CAL obtains the first Max 8 aircraft | Local company

Three years after majority state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) announced it was replacing its fleet, the airline announced the arrival of the first of nine 737 Max 8 planes it had ordered. to Chicago-based airline maker Boeing.

CAL initially ordered 12.

In a press release last night, CAL said the plane landed at 11:18 p.m. on Wednesday and will be ready for induction in the coming weeks.

“Stay tuned for takeoff in January,” the three-line version concluded.

In May, the Sunday Express reported that Boeing branded one of its Max 8 planes with the CAL logo with the image captured and shared on social media.

At the time, CAL’s contract for 12 Boeing Max 8 aircraft was still in effect.

CAL had told the Sunday Express: “Caribbean Airlines is noting the circulation of an image of a branded MAX-8 aircraft, registered 9Y-CAL, on various social media platforms. The airline advises that discussions with lessors are in progress. course, as Caribbean Airlines continues to refine its strategic options for its fleet.

The Sunday Express had reported that CAL chose not to terminate its contract to take 12 Max 8 planes when the opportunity arose.

When the exit option was presented, the airline would not have suffered any penalty for exercising the option, but the besieged carrier chose to maintain it.

L’Express understands that CAL was awaiting the necessary approval from regulators because the lease does not allow “the lessor to deliver an aircraft that is not certified by the regulator.”

Allowed to fly

In December 2020, the Max 8 was cleared for flight after 20 months of grounding by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

The aircraft is already in use in the United States and Canada.

As it stands, CAL plans to reduce its jet fleet from 12 to nine.

All leases for the nine existing aircraft have been extended for at least one year until the company can take delivery of the Max 8 aircraft.

CAL’s current fleet includes 12 Boeing 737-800s.

In November 2018, CAL announced that it had leased 12 Boeing Max 8s to replace its old fleet and made a down payment of US $ 7 million for the new planes.

CAL was to take delivery of the first Boeing aircraft in December 2019.

But Boeing’s Max 8 plane has been grounded since the crash of two aircraft, the Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 in Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019 in Ethiopia, which left 346 dead.

Imbert, as minister responsible for CAL, as well as Corporation Sole, at a post-Cabinet press conference in 2019, said he had given the state airline a directive to review the contract and “obtain international assistance from aviation experts”, in particular aviation lawyers to review the terms and conditions of the contract.

“One of the obvious conditions must be that the airplane must be certified as fit for use. In the current situation, with the Federal Aviation Authority (US regulator) immobilizing the aircraft on the ground, it is clear that these planes would not be suitable for current use. We don’t know what it will look like in December, ”he said.

While T & T’s borders remain closed for commercial travel, CAL operates in the Caribbean.

The closure of the country’s border due to Covid-19 impacted CAL’s profitability, with the airline recording an operating loss of more than US $ 109 million.

CAL announced its unaudited financial results for the year ended December 2020, showing an operating loss of $ 738 million ($ 109.2 million) on revenue of $ 802 million ($ 118.6 million).

“The first two months of 2020 continued our upward trajectory of the previous three years and the next phase of our strategic plan was off to a strong start. However, Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll on international travel and tourism over the past ten months and our financial results last year fully reflect this new reality, ”said Chief Executive Officer Garvin Medera.

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