Finance Minister Colm Imbert is today saying that there is no need for panic over Caribbean Airlines' fleet of aircraft.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the minister said that he notes with dismay that the Trinidad Express of Tuesday March 12th, 2019 "has once again resorted to hysteria, distortion of facts and illogical reasoning in its story headlined “CAL’s plan to lease 12 jets causing panic”.
He added: "The true facts are that CAL is not currently flying Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. The airline’s current fleet is comprised of Boeing 737-800s and these are among the safest airplanes in the world. Further, and more importantly, the first Boeing 737 Max 8 is scheduled for delivery in December 2019 and CAL therefore has ample time to make alternative arrangements to supplement its fleet if this model is found to be unsafe."
The minister said that it is not plausible therefore that persons are “panicking” about aircraft that have not yet arrived, are not yet in service with CAL and are not due to be put into service by CAL for the next nine months.
The Minister added in the statement: "What is even more baffling about the concerns aired in this alarmist story is that American Airlines uses the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to service its flights in and out of Trinidad every day with hundreds of Trinbagonians on board, yet The Trinidad Express seems to have little concern for the safety of those passengers who are on an aircraft that their journalist has already condemned as defective. This article therefore has all the characteristics of fake news, because if passengers were really panicking, then they would certainly be concerned about travelling to and from Trinidad on an airline which already has the Boeing 737 Max 8 in regular service."