Red Jet offering rock bottom faresJET SET: CEO/chairman Ian Burns (right) and Chief Operations Officer, Kevin Dudley, say Red Jet is bringing low-cost air travel. (Cherie Pitt )
Sun, October 17, 2010 - 12:06 AM
THE CHEAPEST LIFT off in the Caribbean is coming from an airline based here in Barbados with fares as low as US$9.99 (before tax).
It is being offered by Red Jet, the newest kid on the aviation block.
Yesterday, Red Jet launched its low-fare airline at a glitzy Press briefing at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre before an audience that included Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy.
Sealy called the initiative a bold, entrepreneurial drive and a spirit to be commended.
He said entrepreneurship was vital at this time, and added that Barbados being the domicile for Red Jet was a plus for the country.
Chief executive officer, Ian Burns, said his organisation, which had also purchased two aircraft, would pump US$10 million in Barbados, create 75 jobs in the first year, and directly and indirectly employ more than 100 others in maintenance, ground handling services and distribution channels.
The two 149-seat MD82s, acquired from American Airlines, were being refitted and rebranded, and are expected to arrive in mid-November.
Burns said Red Jet had already recruited pilots, cabin crew and office staff.
“This will be the airline from the Caribbean to the Caribbean,” he said. “We offer passengers the lowest fares, less lost bags, and less delayed flights as part of our highly efficient, production focused approach.”
Before take off, though, Red Jet must await licensing approval from the Barbados Civil Aviation Department and the Air Transport Licensing Authority.
Burns said there was very much a market for low fare airlines, noting that tourism would be a major beneficiary of the inter-regional travel.
“We are creating consistent, reliable air transport that is important to the Caribbean, where tourism is the largest source of income,” he said.
He added that over the past four years, there had been a 25 per cent decline in inter-regional tourism, with the resulting loss of $200 million in tourism revenue.
“By introducing the Caribbean’s first low-cost airline, we are creating additional options for people in the Caribbean. We will be able to bring people together from the Caribbean,” he said.
Sales and promotions manager Alicia Lynch said passengers would pay for what they wanted, and select their seats through priority boarding. (MK)
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