Billions pumped into Caribbean Airlines since 2011

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, – The state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has received an estimated three billion dollars in subsidies since 2011, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has said.

Responding to a question posed by Opposition Chief Whip Dr David Lee in the Parliament on Friday, Imbert said that the government gives a subsidy of TT$50 per adult seat for CAL’s Tobago airbridge.

According to Imbert in 2011, CAL received TT$243 million comprising TT$136 million in subsidies and TT$106 million in transfers, while in 2012, the airline benefitted from TT$1.139 billion, made up of TT$412 million in loan guarantees and TT$726 million in subsidies.

Imbert said that in 2013, CAL got TT$860 million, comprising TT$413 million in loan guarantees and TT$477 million in subsidies, while in the following year, it received one billion dollars consisting of TT$140 million in subsidies and TT$859 million in transfers.

The Finance Minister told legislators that for 2015, the state-owned airline was given TT$655 million and last year it received TT$481 million.

Imbert said that steps are now being taken to make CAL self-sufficient with the implementation of cost-relevant strategies, revenue enhancement aimed at a break-even position, developing a strong brand for CAL and building the necessary corporate culture.