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Curtis Williams

State-owned Caribbean Airlines has received approval from the United States Department of Transportation to fly the Port of Spain/Houston route.

This has been confirmed by the Airline’s Chief Executive Officer Garvin Medera who also said the airline has also gotten approval to fly to San Juan Puerto Rico.

It is expected that the flight to Puerto Rico will form part of CAL’s expansion into the Eastern Caribbean.

Caribbean Airlines has not made a determination on the projected start up date for the flights since the Trinidad and Tobago boarders remain closed.

The move means that CAL will provide direct competition to United Airlines on the Houston route.

Caribbean Airline has been working to build its brand as the Caribbean’s premier airline with a focus on serving the region both intra regionally and access to North America.

The Airline has been hard hit by the advents associated with the corona virus as it has had to fly with reduced capacity out of Jamaica and Barbados with T&T’s borders still closed.

Globally it has been a challenging period for airlines with many unable to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Caribbean Airlines’ has also been forced to ground its operations because of border closures, it enjoyed the luxury of a government guarantee. Roughly US $65 million.

But that financial backing is expiring soon and the airline is now being forced to make decisions about its expenses.

The airline and the government are now working on determining the next steps and one awaits to see what support it is likely to get from Finance Minister Colm Imbert when he presents his budget on Monday.