On September 27, 2006, Caribbean Airlines, the state-owned airline, was incorporated in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The new flag carrier of Trinidad and Tobago replaced BWIA West Indies Airways, which was forced to cease operations after 66 years of flying the Caribbean skies when the negotiations between the unions and the management BWIA failed.
On January 1, 2007, Caribbean Airlines began flight operations with a fleet of six Boeing 737-800 aircraft and one Airbus A340-313, servicing the remaining routes of BWIA with 128 weekly departures to 10 markets.
In October 2007, Caribbean Airlines took over the operations of Tobago Express and its fleet of 5 Dash-8 aircraft.
In March 2008, using Dash-8 aircraft, Caribbean Airlines started daily service to Caracas, Venezuela. The new daily return flight was the first network expansion since the airline started operating.
In May 2010, Caribbean Airlines took over Air Jamaica, the two brands being operated separately. Caribbean Airlines acquired Air Jamaica’s fleet and route rights and opened a new hub at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. With this acquisition, Caribbean Airlines became the largest airline in the Caribbean.
In October 2010, Caribbean Airlines announced a fleet renewal consisting of 15 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation jets, intended to replace Air Jamaica’s operating fleet of Airbus aircraft, and 9 ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft.
On May 27, 2011, Trinidadian and Jamaican Finance Ministers signed the shareholding agreement, making Caribbean Airlines the national airline of Jamaica. On July 1, all Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines flights began operating under Caribbean Airlines’s IATA code.
In 2011-2012, 5 ATR 72-600 were added to the fleet. The new aircraft replaced 5 Dash-8 aircraft, which exited service in 2013-2014.
During 2015, Air Jamaica ceased all operations.
In early 2016, Caribbean Airlines ceased the highly unprofitable trans-Atlantic operations when it ended service from Port of Spain to London Gatwick. The airline resumed London flights in 2012, after Virgin Atlantic ended flights from Kingston to Gatwick, but struggled to compete against European carriers.
In January 2017, Caribbean Airlines celebrated its 10th anniversary since the beginning of operations. From five aircraft, ten destinations and approximately 128 flights per week, Caribbean Airlines has grown to a fleet of 17 aircraft operating more than 600 flights per week to 20 destinations in the Caribbean and the Americas.
In 2018, Caribbean Airlines introduced Caribbean Plus, a Premium Economy product that offers seats with extra recline and legroom, earlier boarding and faster exit on arrival at the destination. Caribbean Plus seats are available on Boeing B737 800 aircraft, rows 4 to 10.
No fatal accidents involving Caribbean Airlines were registered so far.