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Saturday, January 14, 2012

REDjet On Life Support

"Regional low-fares airline REDjet has cancelled more than 50 flights amid reports of financial troubles.

But the airline says it is on budget and on track to deliver new routes and services.

REDjet chairman and chief executive Ian Burns, who is currently in Trinidad and Tobago for the opening of two new offices, spoke to the Express yesterday via telephone, saying the current flights in operation put REDjet on budget. "Many of our routes, even though they've only been operational for a short time, are making positive contributions and we've launched service to Antigua, St Lucia and Jamaica," said Burns.

Concern about the company's financial stability arose when an internal memo from the carrier's customer service manager, Roy Norville, was leaked to regional media, stating that 56 flights would be cancelled "for commercial reasons".

The affected flights included stops to Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados.
But Burns said the reasons for the cancellations were to accommodate three new routes, to be launched later this year, and also to improve flight times for consumers.
"Flights are being cancelled but most are being put to a new flight time. Our market research shows that it was inconvenient for people to make it to the airport during high traffic times, especially in Trinidad and Jamaica," Burns said.

He added that the changes will take place from March 1 and will have increased capacity, better flight times and frequency.
Concerns were raised last November about the airline needing a cash injection of Bds$8 million.

Ralph 'Bizzy' Williams, the company's largest Barbados investor, had accused the Barbados government of sabotaging the airline's progress through excessive delays and Bds$8 million which was invested for operating expenses in the initial months of the business had to be used elsewhere.
"Our shareholder was very clear that the (Barbados) government did not keep their commitment to regularising the airline, so why should any REDjet investors invest in the country when the country wasn't holding its end of the bargain. We are satisfied that they will and we continue to roll out our services, but it is imperative that the investment climate that was promised by the government of Barbados is delivered so we can keep investments on course," said Burns."

Source: Trinidad Express

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