Caribbean Airlines blog 1: in a spin about London service

The bold move to create Caribbean Airlines out of the ashes of serial loss-maker British West Indies Airways (BWIA) took another step today with the announcement that the new carrier (launches 1 January) will axe its daily service between its Trinidad & Tobago base and London Heathrow.
The Airbus A340 route has been a flagship link for BWIA but has been leaking cash. Chief executive Peter Davies has negotiated a deal with British Airways to continue the service, with BA flying on from Barbados three times a week from Gatwick. This arrangement begins from the summer schedule from 27 March. The carriers will codeshare on the route.
All pretty routine stuff from a business point of view, albeit a controversial move for BWIA/Caribbean Airlines, as the Caribbean governments treasure their international connections. Which explains the Caribbean Airlines press release, entitled: Caribbean Airlines to start new service to London.
What? Technically, yes, Caribbean is gaining access to a new airport (Gatwick) via another carrier, but the key part of the deal has been to persuade BA to take on the route and for Caribbean to stop flying across the atlantic.
Actually that wasn’t all that hard a decision for BA because the deal came with a serious sweetener – the chance for BA to buy three weekly slots pairs from Caribbean Airline. A slot pair at this congested airport can fetch around $10 million.
Heathrow is the second international route the airline has axed, following the cessation of Washington Dulles services in October.

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