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Caribbean Airlines flies the balisier

By Leiselle Maraj Thursday, February 21 2008

click on pic to zoom in
New design: One of Caribbean Airlines' Dash 8 aircraft with one of the five new designs the airline's aircraft series will carry in the near future. T...
New design: One of Caribbean Airlines' Dash 8 aircraft with one of the five new designs the airline's aircraft series will carry in the near future. T...

The balisier flower, the ruling PNM’s symbol, is one of the designs used by Caribbean Airlines (CA) as part of a design to appear on the airline’s Dash 8 aircraft series.

Caribbean Airlines launched five designs celebrating different aspects of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture, at Hangar 10, Piarco International Airport.

The designs will be featured on the tails of five Dash 8 aircraft which are used to transport passengers to Tobago, other Caribbean destinations to Caracas, Venezuela, a service which the airline also launched yesterday. All designs, done by Publicis Caribbean Limited, the airline’s advertising firm, feature the CA symbol and the hummingbird, but one design included a pair of maracas, a coconut frond, a hibiscus flower and a balisier. Other designs include a celebration of aquatic life, sport, music and the fauna of Trinidad and Tobago.

When asked why the balisier was included in one design, Caribbean Airlines CEO, Philip Saunders said, “Simply because it is beautiful.”

“We at Caribbean Airlines are proud of fauna and flora of Trinidad and Tobago. We are delighted and particularly proud to have these elements on our planes.”

He explained, “We are sure these new designs will soon become collectibles.”

He said the repainting, design and decals (process of transferring the design on the tails), on each plane is currently being done in-house at the cost of US$16,000 each.

In response to the balisier design, Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday compared the tails of the planes to former Guyana president, the late Forbes Burnham, who raised the flag of his political party, the People’s National Congress, over the Court of Justice instead of the country’s national flag.

“That is the fascist concept called supremacy of the party and if that is what this Government has done, it is a fascist concept...where the party is superior to national concern,” he said.

“This is a dangerous thing for us,” he said, explaining, “this could mean that their party is now supreme to Parliament, the national flag, national concerns and the constitution.”

The inaugural flight to Caracas, Venezuela will be conducted on the plane with the balisier as part of the design.

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