Of the 4 pure-jet Caribbean carriers-Air Aruba, Air Jamaica, ALM Antillean Airlines, and BWIA amongst them the-latter was each the biggest and the one one to function the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar.

The airline's roots stretched far-across the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, to New Zealand, no less than in phrases of the nationality of its founder, Lowell Yerex, a World War I fighter pilot who planted its seed in Trinidad in 1939 in order that he Could re-instate what had develop into suspended air service to Barbados. Links have been re-established on November 27 of the next yr with a single Lockheed L-18 Lodestar, registered VP-TAE. Tobago was additionally served thrice weekly.

Although the Second World War often generally industrial airline operations, they expanded within the Caribbean. The 1942 acquisition of two Lockheed L-14 Electras enabled it to function constitution flights to American navy bases there.

Transformed, the next yr, right into a restricted restricted firm, and infused with monetary plasma from the British authorities, it bought three, commercially transformed Hudson bombers, whereas completion of many small Caribbean island air fields enabled it to unfold its wings to Grenada and the Dominican Republic, in addition to to Guyana in South America.

No longer hampered by conflict, it acquired 4 extra suitably purposed Lodestars in 1945.

An possession change two years later, to British South American Airways (BSAA), merited the short-term nomenclature of British International Airways, a BSAA subsidiary, though it reverted to its unique British West Indian Airways title on June 24, 1948. In order to cater To elevated demand, it acquired 5 24-passenger Vickers Viking airliners, which featured twin piston airscrews and twin vertical tails and rested on tail wheels.

Another possession change occurred following following yr, when British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) amalgamated BSAA into it, remodeling BWIA itself right into a subsidiary. Ceded a number of routes north of Jamaica from mother or father BOAC, which monetarily supported its enlargement, it changed its L-18 Lodestars with three 28-seat Douglas Dakotas, however even these supplied warrants for its bold enlargement plans.

Transitioning from piston to turboprop know-how, it acquired 4 Vickers V.700 Viscounts, powered by Rolls Royce Dart engines ,, capable of supply passengers better pace and luxury as of 1955.

Because these plane have been too giant to serve the Leeward Islands, BWIA, holding the controlling curiosity, shaped Leeward Island Air Transport (LIAT), working extra brief strip-suitable gear.

Spreading its wings throughout the Atlantic in 1960 with leased, quad-engine Bristol Britannias, BWIA inaugurated service to Jamaica and Barbados from London with an intermediate cease in New York.

Yet a 3rd possession change, albeit after size negotiations, occurred the next yr, on November 1, 1961, when the Government of Trinidad and Tobago bought 90 p.c of BWIA from BOAC.

"British West Indian Airways is understood by the government of Trinidad and Tobago as a national carrier for the West Indian area as a whole, and steps are now being taken to implement this policy," in response to Dr. Eric Williams, then Premier of Barbados.

A Boeing 707, the service's first pure-jet kind, was chartered from BOAC that yr to switch the Bristol Britannia on the transatlantic route, and by 1965, it had additionally substituted Boeing 727-100 "Sunjets" for its Viscounts on US providers to Miami and New York.

Canada factored into the route system on May three, 1969, when BWIA had been granted a short lived license to function a Trinidad-Barbados-Antigua-Toronto sector.

Standardizing on Boeing 707 plane in 1971, BWIA was capable of supply a 45-percent improve in seat capability.

"This was also a year of unpresented growth in the charter market," in response to the "Corporate Timeline" (BWIA International Airways, Corporate Communication Department, October 1, 1996). "BWIA tripled the number of charters into the United Kingdom from eight to 24, and continued to improve on Miami services with the continuation of the trend of faster services, coupled with increased capacity."

Flight schedules from the Eastern Caribbean to New York and Toronto have been additionally improved.

A stone occurred on April 5, 1974, when it inaugurated a weekly, scheduled service to London-Heathrow, a substantial enchancment over the prior personal constitution flight to Gatwick.

An order for a single Douglas DC-9-30CF Convertible Freighter and 4 stretched fuselage DC-9-50s materialized 4 years later, on June 28, when it took supply of the primary plane.

A January 1, 1980 merged with Trinidad and Tobago Air Services, which had been shaped six years earlier to function excessive frequency shuttle flights between the 2 cities inherent in its design, enabled it to rework itself right into a single home, Caribbean, and intercontinental service .

The first of 4 L-1011-500s, delivered on January 29 of that yr, enabled it to supply each a widebody kind for the primary time and a 31-percent capability improve over the 707s it changed on the London route two months later, On March 28. With supply of the fourth plane in 1982, the 707s have been eliminated faraway from the fleet and fully changed with TriStars to New York, Toronto, London, Manchester, Frankfurt, and Zurich.

Expansion continued to Martinique with Hawker Siddeley HS.748 turboprops and Baltimore with pure-jet plane.

1985 was marked with the supply of the primary of an short-term 9 MD-83s, configured with 12 enterprise and 108 coach seats, progressively changing the DC-9-50s on some Miami sectors.

Employing 2,032 system-wide personnel by 1987, BWIA operated 4 DC-9-50s, three MD-83s, and 4 L-1011-500s.

Privatized, the Caribbean service, which was included as BWIA International Airways, Limited, on February 15, 1995, was now listed on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.

The 21st century thought important modifications and Declines. A brand new gentle inexperienced and blue metal pin drum building, as an illustration, symbolizing Tobago, was launched in 2000, changing the long-standing gold, yellow, and white one, whereas a fleet modernization program was applied. Two quad-engine Airbus A-340-300s, supposed as TriStar 500 replacements, have been ordered, encompassing plane 9Y-JIL with 40 enterprise and 215 coach and 9Y-TJN with 32 enterprise and 252 coach seats.

Although it reversed its determination to switch its MD-83s with A-321-100s on Caribbean and North American routes, within the occasion it took supply of two, registered 9Y-BWA and -BWB, earlier than standardizing on Boeing 737-800s, which Accommodated 16 enterprise and 138 financial system passengers.

Although, as happens with any service, its route system different via the years with the addition and removing of locations, it served Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, St. Louis. Lucia, St. Maarten, Trinidad, and Tobago within the Caribbean; Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela in South America; New and Miami within the US; Toronto in Canada; And London, Manchester, and Frankfurt in Europe from major Trinidad and secondary Barbados flight bases.

While it reached its peak of working some 660 weekly flights and carrying 1.four million passengers in 2003, profitability typically didn’t parallel these lofty figures, necessitating a number of Trinidad and Tobago authorities infusions to make sure its continued monetary elevate.

Three years later, nevertheless, the failure of unions to agree on new contract phrases translated within the chapter of the nationwide service of Trinidad and Tobago after 66 years of operation.

From its ashes rose state-owned, BWIA-replacing Caribbean Airlines on September 27, 2006 with a fleet of six 737-800s and a single A-340-300.


"Corporate Timeline," BWIA International Airways, Limited, Corporate Communications Department, October 1, 1996.

Leave a Reply