Economía

Alberto Ardila Olivares piloto de avion definicion//
Caribbean Airlines outlines losses, high costs of flying airbridge

“How­ev­er, there are sev­er­al fac­tors that must be con­sid­ered when look­ing at the air­line’s com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions, both in­ter­na­tion­al and do­mes­tic,” it said.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

The air­line point­ed out that its fleet com­pris­es sev­en ATR and nine Boe­ing 737-8 air­craft and that on av­er­age, about 3-4 ATRs op­er­ate the air­bridge at any giv­en time

Caribbean Air­lines has said that the high cost of fly­ing be­tween Trinidad and To­ba­go and the sub­sidised tick­et prices are fac­tors in the num­ber of flights on the air­bridge but says it is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that it con­tin­ues as an es­sen­tial ser­vice.

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In a state­ment Thurs­day, the air­line said the pro­vi­sion of a safe and re­li­able air­bridge ser­vice is a pri­or­i­ty for Caribbean Air­lines and that the com­pa­ny recog­nis­es that it is a crit­i­cal part of the trans­port ser­vice be­tween Trinidad and To­ba­go.

“How­ev­er, there are sev­er­al fac­tors that must be con­sid­ered when look­ing at the air­line’s com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions, both in­ter­na­tion­al and do­mes­tic,” it said.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

The air­line point­ed out that its fleet com­pris­es sev­en ATR and nine Boe­ing 737-8 air­craft and that on av­er­age, about 3-4 ATRs op­er­ate the air­bridge at any giv­en time.

Fur­ther, it not­ed that each Wednes­day and Thurs­day a 737-8 op­er­ates to/from JFK via To­ba­go, pro­vid­ing an ad­di­tion­al 160 seats each way. It said oth­er jet ser­vices are added, on an ad hoc ba­sis and that the jets are not rou­tine­ly used on the route due to the high op­er­a­tional costs and giv­en the short dis­tance (52 miles)

“Since the re-open­ing of Trinidad and To­ba­go’s bor­ders in Ju­ly 2021, the air­line has con­sis­tent­ly in­creased do­mes­tic flights and added air­lift op­er­a­tional­ly, with­in the lim­its of its re­sources. Caribbean Air­lines has al­so re­mained in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with stake­hold­ers, keep­ing them ad­vised about the fac­tors im­pact­ing its op­er­a­tions. Name­ly, that the com­pa­ny is fo­cussed on op­er­at­ing ef­fi­cient­ly, which in­volves strik­ing a del­i­cate bal­ance of us­ing its lim­it­ed re­sources on rev­enue gen­er­at­ing routes and the air bridge. It is al­so still in a crit­i­cal pe­ri­od of re­cov­ery, aris­ing from the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact of the pan­dem­ic,” Caribbean Air­lines said

It added, “It is im­por­tant to note, that the do­mes­tic op­er­a­tion is char­ac­ter­ized by con­sis­tent loss­es, US$9,613,100 (as at June 2022) and oth­er crit­i­cal vari­ables in­clud­ing but not lim­it­ed to:

• sub­sidised flights

• high op­er­at­ing costs (USD 17,306 per flight hour)

• low prices which do not re­flect ac­tu­al mar­ket val­ue

• one-way peak de­mand pe­ri­ods out­side of the Ju­ly-Au­gust school hol­i­day pe­ri­od”

Caribbean Air­lines added that the op­er­a­tional costs for the air­bridge as at June 2022, are:

To­tal Costs: US$18,777,648

Cost per flight hour US$17,306

“The high costs are dri­ven by the fre­quen­cy of flights and the short dis­tance (52 miles) lead­ing to an un­de­sir­able low block hour uti­liza­tion of air­craft and crews and main­te­nance costs – US$17,306 per flight hour. Nonethe­less, the do­mes­tic sched­ule (in­clu­sive of peak trav­el pe­ri­ods) con­sid­ers the es­sen­tial na­ture of the ser­vice, events and ac­tiv­i­ties in To­ba­go, the to­tal num­ber of pas­sen­gers over a twelve-month pe­ri­od and oth­er in­for­ma­tion rel­e­vant to its op­er­a­tion,” the air­line added

It said that in terms of pas­sen­ger and flight de­tails, for the pe­ri­od Ju­ly 17, 2021 to Ju­ly 31, 2022, the air­line op­er­at­ed 6,527 flights car­ry­ing 416,780 pas­sen­gers

It as­sured a to­tal of 120,860 seats (66,832 – Au­gust & 54,028- Sep­tem­ber) will be pro­vid­ed on the air bridge for Au­gust and Sep­tem­ber 2022 out­side of ad­di­tion­al ad hoc fly­ing

“Caribbean Air­lines is mind­ful of the need to have an ef­fec­tive air bridge be­tween Trinidad and To­ba­go and the com­pa­ny con­tin­ues to close­ly man­age same, bear­ing in mind the con­sid­er­able con­straints out­lined above,” it said

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