CAL willing to look at prospects in Cuba

(Trinidad Guardian) – Caribbean Airlines (CAL) will continue to look at all opportunities available. So said officials of the carrier following a statement by Trade Minister Vasant Bharath about the possibility of CAL embarking on flights to Cuba now that relations between that Caribbean island and the United States have started to improve.

“As CAL continues to work towards profitability, the management group will review any opportunities which may bring profitability for the airline,” CAL said in response to questions from the T&T Guardian.

On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama announced that steps had been taken to normalise diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba. The news has been welcomed by the local business community.

Ramesh Ramdeen, CEO of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) is confident there will now be greater opportunities for local companies in Cuba. “The easing of relations between the US and Cuba means that local manufacturers will have more confidence to engage with the Cubans without fear of reprisals by the US,” he to said.

Ramdeen said the Cuban market is much larger than those in the English-speaking Caribbean and a bigger market will bring a greater market share for local companies doing business there.

“TTMA and its members see Cuba as a lucrative market of over 11 million people as well as an estimated three million tourists per annum. This is a big market and whereas there is likely to be a shortfall in tourist arrivals in other parts of the Caribbean, it does not mean manufacturers from T&T should not be able to supply this country and its tourists with goods and services made from T&T,” he said.

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