REDjet sets record straight on safety
The Barbados-based airline says the integrity of its safety has been unfairly maligned.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday June 22, 2011 – Low-fare airline REDjet has defended the safety of its aircraft, following comments by authorities in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago that safety concerns were preventing the carrier from starting flights in those two countries.
The comments were made by Jamaica’s Minister of Transport Mike Henry and his Trinidadian counterpart Austin ‘Jack’ Warner after a meeting last week in Port of Spain which also involved Barbados’ International Business and International Transport Minister George Hutson.
In a statement issued yesterday, REDjet said the integrity of its safety had been "unfairly maligned" after those talks.
In an attempt to set the record straight, the company said it acquired two MD-82 aircraft which were operated and maintained by American Airlines and, prior to the acquisition of both aircraft, received an Export Certificate of Air Worthiness from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US.
"This certificate confirms that the aircraft has been maintained to comply with the maintenance programmes approved by the FAA and operated by American Airlines. Since acquisition, each aircraft has been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and regulations of Barbados," it said.
"Barbados's regulations are based on the same International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards as used by the majority of countries in the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago. To question any issue the airworthiness or safety of these aircraft based on history is, therefore, to question the integrity of the FAA and American Airlines.”
The statement added that all of REDjet’s pilots, cabin crew and flight dispatch officers are fully trained, certified and hold valid licences.
“REDjet outsources its maintenance to fully certified maintenance providers not only in Barbados but also in the United Kingdom. REDjet also contracts a maintenance provider in Costa Rica that is fully certified by the FAA,” it continued.
In addition to flights between Barbados and Guyana, REDjet pointed out, the airline has been transporting the West Indies Cricket Board and cricket teams to and from Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Trinidad and Tobago under a charter agreement.
"It is evident from the above that REDjet's operations and aircraft have been subject to certification by Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica for many months, and much more so than any other airline," the airline said. "REDjet can only therefore conclude that the continuance to raise these issues can only be politically motivated by protectionism.”
Following their meeting last week, the transport ministers’ said they would work “in sync” to reach “a quick approach to a resolution” and once REDjet addressed the safety concerns it would get the green light.
They said any outstanding matters relating to the airline's application to fly to Jamaica and Trinidad would be speedily addressed by the civil aviation authorities in the respective countries.
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