Caribbean Airlines (CAL) suffers US$60m loss for 2014

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) suffers US$60m loss for 2014

Larry Howai

Larry Howai

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) unaudited accounts for 2014 show a loss of US$60 million although the airline plans to achieve breakeven by 2017, Finance Minister Larry Howai said yesterday.  Replying to an Opposition question in the Senate, Howai said  CAL’s accounts for 2014 haven’t been completed. “We estimated though that the company would have lost about US$60 million in 2014. The audited accounts for 2014 are not scheduled for completion until the second half of this year.

“When the new board took office, a number of audits were outstanding. By the end of this year all audits will be up to date. The unaudited accounts for 2014 show a loss of US$60m in 2014,” he said. The minister said the figure was for the entire operation, including Jamaica.

Howai said the transformation of a company like CAL will take three to four years of following a consistent company strategy to achieve identified objectives with major milestones targeted in this period.

He said: “In their first year of operation, the current board addressed a number of organisational gaps including the implementation of a new management structure, the filling of vacancies in key posts, improvements internal control systems and accounting processes and annual financial and statutory reporting. A new strategic plan was also developed which aims to achieve breakeven  by 2017.

“There’s new improved leadership and accountability and significant improvements in the business planning cycles, deployment of performance management measures and pursuit of business opportunities are also in progress. CAL is working towards continuous improvement in the shared goals of customer service and people development, competitiveness and financial sustainability and operations performance.”

It also involves sales and distribution efficiencies, marketing and loyalty enhancements, organisational redesign and targeted partnerships, major enhancements in technology and process infrastructure to match competitive market standards of on-line customer products and services. Howai said there was no injection of over $1 billion last year. “The quality of financial data is significantly improved. By year end CAL should be completing audited accounts on a timely basis,” he said.A five year strategic plan has been completed and currently is being approved for implementation. It outlines the transformation of the business model through reassessment of the product—including fleet and network planning, revenue management, pricing  and customer service.

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