CAL awaits permission to increase Tobago flights

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A Caribbean Airlines plane –

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) says it is waiting on the Ministry of Finance to give the green light before any adjustments are made to the existing flight schedule on the Trinidad and Tobago airbridge.

When contacted by Newsday on Tuesday, CAL’s head of corporate communications Dionne Ligoure said, “We will be guided by the instructions and direction of the relevant authorities with respect to adjusting the operations on the airbridge.

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine and several business stakeholders have called for more flights on the airbridge.

Augustine said on Monday, “In Tobago’s case, we need a bumper season. Beyond the reopening of the economy, what we working on is getting Caribbean Airlines returning to maximum flights in time for the Easter vacation – it’s absolutely necessary.”

Augustine said he was in discussions with stakeholders to have CAL increase its flights before the Easter weekend.

He said travellers are being inconvenienced because of the limited flights. All flights to Tobago for the next two weeks until Easter have been sold out. There are also very limited seats available on the seabridge.

Currently there are eight flights between the islands daily. According to a recent media report, Minister in the Ministry of Finance Brian Manning said Cabinet will soon discuss the possibility of increasing flights on the airbridge before the Easter weekend.

Tobago Business Chamber chairman Martin George and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce head Diane Hadad believe domestic flights should return to pre-pandemic numbers when the majority of covid19 restrictions are lifted on April 4.

Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association president Chris James said his association is depending on more flights for Easter. He told Newsday that the success or failure of this year’s Easter weekend in Tobago remains dependent on whether CAL increases its flight and capacity to the island.

Last Easter weekend the association enjoyed a 79.1 per cent occupancy rate with the villas on the island over 90 per cent occupied.

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