REDjet in line
Low-cost carrier REDjet is on the way towards receiving final clearance to fly in and out of Trinidad and Tobago.
Last night the republic’s Director of Civil Aviation, Ramesh Lutchmedial, told the SATURDAY SUN that the company’s application was being looked on “favourably at this point”, and that “all outstanding issues are being resolved”.
However, Lutchmedial could not give a possible date when permission would be granted. He said that by next week the airline’s application should be before the Air Transport Licensing Authority there for further clearance.
Speaking from Port-of-Spain, Lutchmedial rejected claims that the Trinidad and Tobago Government had been engaged in “naked protectionism” and had been deliberately stalling the entry of REDjet to stave off competition for Caribbean Airlines (CAL).
Lutchmedial said contrary to these suggestions, the authorities in Port-of-Spain were currently treating REDjet’s application as a matter of urgency.
On Thursday night a meeting was held there between Burns, Trinidad’s Transport Minister Jack Warner, Lutchmedial and head of the Air Transport Licensing Authority, Amral Mohamed. Trinidad’s civil aviation executive Frances Regis also flew here yesterday for talks with his Barbadian counterparts in a bid to resolve outstanding matters.
Lutchmedial clarified that REDjet had only received its air worthiness certificate from Barbados around April 15 and up to that point there were only informal talks taking place with Trinidad. He said that was just one of the requirements needed by the carrier to operate there and that was where the problem arose.
Since then a meeting was held at the request of the Barbados Government for adjustments to be made to the air services agreement. That meeting between the negotiating committees from Barbados and Trinidad agreed that amendments would be made to allow the carrier to fly from Barbados to Trinidad then onto Guyana and Jamaica.