Regional carrier, Caribbean Airlines is reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel industry.
In a statement today, CAL announced that its before-tax earnings have decreased by more than US$109 million.
Over the past few years, the airline was seeing increased earnings as it launched an aggressive marketing strategy, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed all of that.
The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Garvin Medera explained that “the first two months of 2020 continued our upward tra-jec-tory of the previous three years and the next phase of our strategic plan was commencing strongly. However, Covid-19 has taken a sledgehammer to international travel and tourism for the past 10 months and our financial results for last year fully reflect this new reality.”
He said in spite of the pandemic, and reduced flying, the carrier managed to add new destinations to its network and expanded its cargo offerings to include charter services.
Caribbean Airlines said at times during 2020, passenger flights were 90% lower than the same period for the previous year as a result of international border closures.
Passenger numbers for 2020 fell substantially by 71%. The airline has been forced to furlough many of its workers.
The Chairman of Caribbean Airlines, S. Ronnie Mohammed said “2020 was the worst year on record for the global travel industry and specifically for aviation. Regrettably, Caribbean Airlines was hit hard. From a promising period of progress and profitability, we were severely negatively impacted”.