Since December 2022, on average of just under 3,000 seats per month on flights between Trinidad and Tobago have not been filled.
This was revealed by Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) as it provided an update on the airline’s operations on the airbridge from December 2022 to February 2023.
December was by far the busiest month in the three-month period as CAL added 4,980 seats to the 25,864 seats initially made available for flights to Tobago, with 440 flights heading from Piarco International Airport to the ANR Robinson International Airport.
In a news release yesterday, CAL confirmed that of the 30,844 seats available, 29,912 seats were occupied during the period. This meant only 932 seats were unused on the airline’s flights to Tobago in December.
However, with only flight less being operated from Tobago to Trinidad during that period with 439 flights traversing the route, 27,746 of 30,772 available seats were occupied leaving 3,026 seats unused on flights from Tobago to Trinidad for that period.
This proved to be a commonality as while both January and February saw a lower number of flights, the number of seats unused on flights to Tobago stood at 3,256 seats (out of 27,548) in January and 2,893 (out of 26,160) in February.
On airbridge flights to Trinidad in January, there were 2,826 (out of 27,548) seats unused, while 3,525 (out of 26,092) were not filled in February flights.
In total, 16,458 seats were not used over the three-month period. In January and February, CAL would have missed out on potential revenue of $2.5 million dollars based on the $200 ticket fare for a flight between the islands as a result of unused seats. In December, the airline woud have foregone about $593,000.
On January 1, the cost of a plane ticket between the islands increased by $50 in a bid to reduce the losses recorded by CAL in operating the domestic airbridge
Finance Minister, Colm Imbert said during the 2023 budget presentation that CAL would benefit by an extra $50 million per annum from the increase in the airfare.
In 2017 the airline introduced a $50 fee for travelers who purchased tickets for flights on the airbridge but opted to change the date on their flight.
In the release yesterday, Caribbean Airlines confirmed that 192 flights will be operated by Caribbean Airlines for the week leading up to the Easter long weekend.
The airline said it will operate these flights from April 1-7 and will accommodate 2,646 passengers on these flights.
The Easter vacation is traditionally a high-traffic period for the airline along the route.