Caribbean Airlines (Port of Spain), as we first reported in July of 2012, was modifying its aircraft that were painted in the Air Jamaica (Kingston) brand. The Trinidad and Tobago Civil Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) in 2012 mandated Caribbean Airlines must drop the Air Jamaica brand because of the conditions of their Air Operators Certificate (AOC) that it operate under one name. The first casualty was the pictured Boeing 737-8Q8 9Y-JMA (msn 30645) “Spirit of Kingston” which was sporting Caribbean Airlines titles on the Air Jamaica 2011 livery in 2012. The airliner previously had full Air Jamaica titles and color scheme.
This thorny issue, one of national pride in Jamaica, has moved slowly since the issue first emerged in 2012. Now Caribbean Airlines has repainted 9Y-JMA (above) with full Caribbean Airlines titles (minus the tail logo) eliminating the Air Jamaica colors. The aircraft re-entered revenue service on the February 23, 2014. This new change may be a new signal that Caribbean has decided to move ahead with the mandated one brand ruling eliminating the iconic Air Jamaica brand and name.
Caribbean Airlines had previously adopted a “two brands, one airline” marketing strategy to mainly keep alive the Air Jamaica brand, especially for the Jamaican market. Because the aircraft were intermingled between markets, this often led to a diverse identity in the two main markets.
A report by The Gleaner of June 19, 2013 reported the government of Jamaica (which retains a 16 percent share) was concerned about the reduction of flights by Caribbean Airlines to the island nation. Caribbean Airlines reduced the number of flights to Jamaica on April 16, 2013. The new CAL board was given a month to come back with a new development plan for Air Jamaica. Previously the Jamaican government has threatened to withdraw the Air Jamaica brand from the combined airline per Caribbean 360.
Read the full report The Gleamer: CLICK HERE
Read the full report from Caribbean 360: CLICK HERE
Finally, if this drama was not enough, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday reported Caribbean Airlines and Bahamasair (Nassau) in January 2014 were holding discussions on possible closer ties. Will this lead to a three-brand airline? Not likely.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In addition, Americans were warned not to fly Caribbean Airlines to and from Guyana because of possible threats against the carrier.
In conclusion, Caribbean Airlines needs to make a final decision of this difficult national pride issue and move ahead towards profitability once again.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Nigel Steele/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Q8 9Y-JMA (msn 30645) arrives back at the Port of Spain base with the new (almost full) identity.
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