Caribbean Airlines acquires Tobago-based commuter carrier

Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines has acquired the remaining 51% of shares in Tobago Express and will begin operational management of the carrier's "air bridge" service between Piarco Airport in Trinidad and Crown Point Airport in Tobago, effective Oct. 1.

Prior to the acquisition, Caribbean Airlines inherited BWIA's 49% share of the Tobago-based carrier after Caribbean Airlines replaced BWIA as the state-owned airline last January.

Tobago Express, founded in 2001, offers several 25-minute flights between the two islands each day.

Under the new management, the air bridge will maintain the present schedule with Tobago Express's current fleet of five Dash-8 aircraft and the support of Caribbean Airlines' 737-800 aircraft at times of high demand.

The service will continue to be regulated by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.

"Caribbean Airlines plans to offer seamless connections between the islands for local and international travelers, making the destination part of its network," said Peter Davies, CEO. "Our schedule also will link other carriers landing in Port of Spain to Crown Point.'

Davies said that improved distribution and customer service processes "will build the foundation for the future sustainability of the air bridge."

Tobago Express employees will receive statutory severance packages and will be offered three-month transition contracts with Caribbean Airlines.

During the transition period, Caribbean Airlines will work with its employees and customers to design the "optimum air bridge service," according to Davies.

Following the transition period, staff will have the opportunity to join the permanent ranks of Caribbean Airlines.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Gay Nagle Myers at [email protected].

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