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Air Caraïbes is the regional airline of the French Caribbean which comprises the overseas departments of France: Guadeloupemarker and Martiniquemarker. The airline is headquartered in Les Abymesmarker in Guadeloupe. It operates scheduled and charter services serving 13 islands in the West Indies. It also operates transatlantic flights to Parismarker using Airbus A330 aircraft under the Air Caraïbes Atlantique brand. The airline code shares with LIAT. Its main base is Pointe-à-Pitre International Airportmarker, with a hub at Le Lamentin Airportmarker, Fort-de-Francemarker.

History

Air Caraïbes started out of the necessity to have a regional airline responding to the needs of the French Caribbean territories. The company was founded in July 2000 through the merger of various local airlines (Air Guadeloupe, Air Martinique, Air St Barthélémy, Air St Martin). In 2002, the company flew 445,000 passengers and earned 68 million Euros in revenues. It is part of the Carib Sky Alliance, an airline alliance which comprises in addition to Air Caraïbes the following airlines: Leeward Islands Air Transport and Winair .

It was established as Societe Caribienne de Transports Aériens and started operations in September 1994. It started services to Paris from Guadeloupe and Martiniquemarker in December 2003 using an Airbus A330-200. The airline is owned by Groupe Dubreuil (85%) and has 627 employees (at March 2007).

Air Caraïbes Express uses Travel Technology Interactive's airline management system, Aeropack.

Services

Air Caraïbes operates the following services : [43842]
Air Caraïbes Airbus A330


Caribbeanmarker
Europe
South America


Fleet

Air Caraïbes Airbus A330-200 at Zürich Airport
The Air Caraïbes fleet includes the following aircraft (as of 21 July 2008) [43843]:



Previously operated

At August 2006 the airline also operated :

The airline also operated the following aircraft in the past:



Incidents and accidents

  • Twenty people died after an Air Caraïbes DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed on 24 March 2001 into a house on the "Col de la Tourmente" in the upmarket French holiday island of St Barts killing all 19 adult people on board (17 passengers and two pilots) and Augustin Questel, an 81-year old man in the house. The man's wife was injured [43845].
Flight TX1601 was scheduled to leave at 1600 from Princess Juliana International Airportmarker (SXM), St Maarten, for the 15-minute flight to Gustaf III Airportmarker in Saint-Barthélemymarker, and crashed about 1,000 feet from the St Jean airport while on approach to the airport's Runway 10 in clear visibility at about 1630. The airport's runway is particularly short - about 2,170 feet - and pilots have to obtain a special DGAC certification to land there. Planes approaching the runway must make a quick descent and fly low over houses before landing. The airport's control tower gave the plane permission to land shortly before the crash. That was the last communication with the plane, which did not send out any distress signal. The aircraft had no cockpit voice recorder, which may hamper the accident investigation. Most of the passengers are believed to be Frenchmarker, though there was an American woman, a Dutch woman, two Belgians and one person with dual French and American citizenship. A pilot from Guadeloupemarker was on board and another crew member, whose nationality was unknown. The aircraft registration was F-OGES, construction number was 254 and the build date was 1969.


References

  1. " mentions Mentions légales." Air Caraïbes. Retrieved on 30 September 2009.
  2. Flight International 27 March 2007
  3. Flight International, 3-9 October 2006
  4. North American Airlines Handbook published by Airways Internationa Inc 1997


External links




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