Caribbean Airlines will be doing its part to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago football fans can support the local team in Tobago tomorrow.
Three of these extra flights will be operated by the airline’s 737 aircraft in addition to the Dash 8 equipment which means many more fans can travel to Tobago to see the Soca Warriors in action against Costa Rica at the Dwight Yorke Stadium. Supporters living overseas have also been offered the advantage of the low fares to Trinidad and Tobago from North America.
The airline recently launched a highly competitive fare of US$79 plus taxes making it easier all over the world. Caribbean Airlines wants to offer competitive prices that mean even in these times, “our customers still get real value for money” says Robert Corbie the airline’s vice-president of Commercial.
“We want the travelling public to know that their local airline is here for them, and that when they add up all the extra charges on other airlines, their airline still offers the best prices as we will not be charging for that second bag or for meals.”
The additional flight schedule for the World Cup qualifier in Tobago starting June 5 is as follows:
11 extra flights on Friday June 5
5 extra flights on Saturday June 6
11 extra flights on Sunday June 7
Caribbean Airlines currently flies to New York non-stop three times daily with this increasing to four times daily from July 1.
Caribbean Airlines currently serves 14 markets in the Caribbean, South America, North America and Europe and operates a core schedule of 530 weekly departures with a fleet of 13 aircraft.
Warriors frenzy in Sister Isle.
Trinidad and Tobago’s footballers will have a final training session at 4.30 pm today on the eve of their all-important 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica at the Dwight Yorke Stadium tomorrow.
Team coach Russell Latapy is expecting the encounter to be a very tactical one and has urged his players to pay particular attention to the calculated style play of the Costa Ricans.
The Central Americans are bouyed following their convincing 3-1 win over the United States on Wednesday night in San Jose.
“We expect the game to be a very tactical one and we have the respect for Costa Rica because right now they are on top of the group. They have always been a difficult side to break down and the results show that because we have never beaten them in a World Cup qualifier before,” Latapy said yesterday.
“Our approach will also have to be sound and good tactically because they will obviously consider themselves favourites in this one,” Latapy added.
Sunderland midfielder Carlos Edwards echoed similar sentiments but he still wants to see the Soca Warriors take the game to the Costa Ricans. Already, Mexican and Costa Rican media have started arriving on the island.
A couple of Mexican correspondents cleverly checked in unannounced at the Blue Haven Hotel where the TT team is based and had to be warned over their filming of the footballers on the premises.
Overall though the mood among the local football fans has been upbeat so far with Trinidadians arriving adorned in their red gear. Even some of Latapy’s fans and teammates from Scotland and Portugal have touched down on the sister isle to support the “Little Magician” and his team.
“Things are shaping up quite well. Russell has had a fair amount of time and for us to come together for such a crucial game and for it to be Russell’s first as a manager.. things are definitely looking positive,” Edwards said.
“They are one of the favourites and coming away with a 3-1 win over the USA is a big boost for them. We will have to try our best to get on top of them. We know what we are capable of at this stage,” he said.
Looking back at the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in Port-of-Spain in 2005, the former Defence Force and Wrexham star says he believes the Soca warriors can end tomorrow’s match on a brighter note.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t believe we can do it. We were in a similar position back then and we have to keep level heads. I will be satisfied with nothing less than a win on Saturday,” Edwards added. The Costa Ricans are carded to train after TT at the match venue this evening.
Tobago thrilled by recognition.
By Lasana Liburd (T&T Express).
"I am real happy that the World Cup game will be played in Tobago," said 31-year-old Desron. "It is Trinidad and Tobago so I think it is only fair that Tobagonians get an opportunity to see the team too.
"It is about time and I hope there is more to come."
Desron, a Scarborough-based barber, never misses an international game on television but had not seen the "Soca Warriors" in the flesh since he travelled to Port of Spain to see them tackle England last June.
He is making the most of the national team's trip to Tobago for tomorrow's 2010 World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica. He saw both warm-up matches against a Tobago representative team and also watched a few training sessions.
For good measure, he watched online as Costa Rica defeated the United States 3-1 in qualifying action on Wednesday evening.
"The way I saw Costa Rica playing last night," said Desron, "it is an uphill battle. Our defence needs to be much sharper and we need more creativity in the middle of the park
"But I believe we can do it."
There was a buzz in Scarborough, which is five minutes drive from the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, and locals were happy to share their views on Tobago's debut as a World Cup host.
Richard, a 42-year-old self-employed trader, not only believes that Tobago should have an allocation of World Cup games but also wants the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board to follow the Football Federation's lead.
"I think every World Cup campaign, Tobago should be given a game or two," said Richard, "and it should be the same for cricket!
"I think it is good for the unity of the island that you involve people here in what is going on even though it might not be too feasible because of the size of the (Dwight Yorke) stadium and the financial side of things."
Janelle, a 28-year-old receptionist, felt Tobago was left out of too many international events staged in this country. She is still upset that the "Sister Isle" did not play a bigger role in the recent Summit of the Americas.
Perhaps, she suggested, a good display tomorrow will show the world that Tobago has more to offer than beautiful beaches. Hometown boy and national captain Dwight Yorke must make Tobagonians forget that they missed out on a visit from United States' first black president Barack Obama.
"It has been a long while since Dwight played for Tobagonians to see him," said Janelle, who also looks forward to seeing Tobagonians Keon Daniel and possibly Makan Hislop in action. "A lot of people here say that Dwight hasn't given anything back to Tobago for a long time, so this match will be special."
Garth, a 41-year-old policeman, and Clayton, an unemployed 18-year-old, concurred that Tobago deserved a chance to play host.
"I think it is a good thing that we are finally getting the chance to use the ground in Tobago for a big game," said Clayton.
"I believe the ground in Tobago is better than the ground in Trinidad," said Garth. "It is only the capacity that might hamper them in terms of gate receipts."
Scarborough was divided on how the "Soca Warriors" would fare against CONCACAF's top team at present.
Richard is unenthused by the TTFF's "youth programme" and reckoned the present squad might be too old to compete successfully for a World Cup berth.
"I don't think a lot has been put in place since our last World Cup campaign," said Richard. "I think our team is ancient and that means we don't have a good youth programme. We are running on fumes."
Most Tobagonians were more upbeat when they discussed the country's chances on Saturday and for the rest of the South Africa World Cup campaign, although there was a hidden agenda.
"If we win, we should bring more games here," said Desron. "We are the island paradise. We have the breeze and the luck and Tobago support is good support. If you go to the ground and see the effort being put in, you will see what it means to us.
"Give us two or three games, it wouldn't kill nobody."