Piarco, Trinidad & Tobago – Caribbean Airlines is reporting that the first quarter of 2020 was on course to be another successful period of performance, prior to the impact of COVID-19 in March.
Caribbean Airlines performance for January and February 2020 surpassed previous year 2019. Earnings before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) increased by 2.5% or $662.5k TTD with revenues increasing by 5.3% or $21.8m TTD. This increase in revenues was resultant from better passenger numbers of 5.8% or 21,112; and Cargo services have continued to operate throughout the year.
Figures for March or Q1 overall have not been stated due to the abnormal impact of the lock down.
Marina Chase, Chief Financial Officer, said: “The first two months of 2020 were very encouraging, with load factors and overall performance for the period trending better than 2019, which itself was a strong year for Caribbean Airlines. The Airline was well poised for another great year prior to the advent of COVID-19.”
COVID 19 has impacted airlines and air travel globally with Caribbean Airlines being no exception. The airline continues to manage its financial and operational situation on a short-term basis.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has guaranteed a US $66.5m loan to the airline, to assist in alleviating some of the cash flow shortfall originating from the lock down and global economic impact.
This loan is currently being arranged with financial institutions and will be repaid out of future income.
From the onset of 2020, the airline maintained a firm approach to cost management and with the technology implemented in 2019, such as the Mobile App and products like Caribbean Explorer and Caribbean Vacations, customers can more easily customize their travel. Branded fares offered more choice and greater flexibility, allowing customers to pay only for the amenities they need.
These are just some of the elements that would have contributed to increased passenger demand.
Additionally, new cargo interline partners expanded the airline’s network for freight shipping and handling.