CAL accused of favouring lucrative routes and leaving Tobago to suffer

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CAL accused of favouring lucrative routes and leaving Tobago to suffer

Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) has been accused of “strangling” the island’s economy by increasing flights to regional destinations at the expense of the domestic route.

Head of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association, Alpha Lorde, said within the last 12-18 months, the association has observed a decrease in the local market and an uptick in regional travel.

In a Newsday interview, he said: “So people are saying Tobago is a little difficult to get to, but I can fly to Grenada because CAL has flights. The correlation is that CAL has reduced the (number) of flights on a daily rotation to Tobago to be able to increase their flights to other destinations. So as Tobago suffers, unfortunately the other destinations benefit.”

He believes CAL is favouring the more lucrative routes. “But I think CAL is missing the fact that it is a whole economy being strangled by a singular decision.”

Lorde said although people are making bookings at hotels, villas, guesthouses and other types of accommodation, the availability of flights remains a challenge.

“I would say that it is average but coming along. Some people are still seeing requests coming in. “The concern is that although people are requesting rooms, they are hesitant to make formal commitment on bookings because they do not have the flights. They are calling, making sure that we have rooms, and they are working towards getting flights or a boat over, with the intention of calling back and saying, ‘Look my credit card, I’ll be there.”