REDjet to fly to Trinidad May 15
After meeting with officials in Trinidad, REDjet management says it will start flights a week after advertised.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday May 6, 2011 – REDjet has been given the unofficial all-clear to fly to Trinidad and Tobago, although a week later than advertised.
A total of 14 planned flights to Trinidad and Tobago have been affected by REDjet having to push back start of service to the twin-island republic to May 15.
REDjet chairman and CEO Ian Burns delivered the news yesterday at a press conference in Trinidad and Tobago after meeting with government officials, including Minister of Transport and Works Austin ‘Jack’ Warner.
The official approvals are expected to be given in the coming week.
In explaining the requirements REDjet had been asked to meet, Warner – who did not attend the press conference but spoke to reporters after the meeting – said that the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) had written to REDjet on December 20, 2010, requesting that they: comply with the foreign operator regulations which gives the airline permission to land; get approval from the Airline Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA); and get an operator’s certificate to be approved by authorities in Barbados.
REDjet received the certificate from Barbados and Warner said the TTCAA had agreed to give the company the necessary journey permit.
However, the hold up that has pushed back the start of flights is the ATLA. The Board is to be appointed on Monday. Warner said the REDjet issue would be dealt with as a priority by the Board and he would send a note to Cabinet.
“I assume the Cabinet will approve the note, honestly. I don’t see why it should not but the fact is that I have to go through that process,” Warner told reporters, adding that he would seek to have the requirement to have confirmation of the approval waived to allow for the May 15 start-up.
Affected passengers to fly later
Burns, who was accompanied by REDjet’s chief operations officer Kevin Dudley and business development director Robbie Burns, told journalists at the press conference that the airline was “disappointed as 14 of our flights are affected by the decision but extremely pleased to receive the positive response from the minister as he was able to bring clarity and closure to the situation”.
He said affected passengers would be able to fly at a later date.
“We are an airline that was built by consumers for consumers so we are really, really disappointed for these people. They put their faith and trust in REDjet and we are really so grateful for their support we are going to make sure that they can get a flight on a later date at the exact same fare that they booked this one at,” the airline CEO said, adding that they would also get vouchers for future travel.
Flights out of REDjet’s other destinations – Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados – will take off on Sunday as scheduled.
The airline yesterday informed customers in Barbados and Guyana that they could finally begin paying for their tickets.
Payments are not yet being accepted in Jamaica and Trinidad but REDjet said an update would be provided soon.
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