PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, June 24, 2020 (CMC) – The state-owned carrier, Caribbean Airlines (CAL), has recorded a loss of more than US$14 million, in just over a one-month period, as a result of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Allyson West, has disclosed.
She told the Senate that the airline, during the period, March 23 to April 30, had estimated its losses at US$14.2 million.
“The financial impact to Caribbean Airlines Limited, from losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, took effect, from the beginning of March 2020, prior to the closure of our national borders,” she told legislators, adding that demand for air travel had “already been reduced, significantly”.
“The impact was further exacerbated, following the closure of our borders at midnight on March 22. As a wholly-owned state enterprise, Caribbean Airlines Limited has complied with government policy, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and maintained all of its staff on payroll,” Minister West explained.
She said, in addition to that measure, notwithstanding the fact that air travel is severely restricted at present, CAL is also required to keep its aircraft leases up-to-date, and ensure also that the planes are air-worthy and all of its systems functioning, in readiness for the resumption of flights.
Last November, the airline reported its unaudited summary financial results for January to September 2019, showing it continues to achieve an operating profit and is net-income positive.
The unaudited results for the nine months, ending September 2019, show earnings, before interest and taxes (EBIT), of TT$121 million. Revenue for the period was TT$2.3 billion, up 3.8 percent..
“It has truly been a breakout year for Caribbean Airlines. Another strong financial performance means, we can continue our investments into new planes and services for our customers, building a better place to work for our employees, and supporting communities, across the Caribbean, through sponsorship, economic activity, and global connectivity,” Garvin Medera, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, said then.