2.

Additionally, it has put in place several measures to help handle the evolving outbreak. These measures include:

• Placing special safety kits on board all aircraft and at offices. 

• Monitoring the air quality in its aircraft cabins

• Continuing to ensure compliance with aircraft cleaning procedures, ensuring that all aircraft are properly sanitised at all ports 

• Equipping employees with international guidelines on how to deal with any suspected cases of the coronavirus

• Activating a special response team to monitor the situation in real time

• Promoting frequent hand-washing practices amongst its crew members and passengers 

The rebooking of flights is subject to customers satisfying the below requirements:

Travel Dates

  • Applicable for tickets issued on/before February 3rd, 2020
  • Original travel dates between February 3rd, 2020 and March 31st, 2020
  • New travel date must begin by April 1st, 2020
  • Travel must be completed before expiration of ticket 

Changes Allowed

  • Change fee and difference in fare are waived for persons meeting the above criteria.
  • Passengers are allowed to place ticket on hold for future use and the change fee will be waived, however, a difference in fare may apply. Standard ticket validity applies.


  • Full refund of fare allowed, for travel up to March 31st, 2020. Refund must be requested by March 31st, 2020.

The last estimates have put the coronavirus virus at 90,000 confirmed cases and 3,100 deaths globally.