Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica announced the agreement representing the formal merger of the two carriers was signed on 26-May-2011 (nationnews.com/go-jamiaca.com, 26-May-2011). Under the agreement, the Jamaica government will own 16% of the Trinidad-based CAL while Port of Spain will spend an estimated USD49.2 million to facilitate expansion of CAL, which took over five of Air Jamaica’s routes in 2010. In Apr-2010, the Bruce Golding government assumed all financial liabilities up to the end of that month for Air Jamaica with CAL assuming the financial risk of continuing Air Jamaica’s activities from 01-May-2011.
CAL and JM sign formal merger
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LIAT’s woes reflect business conflicts, limited vision, in intra-regional Caribbean aviation
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During the past year some of the shareholder governments of the perpetually troubled airline have attempted to initiate tough love for LIAT, including threatening to withhold funds until LIAT can improve its service and operations. In some ways those threats are a double-edged sword – given the challenges of doing business in the region, a business environment largely driven by years of governments propping up state-owned airlines instead of allowing free market forces to take effect.
Although LIAT's shareholder governments would like to see more competition, the reality is that the aviation business in the Caribbean remains in a state of inertia, and all of LIAT's pledges for improvement will likely not materialise until a true mindset change sweeps over the region.
Inselair: opportunities for the airline's niche are ripe if the airline commits to an expanded fleet
Growth at the Caribbean airline group InselAir appears to have levelled after the company more than doubled its fleet between mid-2014 and the end of 2015. Its fleet composition has remained steady at 19 aircraft throughout 2016, and its seat deployment for the year has fallen below levels the company recorded in 2015.
As its seating capacity has decreased in 2016 InselAir Group has continued to expand its network during the last year, bolstering its model that connects markets in Latin America largely to the Caribbean. New flights include service to Brazil and Colombia and Quito, allowing InselAir Group to expand its reach into South America to support its network model. The company is fairly insulated from high levels of competition; on several of its routes it is the lone operator.
For a year the InselAir Group has been exploring opportunities to add aircraft with greater range to its fleet, and at one point was considering Airbus narrowbodies.