CAL: COVID-19 impacted successful Q1

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    Caribbean Airlines says the first quarter of 2020 was on course to be another successful period of performance, prior to the impact of COVID-19 in March.

    In January and February, it says earnings before interest and taxes increased by 2.5% or TT$662,500.

    Revenues also increased by 5.3% or TT$21.8 million, due to better passenger numbers of 5.8% or 21,112.

    The airline however has not released figures for March or Quarter 1 overall, due to the abnormal impact of the lockdown.

    It adds however that while regular flights have been impacted, cargo services have continued to operate throughout the year.

    Government has guaranteed a US$66.5m loan to the airline to alleviate the cashflow shortfall originating from the lockdown and global economic impact.

    CAL says this loan is currently being arranged with financial institutions and will be repaid out of future income.

    CAL’s Chief Financial Officer Marina Chase says: “The first two months of 2020 were very encouraging, with load factors and overall performance for the period trending better than 2019, which itself was a strong year for Caribbean Airlines. The Airline was well poised for another great year prior to the advent of Covid-19.”