March 19, 2012 | 12:49 am | Print
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Caribbean air carrier REDjet, which initially experienced difficulty in obtaining authorization to fly into several regional countries, has suspended its service.
“Unlike the heavily subsidised airlines that serve the region, REDjet does not receive any assistance,” company CEO Ian Burns said in a statement. “As indicated, REDjet is hopeful that we will be given a small part of the state assistance others receive, as it will allow us to get our recently approved and exciting new routes established and profitable.”
“Once this happens, our shareholders and staff will do their utmost to see that there is no return to high fares and business as usual,” the company said.
The company said it had seen other carriers “drastically cut their fares in an effort to shut down REDjet and return to high fares and business as usual with no regard to the negative impact on travelers,” REDjet said.
With expensive airlift a continual problem in the region, some had hoped REDjet could provide cost-effective intra-regional travel.
The firm, which began flights in the spring, will be offering refunds to certain passengers. It said that it had seen continued increases in passengers, despite a lack of subsidies.
“In spite of their subsidised efforts, our passenger numbers have continued to rise because you, our patrons, enjoy our clean, comfortable and well-maintained aircraft as well as our excellent service delivered at affordable ticket prices,” it said.
Caribbean Airlines said it had put measures in place to respond to REDjet’s announcement.
The company said it had “no intention” of adjusting its fares upwards, and had planned “significant capacity” for the Easter and Summer vacation seasons.
“Caribbean Airlines remains committed to our CARICOM family and will continue to exceed our customers’ expectations as the “Caribbean’s Leading Airline.”
Earlier last week, the airline named a new Chief Operating Officer, appointing Acting CEO Robert Corbie for the post. Corbie was responsible for the integration of Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines, which merged last year.
REDjet suspended all flights as of Friday.
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