REDjet: Cheap Flights And Validity

Submitted by Looking Glass

REDjet’s CEO, Ian Burns

First congrats to Joseph “Reds” Perreira. “Living My Dreams” is indeed a beautiful cover drive that belies the WISU experience.

According to the CEO the World Bank 2006 Report on air travel in the Caribbeanidentified the “need for competition and private capital to bring the region’s aviation capacity in line with other regions in the world.” Really Mr.CEO? Since when does competition facilitate standards? I suggest you send a copy of the report to the BU. Capacity has nothing to do with world standards. Where in the world does Redjet’s advertised fictional “poor man” fares apply? Until Redjet the region had been serviced by LIAT, BWIA (Caribbean Airlines) and other international carriers in ‘line with world standards’ without foreignprivate capital” and with hardly a rumour about cheap flights. Foreign investment and benevolence do not go hand in hand. Exactly how much did it costBarbados to entertain Redjet?

Correct me if wrong: I believe Redjet is ‘connected’ to a travel agency in Barbadosthat is owned by Trinidadians. Ask who the shareholders are. The fleet consists of two 150 seat MD planes acquired (Leased) for two years at around US$10,000.00 per month. The planes, about fit for the scrap heap, do not meet certain standards and might not be allowed intoNorth America or theUK. There is no concrete evidence that Redjet will indeed be allowed to service the region. So will the owners of LIAT support the kind of competition that will push the airline into the red or out of business? Only a fool will do that.

A regional monopoly LIAT has enough aircraft to service the region adequately but not every island every day. There is not and has never been enough inter-regional travel demand to make the airline profitable at low “poor man” fares. And Redjet cannot do it with just two planes. Ever increasing operational cost, low levels of actual demand and daily visits to each island make high fares inevitable. LIAT’s itinerary needs to be reformed and rescheduled to ensure connectivity between the islands. Then the airline will be better positioned to offer lower but not “poor man” fares. The airline “structural and other limitations” is a reflection not only on management but more importantly on its major shareholder.

What Barbados needs is an airline to service its major tourism markets not one to service the region or to enhance inter-island tourism. The volume of tourist traffic from the islands needed to enhance the industry is simply not there. Sometime ago the suggestion to set up an airline preferably in collaboration with Virgin Air to service North America, the UK and Europe fell largely on death ears. I was told it was too costly. Apparently it is far cheaper and better to invest in an airline to compete with our own in a market in which there is minimal demand for our tourism. Why invest in an airline to capture 200 tourists a month when the same amount of money or a little more invested elsewhere would capture 4000 per month?

Non-scheduled airlines just do not fly into a country of their choosing. They are ‘invited’ in and come at a price (or subsidy) which in our case would be around US$6 million. Let us be generous and estimate salaries of the two pilots and the three cabin crew at US $4000.0 and $1000.0 per month each and factor in other basic costs, it would require low fares of at least US$100.0 per passenger and full occupancy per trip just to break even. Servicing just three countries and or the region would require at least 50% occupancy per trip and higher fares just to break-even which is doubtful. Profitability could require substantial subsidy.

We are told that Redjet plans to increase its fleet from 2 to 15 aircraft by the third year of its operation and would bring tremendous benefits toBarbadosand the region (20 was promised toJamaica). Failure of collapse would be a “direct reflection on the government and in particular the minister.” (Advocate6/8/2011) That observation suggests both sides of fence know and understand little about the business at hand.

The airline cannot afford to buy or lease proper jet planes. To rent 15 of the same planes at the above prices will cost at least US$75,000.0 per month. To service each island on a daily basis will require at least six pilots and nine cabin crew. Other basic expenses like insurance and staff accommodation will add to the monthly operational cost. General maintenance apart some aircraft components have a very limited lifespan and need to be replaced at regular intervals. At the above prices it will cost more than US$100,000.0 per month just to put the 15 planes in service. The level of disposable income and demand in the region is not very conducive to price elasticity. With daily service to all of the islands and “poor man fares” break-even would require more than 70% occupancy rate per trip to which is unlikely, higher fares and or a substantial increase in subsidy to be profitable.

