Questions over REDjet in TT
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner says he is in the dark as to how the Caribbean’s first low cost budget airline, REDjet, got the blessing to operate in Trinidad and Tobago.
“You know something, regrettably, I don’t have all the details of REDjet’s entry into Trinidad and Tobago. I I keep trying to know how it happened and why and so on,” Warner told the news conference at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
“Be that as it may I want to believe that it is healthy competition and if REDjet coming to Trinidad and Tobago means that (Caribbean Airlines) will buck up … or lower its fares for the general public then so be it, because nothing is wrong with competition,” Warner said.
“I would have liked to know how the airline got the permission, from whom and when and I’m not quite sure I can answer you those questions,” he told reporters, adding that he had no documents at his ministry’s office with respect to REDjet’s operations.
Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority Ramesh Lutchmedial is quoted in the local media today as saying that no approval had been granted for REDjet to start operating in Trinidad and Tobago.
But REDjet’s business development director Robbie Burns told the Express newspaper that his new business venture had received the necessary documents.
“REDjet has the required regulatory approval from Air Transport Licensing Authority in Barbados under the Air Services agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados to conduct our current commercial activities. We remain excited about our inaugural flight on May 8,” Burns said.
REDjet was launched on Wednesday offering passengers a seat for as low as US$9.99 before taxes, but Warner told reporters “when you look at the fine print in REDjet you will see all that glitters is not gold but I wouldn’t say more than that for the time being.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Suruj Rambachan, who also commented on REDjet’s entry into the regional market, said the state-owned carrier Caribbean Airlines (CAL) had a track record for safety.
“I just want to say that you know the old BWIA and CAL has had an unenviable track record for safety and perhaps is one of the very few airlines in the world which has been regarded as one of the safest airlines in Trinidad and Tobago,” he said. (CMC)