Garvin Medera CEO, Caribbean Airlines.
Tell us about your strategy for the airline?
The headline commercial priority was to move into operating profitability. That has now been achieved.
Alongside this, we’ve been improving the reach and efficiency of our network, and working to improve both the employee and customer experience. We also invested considerably in new technology to improve our use of market data and offer new capabilities to customers, such as the Caribbean Airlines App.
From a brand perspective, we have been building on our Caribbean heritage to highlight the aspects of our service and corporate personality that other airlines cannot match.
As an airline we reflect the identity of the Caribbean in our service
What is the ‘Caribbean Identity’?
The ‘Caribbean Identity’ is the theme of our 2019 brand and marketing campaign. It represents the culture and spirit of our many diverse nations, united by a shared sea and our similar and powerful heritage. It is an affirmation of what makes the Caribbean people and region unique. As an airline we reflect this identity in our people, in our network, and in the service we provide to our customers, as well as in our external appearance and the events and community activities that we support.
How does the regulatory framework in the Caribbean need to change to help airlines do business?
The regulatory framework in the Caribbean has traditionally been restrictive. The ability for airlines to make a difference in the region in our view calls for a more liberated approach.
Airlines must be afforded the opportunity to carry out their businesses in a commercially viable manner. This is limited in some instances by smaller/or underdeveloped markets and access. There isn’t a level playing field as it relates to markets, priorities, and infrastructure to support business expansion. We applaud the approach and commitment of the 15 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of state to support a new Multilateral Air Services Agreement promoting a more liberal access in the region. This is integral to Caribbean growth.
In brief… Caribbean
As the flag carrier of Trinidad & Tobago, the airline currently operates more than 600 weekly flights in the Americas and Caribbean
Headquartered at Piarco, Caribbean Airlines has a fleet of 17 aircraft, comprising Boeing 737-800 and ATR 72-600 models
Caribbean Airlines was founded in 2006, with the first flight on 1 January 2007.
What other challenges do you see ahead in the region?
CARICOM governments and their tourism ministries need to work actively with governments of larger economies such as North America, Europe and Asia. Anything that can support tourism—a vital industry for the Caribbean—is essential when we are competing on a global basis.
What is your favorite aspect of running an airline?
Working with so many brilliant, committed people every day, who are all truly committed to maximizing passenger care, comfort and safety. And the chance to help sell the Caribbean to the wider world, whether that’s our places, our people, our food or our rich culture and genuine personalities.