Guyana may help REDjet return to the Caribbean skies
Grounded carrier’s proposal to be discussed by Cabinet.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday April 18, 2012 – REDjet may be down, but don’t count it out just yet.
Following weekend reports that the cash-strapped carrier’s chief executive officer Ian Burns had met with Guyana’s Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Ministry of Tourism, it’s now official: REDjet’s proposal for financial assistance is on the desk of Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar and will soon be discussed by Cabinet.
While Acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali declined comment on how much money the Barbadian-based airline has requested, he confirmed that their recommendations would be engaging the attention of Cabinet.
“REDjet officials made a presentation to the government of Guyana and that is now on the desk of the president and it will be brought to Cabinet ... . I wouldn’t want to divulge figures, but their presentation was on an impact assessment since they came into the market and a financial viability plan,” Ali said.
“We engaged them because the fact of the matter is that REDjet has made an impact and it has created positive spinoffs for Guyana.”
Ali noted that government officials had indicated that the issue of the airline not having a valid Air Operator’s Certificate also needed a resolution. The certificate was suspended by the Barbados Civil Aviation Department following the March 16 suspension of services announcement.
This latest development comes in the wake of concerns over possible fallout should REDjet not resume service, raised by leading tourism officials including Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) chairman Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerrit and CTO president Hugh Riley, as well as British airline Virgin Atlantic.
All parties shared the view that the low-cost carrier had made a positive impact on intra-regional travel during its ten-month tenure, and the cost of travelling the Caribbean could increase again should the grounded airline not get back in the air.