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REDjet’s Burns still hopeful

Gercine Carter

REDjet’s Burns still hopeful

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Investors in low-cost Barbados carrier REDjet are not considering moving the airline’s operation to Jamaica at this time.
Robbie Burns, co-founder of the airline and its business development director, on Saturday said investors were hoping for “a speedy resolution” to some of the issues facing the airline “so that we can continue our operations as we plan to do” and he indicated some of the investors were still willing to wait a while longer for Government to take definitive action to remove the bureaucratic stumbling blocks which he thought were being deliberately placed in the way at the administrative level in Barbados.
In the meantime they were pushing ahead with plans to set up another REDjet hub in Jamaica which could replace the Barbados operation if shareholders continued to be dissatisfied with Government’s response.
And Burns pointed out such a move could mean the significant loss of a valuable portion of the Caribbean travel market for Barbados.
Like local investor Ralph “Bizzie” Williams last week, Burns expressed frustration at the slow pace of decision-making at the administrative level and complained of hindrances to REDjet accomplishing goals that had been set out in the investment plan originally presented to Government.
He said as a result the $8 million invested for operating expenses in the initial months of the business had to be used otherwise.
Speaking to the Daily Nation aboard a REDjet inaugural flight from Antigua to Guyana on Saturday, Burns said: “Williams is right. Shareholders are fed-up with the delays that have gone on, with the unfulfilled promises that were made” as he endorsed the Barbadian REDjet investor’s comments made in a forum in which he accused Government of sabotaging the airline’s progress by excessive delays.
The REDjet official said shareholders were expecting to get approval of their applications for the seven routes they were requesting and to see an end to the delays.
Burns insisted while talking to the media at the VC Bird International Airport that “if things continue like this over six months REDjet will not have a space in Barbados. We are not prepared to go any further investing in our operations there until the other half of the investment deal was met.”
He said the shareholders would continue to support the airline, “If the government now comes up to the plate and deliver and stands up to protect the jobs that REDjet has created, to protect the tourism that REDjet is delivering . . . ”