REDjet experiencing Jamaica turbulence
First Trinidad and Tobago, now Jamaica. Customers booked for travel to Jamaica receive notice that flights during a two-week period this month have been cancelled.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday May 11, 2011 – Even as REDjet took off from Barbados with its first plane load of passengers yesterday, it appeared that it was experiencing some turbulence in another one of its markets. The airline has informed customers who were planning to travel to Jamaica this week and next week that their flights have been cancelled.
The notice to booked passengers came in an email yesterday.
“Due to political and regulatory actions in Jamaica beyond our control, REDjet cannot operate flights between Barbados to Jamaica between 11th May and 24th May,” said the correspondence from Business Development Director Robbie Burns.
“As a result, we regrettably announce that passengers booked on eight scheduled flights between Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica will not be able to travel as planned. No other routes or flights are affected by this decision and will operate as scheduled.”
REDjet did not specify what “political and regulatory actions” had caused the disruption to passengers’ flight plans.
As was the case with those affected by the delay of Trinidad and Tobago flights, customers have been told that they will be rebooked on later flights at no additional fee and offered a US$50 voucher toward future travel, valid until May 2012.
The airline is still awaiting official approval from the Trinidad and Tobago authorities to begin flights from Sunday, a week later than originally planned. The country’s Civil Aviation Authority has already agreed to give REDjet the necessary journey permit but the Board of the Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA), which was appointed on Monday, is to discuss giving the airline approval.
Works and Transport minister Jack Warner said he expects the green light to be given.
REDjet had its inaugural commercial flight yesterday morning from Barbados to Guyana, carrying 149 passengers including officials of the airline, representatives of the Barbados government and journalists, along with regularly booked passengers.
Guyana has long complained about the high cost of travelling between that country and other destinations in the r
Tourism Minister Manniram Prashad said REDjet should not be seen as an enemy of other regional carriers.
“I would like to say to the other airlines and to the Caribbean countries that own airlines, my view is, REDjet is not competition. REDjet is here to complement the service that you are doing. We must look at it in that aspect,” he said at a press conference at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport after the flight landed.
Prashad pointed out that even before REDjet took to the skies, its advertised fares had caused other airlines to drop their.
The airline will fly to Guyana four times weekly but CEO Ian Burns said that would soon increase to daily service.
The Tourism Minister promised the new airline Guyana’s continued support: “I want to assure the CEO and shareholders that President Bharrat Jagdeo and the Government and people of Guyana welcome REDjet with open arms, and will do everything in its power to facilitate REDjet coming here.”
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