New airline carrier, REDjet, responds to concerns

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago: An announced probe by Trinidad and Tobago’s Works and Transport Minister into who gave REDjet approval to operate out of the twin-island republic has prompted the carrier to issue a response to its customers.

In a brief response to concerned travelers, some of whom have already booked flights out of and into Trinidad and Tobago since tickets on the low-cost carrier went on sale last week, REDjet sought to assure that they will be able to fly come May 8 when the first flights take to the skies.

“Good morning REDjetters, we have the required regulatory approval from the Air Transport Licensing Authority of Barbados under the Air Services Agreement between Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados to conduct current commercial activities,” the Barbados-based company posted on its Facebook page.

Last Sunday, Warner said even if Trinidad and Tobago had an agreement with the Barbados government, it did not automatically mean that REDjet could fly without getting the necessary consent.

“To get in this country you have to get consent from Civil Aviation and they did not get it. Nothing is wrong with competition, but it must be competition based on respect for a country’s laws and regulations,” said Warner.

Warner said if it was found that REDjet could not operate in Trinidad and Tobago, those who purchased tickets could get refunds.

Fares on REDjet for travel between Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago were launched last week from US$9.99 one-way excluding government taxes and charges. The fares are less than half offered by its competition – regional airline LIAT and the Trinidad and Tobago-owned Caribbean Airlines.

Warner said he did not believe REDjet would pose any competition to Caribbean Airlines, but said he was concerned about the carrier’s low rates.

“Something has to be wrong,” he said of the prices.

REDjet also wants to offer budget flights to the United States. However, The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced last week that Barbados does not meet standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and, therefore, any Barbados-based airline that does not already serve the U.S. will not be able to establish a route.

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