We belabour the presumed benefits to tourism. How often do planes arrive inBarbadoswith a load of 40 or more visitors not from theUKorNorth Americabut directly from the islands? If that were the case many of the hotels and guest houses would not be up for sale. As previously notedTrinidadhas entered the tourist business (The Fat Lady Moves On),St. Vincentis doing likewise andSt Luciais now a cheaper destination thanBarbadoswhich is about the most expensive destination in the region. Apart from sun sand and sea which they all have and more what do really have to attract tourist from the islands beyond business travel?

The first direct flight took 149 souls toGuyanaand returned with less than 20 souls. That the vast majority of the 149 had been brought to our shores by the last regime to do the work locals were indisposed to do raises the question of economic viability

The old people say little children and fools have no right with sharp edged tools. According to the Tourism Minister the best thing that could happen to LIAT (whose model in not sustainable) is the coming of Redjet. Among other things it would generate more tourist business, employment and investment more players “involved in the aviation industry is a wonderful thing” (Advocate6/8/2011). Do we have an aviation industry? For him entertaining competition that will push LIAT into the red or out of business is a good thing. This from one who reportedly contracted with a mid-western American agency to marketBarbados. Comic books make more sense. He is the first government minister anywhere in the democratic world to accept membership on the board of a foreign company while still in office. It is foolish to expect him to be truthful and or objective. Taxpayers pay the price.

Do we really own 51% of Redjet as reported? (Advocate6/15/2011). Am I to understand we own more of the company than the two gentlemen who started it and the other shareholders, and if so why was “subsidy” given in the first place? Perhaps it is an error in reporting. If so review and inform the public. Save me the trouble of correction.

To those who believe the airline will fly them anywhere for the advertised $9.99 check out Cheap Flights with subtitles.


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48 Comments on “REDjet: Cheap Flights And Validity”

  1. Undertaker June 17, 2011 at 11:42 PM #

    “To those who believe the airline will fly them anywhere for the advertised $9.99 check out Cheap Flights with subtitles.””

    I believe it always said flights – as low as! Also it is also the matter of taxes, Redjet or no one for that matter would have control over the charging of taxes. It is just marketing you give some at discouted prices and the rest of the flight would go on volume.


  2. Adrian Loveridge June 18, 2011 at 5:03 AM #

    ‘The airline cannot afford to buy or lease proper jet planes’

    What on earth does this mean?

    Are you saying that hundreds of thousands of Americans (and others) get on MD80-90 series planes every single day that are over 20 years of age and they are not ‘proper jet planes’.
    Check on and see who are amongst the largest operators of this aircraft type
    including American Airlines and Delta and look at the production dates.
    N971DL and consectutive numbers.
    InselAir, who are about to start a new service from Curacao to Charlotte (NC) operate a fleet of MD80-90 aircraft that includes PJ-MDB which was manufacturerd in 1982 – or 29 years ago.

    While you at it, check on the average age of the LIAT fleet


  3. just only asking June 18, 2011 at 5:18 AM #


    Sometimes there are people on this blog who say or repaet things without havaing the ability to analyse them. Thank God for you on his blog, you are fearaesss and you always give produce sound reasoning and advice.

    Keep up the good work.


  4. ac June 18, 2011 at 5:21 AM #

    The article shows a true picture as to what it would cost for Red jet to remain competitive. However it is obvious thatthe people Chorus is”DON’t confused me with the facts”and as always shoot the messenger!


  5. David June 18, 2011 at 5:34 AM #

    Here is the website Adrian referred to:


  6. ac June 18, 2011 at 5:34 AM #

    I have always respect Adrians ideas and suggestions on The Tourist Industry. However The big Airlines like American do ran at high cost in order to afford the kind of airlines Redjet would want to buy in the future . At such low rates it would be impossible for them to do so .Not to mention maintenance.


  7. Adrian Loveridge June 18, 2011 at 6:09 AM #

    I am not entirely disagreeing with you and respect your views.
    Frankly, I do not know exactly the costs of operation of REDjet but the model works for other airlines.
    According to Global Plane which describes itself offering ‘The most aircraft for sale online anywhere’ they currently have 128, MD80 models available by sale, wet or dry lease.
    This number will probably dramatically increase as airlines try and re-equip with more
    fuel efficient NG aircraft, so it appears to be a buyers market and purchase/lease costs
    may well be at their lowest.
    I believe sticking to middle distance is the key. GEO, KIN (although looking at Montego Bay might be more interesting), SXM, SJU (when they can) and I still think they could play an intrumental part in attracting more home-porting ships during the summer.
    Just my thoughts!


