Caribbean Airlines' share of US market plunged last year
Delta likely overtook Trinidad-based airlines this year, leaving CAL in fifth spot
CARIBBEAN Airlines saw its share of the US-Jamaica market plunge 27 per cent in 2013.
It meant that the Trinidad-based airline fell from the number two carrier of passengers to Jamaica, from the US, to number four.
In fact, Delta Airlines, with its 14.6 per cent market share, carried just 700, or three per cent less passengers than Caribbean.
The Atlanta-based carrier saw its passenger count grow by 29 per cent, or over 50,000 persons. It increased the number of flights to the island by 31 per cent, particularly as it ramped up service to New York (from 40 flights in 2012 to 360 last year).
With the introduction of new Kingston flights in 2014, Delta likely surpassed Caribbean this year.
Caribbean cut the number of flights to New York by 30 per cent last year, along with a 35 per cent reduction in flights from Fort Lauderdale. It also shed the Miami and Philadelphia routes from its service.
The reduction in flights allowed the Trinidad-based airline to improve its load factor (the percentage of seats filled) from 70.2 per cent in 2012 to 76.8 per cent last year. But it still remained well below the average of 82.8 per cent for airlines traversing the US-Jamaica routes in 2013.
American Airlines independently maintained its number one spot with 330,000 passengers, or 21.7 per cent of travellers to and from the US, as it held on to its dominance over the Miami-Jamaica market.
Its merger with US Airways pushes the combined entity's passenger count over 560,000, or 37 per cent of the travellers to and from the US. But US Airways held the number three spot on its own.
JetBlue, which has been expanding its share of the New York and Fort Lauderdale markets, held the number two spot last year.