Shift in Canadian airlift to Caribbean

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, June 30 – One Canadian airline is pulling out of Trinidad and Tobago, while another has been designated to operate a service to Barbados.

The bad news for the twin-island republic came as Air Canada, which has operated there for the past 60 years, indicated that rising oil prices had forced it to discontinue its thrice weekly service at the end of August.

“It’s a regrettable decision to have to discontinue after so many years, but it is necessary,” Air Canada spokesman John Reber said, adding that an almost doubling of the airline’s fuel bill over the past year had caused the airline to cut its overall capacity by seven per cent.

Meantime, the recent conclusion of a bilateral air transport agreement between Canada and Barbados has paved the way for the designation of Sunwing Airlines to operate scheduled international air services between the two countries.

The agreement permits each country to designate any number of airlines for the operation of scheduled air services to and from Canada. In addition, there are no limits on the frequency of flights each designated airline is allowed to operate.

“I am pleased that Sunwing’s designation will provide additional airline choices for Canadians travelling between Canada and Barbados,” said Canada’s Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Lawrence Cannon.