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CAL and Air India in code sharing talks

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Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) is continuing to explore prospects for a code sharing agreement with Air India. This was confirmed by CAL chairman Rabindra Moonan who said discussions with Air India officials are continuing and the destinations being looked at are London and New York. A codeshare agreement allows two or more airlines share the same flight. A seat can be purchased on one airline but is actually operated by a cooperating airline under a different flight number or code.

“These trade talks are taking place and we at Caribbean Airlines would want to be on board to make it easier for business and for other types of travel between T&T and India,” Moonan said. 

“It (the talks) are still at the exploratory stages. It may take some time before we actually come to an agreement but we thought that we should not allow it to linger, despite having gone there more than a year and a half ago. We thought now is the opportune time given the trade conferences which have been taking place.” Malay Misra, India’s High Commissioner to T&T, said Air India and CAL are trying to determine whether it is viable to have a code sharing agreement.

“We’ve signed a framework agreement which is called a bilateral air services agreement in January last year, during the Prime Minister’s visit to India. Within that agreement we can certainly see if it is possible. “This has to be a commercial arrangement between Caribbean Airlines and Air India and it will depend on the feasibility first of all, the flights can be linked, secondly the traffic, whether you have adequate traffic to justify that kind of arrangement.”

Mishra added: “I understand there is a senior technical team from Caribbean Airlines going to Delhi to discuss this.” He said once the two sides settle on a suitable agreement there would be benefits or both sides in terms of trade, tourism and other areas. “We should give some time for the volume of traffic to increase and not look at the volume of traffic now to develop some kind of linkage. Now there is not much traffic. T&T can even become a hub to serve other countries in the Caribbean,” Mishra said.