Regional carrier Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) is gearing up to launch non-stop flights between New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport and Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport starting April 1.
The move, which is subjected to regulatory approval, will see the Trinidad-based airline creating a new route for the company which already operates intra-Caribbean flights and service from North American cities.
“This is a significant milestone for Caribbean Airlines, and reiterates our commitment to giving our customers options and access to regional and international destinations.
“This will further improve connectivity and expand our network which is one of our main objectives,” said Garvin Medera, chief executive officer (CEO) of CAL in a company statement this week.
The non-stop flight will operate one round-trip service each week, with flights from Barbados to New York on Thursdays and flights from New York to Barbados on Saturdays, with the flights expected to take just under five hours.
CAL, in its most recent financial statement, last year, reported an operating loss or earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of US$109.2 million on revenues of US118.6 million, results which the company said was significantly affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. This the entity said was in stark contrast to its 2019 figures which saw a positive EBIT of US$11.2 million on revenue of US$440 million. Operating expenses for 2020 which totalled US$228 million were, however, 47 per cent lower than the previous year due to fewer flights and strict cost controls.
During 2020 the regional carrier also saw its number of passengers fell by some 71 per cent due to international border closures since March when compared to the previous year when the airline carried 2,595,526 people.
“The first two months of 2020 continued our upward trajectory of the previous three years and the next phase of our strategic plan was commencing strongly. However, COVID-19 has taken a sledgehammer to international travel and tourism for the past 10 months and our financial results for last year fully reflect this new reality,” Medera said.
He further said that in spite of the pandemic and reduced flying, the company, however, managed to add new destinations to its network also expanding cargo offerings to include charter services.