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CAL seeks to land flagship carrier status for Grenada
T&T—owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is seeking to secure flagship carrier status for Grenada. CAL’s chairman Rabindra Moonan, in a telephone interview, said this is one of the topics discussed with the recently elected Prime Minister of Grenada Keith Mitchell on Sunday evening at Piarco Airport. Grenada elections took on place on February 19.
Moonan said the discussion was motivated by the Mitchell’s announcement during his inaugural address for Grenada to have a stronger link with T&T’s airlift. During the discussion, Moonan said he took the opportunity to raise the discussion for CAL to be the flagship carrier for Grenada. “This would mean that CAL would be the national airline for Grenada and be able to fly on all Grenada routes.
Moonan said Mitchell promised to look into it and have further discussions on the issue. He said as recently as last year CAL received flagship carrier status for Guyana. “This opportunity is very beneficial to CAL because it increases the efficiency in our operations and has afforded us the opportunity to overnight in Guyana, something that we could not have done before.”
Asked if CAL plans to approach other Caribbean countries for flagship status, he said: “We are flying to one stop at a time. So far we have had a favourable response from Guyana and now the promise of Grenada to look into it. So we will see how it goes.” He said Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran was also present at the discussions where he said what he would like to see with the international flights to New York and Canada.
Currently, Moonan explained, there are two international flights weekly—one to New York and the other to Canada, with a stop in Grenada, and six flights to Grenada on the turboprop. However, Moonan said Mitchell believes there is a need to strengthen this airlink. “We would be sending a technical team to meet with the Grenada’s airlift committee to examine and see what the market demands and once CAL could supply, we would do so.”
He said he could not give any further details as the talks were exploratory and it would depend on what the figures and research show. Moonan said while he was not in a position to give detailed figures, the flights to Grenada are consistent and the market is lucrative. Asked if CAL’s expansion is not a direct threat to Liat, Moonan said: “We are not a threat to Liat. Actually we would complement Liat and if there is any slack, we would work with Liat if the need arises.”
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