CAL’s ATR down for three months after hitting wall

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TRINIDAD NEWSDAY – Acting Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Colm Imbert says the plane involved in an incident at the Piarco International Airport on Wednesday night will be down for three months but fortunately, Caribbean Airlines (CAL) had been engaged in wet leasing another plane.

He was speaking at the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

He said he received a preliminary report on the incident. He added the cause of the accident was not yet known and there could have be many reasons.

“So, that it would premature at this point in time to venture speculation as to what caused the accident,” he said, adding that the aircraft suffered damage to its nose and other parts.

He reported at the time the aircraft was not in service, was being taken in for maintenance and there were no passengers on board. He said the Civil Aviation Authority and Caribbean Airlines are in the midst of an in-depth investigation to determine what happened.

Imbert said it was expected the aircraft would be out of service for three months and the damage was estimated to be US$1 million but these were very preliminary estimates.

He said, fortunately, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) had asked the Finance Ministry to consider financing the wet lease of an additional ATR aircraft for the Easter season and summer vacation.

He reported CAL had reached quite far with this exercise and were engaged in discussions with LIAT which has similar ATR aircraft.

“So I have asked them to accelerate and finalise that arrangement whether it is with LIAT or another provider. The airbridge will have its full complement of aircraft in the shortest possible time and so the aircraft will be available for regional service which are done by the ATRs.