REDjet opens T&T bookings, waiting on Jamaica
After a more than two-month wait, regional travellers can now book flights on the low-cost carrier to Trinidad and Tobago, but not Jamaica yet.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday July 20, 2011 – Low-budget carrier REDjet yesterday opened bookings for flights in and out of Trinidad and Tobago with 37,000 flights at US$9.99, in time for people from the twin-island republic to get to Barbados for its Crop Over festival.
The flights between Barbados and Trinidad begin on July 28.
However, Jamaica flights are still in limbo as the airline awaits official word from the authorities there.
Aviation officials in both countries this weekend announced that REDjet would be allowed to fly, but up to yesterday the airline said that it had “not received official word from authorities in Jamaica and are not yet authorized to commence services”.
However, that country’s Transport Minister Mike Henry said the approval documents should be sent to the airline soon and all should be in place for REDjey to start flying there within a few weeks.
While awaiting approval to begin service to Trinidad and Jamaica, REDjet started a promotion early last month, offering an additional 1,000 seats at the lowest price of US$9.99, excluding taxes, for every day it was delayed. The end of the wait opened up the 37,000 seats.
The Barbados-based REDjet had been battling to get clearance to fly to both countries starting May 15 with the Trinidad flights, but after initial promises that approval would be given, there were several delays. Later on, claims were made that there were safety issues with the aircraft and officials also acknowledged they were protecting the interest of Trinidad and Tobago’s national carrier, Caribbean Airlines, which has taken over Air Jamaica.
Speaking at a press conference in Trinidad yesterday, REDjet’s CEO Ian Burns said this week’s approval “proves categorically that REDjet has what it always knew it had - that it met its most stringent safety standards, because our procedures and our personnel are designed and employed to meet the most stringent safety standards.”
The new flights will add to existing service between Barbados and Guyana which began since May.