Caribbean Airlines, Qatar Airways Explore Cooperation

Credit: Joe Pries

Caribbean Airlines and Qatar Airways are in talks over “deepening the relationship between the two carriers,” according to Caribbean.

The Trinidad and Tobago-based airline released a statement in which it revealed that Caribbean chairman Ronnie Mohammed was part of a delegation led by Keith Rowley, the country’s prime minister, that visited Qatar recently.

“An air services agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and Qatar is imminent,” Caribbean said in the statement.

Caribbean indicated that an air services accord between the countries would enable it to cooperate with Doha-based Qatar Airways, “especially in the areas of passenger and cargo operations.”

Oneworld member Qatar Airways does not fly to Port of Spain (POS), the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, but its passengers can fly one-stop from Doha (DOH) to POS via a connection with Qatar Airways’ codeshare partners, including American Airlines and JetBlue Airways. Presumably, an air services agreement could pave the way for Qatar Airways to launch a DOH-POS route.

Caribbean’s longest-range aircraft is a Boeing 737 MAX, so it cannot fly to DOH. But it does operate services to three North American airports also served nonstop by Qatar Airways from DOH: Miami (MIA), New York Kennedy (JFK) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ). Passengers of both airlines could connect to the other at these three major hubs, potentially giving Caribbean passengers one-stop access to DOH and Qatar Airways’ extensive international network. Qatar Airways passengers could potentially gain one-stop access to POS and the Trinidad and Tobago carrier’s expansive network throughout the Caribbean. Qatar Airways’ passengers would also potentially gain one-stop access to Kingston (KIN), Jamaica, from which Caribbean operates nonstop flights to JFK and YYZ.

Speaking of the talks in Qatar, Mohammed said: “The meetings held were productive, and the impending signing of an air services agreement will enhance the mutual interests of Trinidad and Tobago and Qatar … Qatar Airways serves all six continents, and is the world’s fastest-growing airline, connecting more than 140 destinations globally.”

He added that “Caribbean Airlines has a mandate to improve connectivity within and outside the region and these talks with Qatar Airways are well aligned with Caribbean Airlines’ theme of resetting expectations for 2022.”

Caribbean said it “has a renewed focus on alliances, to enable better connectivity for its customers.”

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.