Caribbean Airlines has completed its second phase of repatriation flights for Caribbean nationals who were granted exemptions to return to their countries.
In a press release on Saturday, the airline said a total of 276 people, inclusive of Guyanese and Jamaican nationals, returned to their countries between Thursday and Friday. From that total, it said 144 were farmworkers who were facilitated on a “special charter service between Kingston, Jamaica and Miami.”
It said on Sunday, there will be more repatriation flights to facilitate movement between Trinidad, Guyana and Curacao.
“This service will see numerous Guyana nationals being repatriated out of Curacao,” it said.
“Caribbean Airlines operates its schedule of repatriation flights in strict compliance with the instructions of the public health authorities, enforcing the most stringent hygiene practices, adhering to all the current international guidelines, to combat covid19.”
But the airline made it clear that repatriation flights are not the same as regular, commercial flights. As such, those who wish to use these services need to be granted an official exemption.
Since TT’s borders were closed on March 22, other than cruise ship staff, the TT nationals who were granted exemptions have all been within the Caribbean region.
There are still nationals in other countries including Cuba, India, the US and the UK who wish to return home.
Caribbean Airlines chief operations officer Steve Azevedo said the airline recognises its role during such a time.
“Over the past week, in partnership with several regional authorities, we have been able to take hundreds of people to their home countries and we will continue to work with Caribbean governments to operate flights to repatriate as many people as possible.
“Additionally, we are appreciative of our dedicated essential staff and crews across our networks for their joint co-ordination of our repatriation services. We hope to soon restore our scheduled operations, and continue to work closely with authorities, ever mindful of the challenges being faced across the region and globally due covid19.”
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