  8. islandgal246 June 18, 2011 at 6:46 AM #

    @Looking glass

    What is your solution for inter island travel? I agree with you that Liat is never going to be a profitable enterprise and the departing CEO Jean Holder stated that Liat will never have cheap flights. Where does that leave the region.

    We have scuttled the two the boats Federal Palm and Federal Maple that used to ply our inter island waters and never replaced them. Why? Because they were GIFTS from the the Canadian government.

    Years ago when Air Canada had flights to Trinidad and Barbados from Toronto and Montreal, they were allowed to take passenger BGI / POS /BGI that was stopped to allow BWIA to get the business. This also happened to American Airlines as well.

    We have to face the fact that the Caribbean governments haven’t been able to run a profitable airline to date. So what is the solution? Red jet like most businesses will have to find its way, it may sink or swim but that is their business. How can they run Liat out of business when Liat has not been a profitable business from its inception? Liat claims that they cannot make their fares affordable and continue to fly at less than 50% capacity. Wouldn’t cheaper fares encourage more people to take to the skies? Many of us would like to visit the islands but because of the present fare system we find it cheaper to visit North America.

    It seems that we were better off with a tin hut and a landing strip and three members of staff. We wouldn’t have all these overheads to charge exorbitant taxes and fees. We consumers are tired of being held hostage by monopolies. We earn less and pay more for everything. When will we ever get value for our money?


  9. David June 18, 2011 at 7:24 AM #

    Don’t understand why so many are preoccupied with the REDjet business model. The issue here is whether as an airline it is qualified to fly into the markets it has applied.


  10. Peltdownman June 18, 2011 at 8:14 AM #

    Adrian, it’s not the age of the aircraft but the ability of the operator to maintain it. You mentioned aircraft of this type becoming more available as airlines opt for more fuel efficient aircraft. So apart from being expensive to maintain, the MD80 is also expensive on fuel. Remember fuel, that thing that is rising in cost on almost a daily basis? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to determine that a low fare regime will not work when operating this type of aircarft on short/medium haul routes. Companies like RedJet are nothing more than parasites, vying for the most lucrative routes and not going near the lower density ones. The way LIAT is required to operate means that it cannot make money, but by interlinking so many islands in the Caribbean, it is keeping the Caribbean going. RedJet, by taking business from the more profitable routes, will therefore make LIAT even less profitable, and whilst we can get to other islands cheaply by RedJet, we will have to pay more out of our pockets in taxes to keep LIAT going. As I have said before, be careful what you wish for. I don’t like the way Trinidad and Jamaica have treated this matter, and I certainly don’t like Jack Warner, but on safety, don’t they have a point? You won’t find me climbing the steps of a RedJet MD80 any time soon.


  11. Anomynuss June 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM #

    Sorry, guy, it is clear that you are from a distant generation of a star far, far away and simply don’t “get it” – and probably never will.

    REDjet is operating under an LCC (Low Cost carrier) business plan that works – and works well – elsewhere in the world. The concept is no frills – you now pay for ALL the things you took for granted in BOAC and PanAm back in the day. I think RyanAir’s O’Deary is even contemplating wing seating to go along with his proposed pay-toilets and vertical seating (I call it Sardine Class)!!

    Here’s the thing: $9.99 is the lowest possible fare – it is NOT the ONLY fare – and there are a FEW of those on EVERY flight. Sorry about the capitals, but I want to make sure you see the right emphases.

    So, if you book six months ahead, do not take a seat selection, have no baggage, fly on a low-interest day (and so on) then yes, you could possibly have a seat at $9.99 – as long as someone did not get there before you After those seats run out, the fares go up – but never exceed those of the legacy carriers (LI, BW, UA, AC, AA, DL, etc.).

    Do all the calculations you want, as a layman you will never – ever – figure out all the real costs and revenues of any airline. To the average person many of these variables are intangible, unimaginable, and only appear in the (confidential) airline’s books at the end of the day.

    You will just have to trust that REDjet will work, whether you like it or not, and that at some point the politicians and management of LIAT and CAL will just have to deal with the reality I suggest that Dr. Holder has resigned for that very reason – he just can’t handle the reality that LIAT cannot keep on gouging the public indefinitely.

