CARIBBEAN Airlines (CAL) may be the national carrier of Trinidad and Tobago, but during the Covid-19 pandemic and with this country’s borders being closed, CAL is setting up a hub in Barba­dos to service the Eastern Caribbean.

But that’s just temporary, accor­ding to CAL’s communications manager, Dionne Ligoure.

She told the Sunday Express that CAL’s pre-Covid plan was to expand into the Eastern Caribbean, and as borders are slowly opening up, the airline is repositioning its hub temporarily.

CAL’s plan to increase its service to the Eastern Caribbean comes as the subregion’s dedicated carrier, LIAT, is in the process of being reorganised to avoid being liquidated.

On June 27, the shareholders of LIAT agreed to put LIAT into liquidation after having received a recommendation from the airline’s board of directors meeting a few days earlier.

Some 94.7 per cent of LIAT is owned by four Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries: Barbados (the biggest shareholder), followed by Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica.

CAL has already set up a hub in Jamaica to service flights from Kingston to New York, Miami and Toronto.

The airline began daily flights from Kingston to New York on July 6, and weekly flights between Kingston and Toronto started on July 8. The airline’s chief executive officer, Garvin Medera, said in a news release on June 30 that the Kingston-to-Toronto route was to be increased to twice weekly, with an additional service on a Sunday from July 19.

In that statement, Medera also said “pending approvals, we plan to reintroduce our daily Kingston to Miami, Florida, route shortly after these initial services”.

The carrier was also due to resume services between Antigua, Barbados and Kingston yesterday, with the service to these destinations being offered twice weekly. In addition, it will resume its flight to Nassau, Bahamas, on July 31.