Caribbean Airlines (BW, Port of Spain) is planning to expand its network to London and destinations in Africa using its twelve new B737-8s due for delivery between 2019 and 2022, CEO Garvin Medera told Jamaica's Financial Gleamer.

The Trinidadian state-owned carrier has not flown across the Atlantic since 2016 after dropping its loss-making services to London.

Besides London and African destinations, Caribbean Airlines is also eyeing a regional expansion with more flights on underserved routes, including services to Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and South America.

Regional operations could be routed through a new Caribbean Airlines' hub in Jamaica - either Kingston Norman Manley or Montego Bay. The government of Jamaica owns a 16% stake in Caribbean Airlines since the 2011 merger with Air Jamaica (BW, Kingston Norman Manley).

In turn, the South American flights could also be routed through Georgetown Cheddi Jagan in Guyana. The destination is already one of Caribbean Airlines' most profitable and the airport is undergoing a massive China-funded expansion.

Medera's plans were revealed shortly after the carrier posted its first quarterly profit in nine years.

The CEO said that Caribbean Airlines was also planning to set up a new tour operator unit. In 2019, the airline also plans to engage in extensive "alliance building" wherein it would seek to establish codeshares and other forms of partnership with other airlines.

The carrier currently operates twelve B737-800s, which are due for a replacement with the new MAX 8s from the fourth quarter of 2019 onwards. The increased range and payload of the MAX 8s will open up new possibilities for the carrier. It is yet to select the lessors of the twelve new jets and will conduct an open tender for the leases.

Caribbean Airlines also operates five ATR72-600s.