    My position is that LIAT should be working with REDjet to create a synergy. Yes, their fares will have to fall somewhat, but their volume will increase to make up for that. Coordinate schedules and institute direct baggage and passenger interlines with REDjet – and NOT the nationalistic, self-centered island raider CAL – to ensure that people get where they are going quickly and efficiently. BWIA/CAL has never been interested in coordinating anything with LIAT, and they should reap the whirlwind instead of the benefits now that alternatives are available to their lousy service and terrible regional attitudes – they certainly do NOT behave as the regional airline they repeatedly claim to be.

    Currently REDjet offers the convenience, savings and regional travel that neither of the other two “regional” airlines provide… and regionals everywhere – including in Trinidad and Jamaica – are crying out for the new service, citing long-suffering dealings with other airlines in all three areas – convenience, savings and regional travel.

    LIAT alone has a valid excuse… with some 35 aircraft serving the entire length of the region in inefficient island-hopping mode, their costs are extremely high in aircraft, fuel, salaries and other expenses.

    Could they operate more efficiently? Yes, of course… and perhaps REDjet is the catalyst that finally forces that re-organisation and upheaval. Seeing the back of the current Chairman is a good first step – now perhaps we can see the backs of all the other Board Members and the fronts instead of non-yard-fowls who actually understand the hazards and benefits of airline business, are willing to drag LIAT forcefully into the 21st century, deal with the back-sliding regional Ministers and governments, and make it the regional airline it truly was meant to be.


  12. Peltdownman June 18, 2011 at 11:25 AM #

    So, Anomynuss, these low fares being advertised are a con, then. Hardly anyone will end up paying those low fares, and when all the add-ons are included, it will probably be just as expensive as other carriers, ot maybe a little cheaper. Like you, I know a fair amount about airline operation and I know enough about low cost airlines to know that such a business model can only work in high volume markets, which the Caribbean is definitely not. I also know enough about operating costs to doubt whether RedJet has the resources to take a “position”on future fuel prices, and whilst still operating a fuel guzzler, will end up cutting costs elsewhere. Where will that be? Well, they will need a minimum amount of staff, their overhead is already cut to the bone, so they move on to maintenance. Overhaul work done by some cut-price operation in Costa Rica or somewhere similar, spare parts coming from cannibalising other MD80’s, and a non-existent regulatory set-up in Barbados. It’s a recipe for disaster and not worth taking the risk.


  13. Peltdownman June 18, 2011 at 11:27 AM #

    By the way, whenever I look at a photo of Ian Burns, why do I always see Alan Stanford?


  14. BMcDonald June 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM #

    If Looking Glass were correct, Southwest Airlines would never have gotten off the ground. Perhaps Redjet is encouraged by that history. Southwest fought four and a half years of court battles to get off the ground. Southwest has been profitable for 39 of its 40 years. Protectionism is always more expensive and it always fails for that very reason. The patrons of CAL and Air Jamaica are engaged in naked protectionism. Why else would the PM of Jamaica howl in indignation when a CAL flight at GAIA is delayed for safety checks according to international standards. The safety argument in this context is a mere fig leaf. I refuse to believe that the governments of Barbados and Guyana do not care about the safety of their people. There is no merit to the argument being advanced here. Redjet, LIAT, CAL or whatever business enterprise should be afforded the opportunity to swim or sink in the prevailing market conditions. Should the government of Barbados roll over to this “safety” diversion, CSME should become a dead letter. I already cringe because there is no separate line for Barbados Citizens (the taxpayers) at GAIA. Incredible.


  15. Saltbread June 18, 2011 at 12:18 PM #

    Cut-price operation in costa rica? You mean that Jetblue, US Airways, Frontier, Southwest etc also use ?????

    Ofcourse it’s cheaper. The salaries and costs etc are cheaper in Costa Rica than America especially when compared to unionsed workers as you would expect.

    You are obviously intimating that because it is cheaper it is less safe and the work done is shoddy. You should really do better than that.

    Why do some American and Canadian companies come to Barbados and the caribbean or even India and so on in general? Because it’s cheaper to have the same work done because of lower salaries and exchange rates etc. That doesn’t automatically mean that the quality of work is poorer. Again, you can really do better than that.

    Thats like saying if someone starts a business here at Grantley Adams doing heavy aircraft maintenance that it is automatically inferior. You have to be FAA certified etc as a company and so on to work on the aircraft.

    If in your mind you don’t feel “safe” don’t fly on it.

    Thing is you would gladly get on a JetBlue or American Airlines flight that was “maintained” by the same said shop as RedJet. lol. I guess you won’t be flying on no major airline anytime soon.

    As someone who confesses to “know” stuff about airline operations you do know that it is not uncommon to take parts from one aircraft to put on another right? RIGHT ??? Some aircraft are just kept for their parts. Again, you can do better.

    Just like everyone else I want safe, reliable and efficient air travel at a good price. Why you seem to be on redjet’s case intimating that they are none of those things I will never know.

    We have had countless airlines start and disappear form the caribbean’s skies over the last 20 years. I can’t remember ever hearing such comments in regards to those other airlines and they also never had the trouble that they are getting now either.

    Ec Xpress, Air Caribbean (flew 737-200’s), Carib Express, Caribbean Star, Caribbean Sun. None of which are still around.

    I could go on but i done.

    Aeroman is one of the companies that does the outsourced maintenance for some of the majors in America that i’m sure you fly on without fear.

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.


  16. islandgal246 June 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM #

    I have learnt in this life never to say never. Saltbread BMcDonald and annonmyuss are spot on. It seem that there are those among us will cry down Red jet for anything and everything. True true like Saltbread said “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.” a very dangerous thing.


  17. Fortyacres and a mule. June 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM #

    85% of all airline accident is due to human error and I have never heard of an airline accident cause purley because of the age of the plane . The biggest problem posed by older aircraft is build up of metal fatigue and stress on the airframe over a period of time and can be difficult to detect. A few years ago because of the frequency of near-miss accidents regarding metal fatigue in the fusalage of some airlines the FAA has decided for the first time, going forward, to put a cut-off age on commercial airlines. This will definately going to impact older fleets operating in the USA and flying into the USA in the foreseeable future. Airline engineers are also dealing with the problem of metal fatigue by using reinforce carbon plastic in the construction of airplanes fusalage. Some of Boeing new generation aircrafts are made of this material.

    Some people bad-mouthing Redjet because of the age of the planes and the likely of an accident are uniformed. There have been a lot of plane crashes recently that involved new aircrafts. The 777 that crash land at Heathrow 2 years ago was a 6year old plane and the one that AA 787 that crash in Kingston, Jamaica also was a Boeing new generation 6 year old plane. Even though luckily there were no fatalities in both accidents, both aircrafts were state -of -the- art new generation jets. My only issue with Redjet their operational business model and I donot see it being sustainable over the long -run. Then again, I am not an investor in the business so why should I care. The writer states that the planes were leased. I doubt that.I think he might meant that the engines are leased. It would be cheaper to buy the airframe and lease the engine rather than leased the complete aircraft.


  18. Peltdownman June 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM #

    @Saltbread & islandgal246

    “”Ä little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.” I agree and how well you have displayed it. Remember “de-regulation”in the US that was supposed to increase competition and drive down fares? It didn’t happen. What did happen was that major carriers cut their fares for just long enough to drive competition out of the market, and then THE FARES WENT BACK UP AND THEN SOME! The same will happen in the Caribbean and if LIAT goes, we will all end up paying higher fares than we do now, As a bonus (and I know that you will like this) it will destroy intra-Caribbean travel with all its consequences. As I said before, REDjet is a parasite – it only wants the volume routes and leave LIAT with the pickings. When ZR’s and minibuses were introduced in Barbados they only took the most lucrative routes, leaving the Transport Board and the taxpayer to pay for the rest. The ensuing chaos on the roads is just one of the “benefits”.


  19. islandgal246 June 18, 2011 at 2:36 PM #

    @Peltdownman | June 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM |

    We do not expect Red jet fares to remain at 9.95 but we expect more affordable flights in the long run. Why are you such a prophet of gloom and doom? This is a free market and protectionism is not the way to go. We consumers should have choice and not have things stuffed down our throats. You sound like a dictator to me.


  20. David June 18, 2011 at 2:59 PM #

    Note the following link which shows a 17 plane fleet by LIAT @average age of 19.2 yrs.


  21. Dr. Anon - xyz (Hons) June 18, 2011 at 5:28 PM #

    There is a saying that if you can’t beat em join em. Maybe LIAT can adopt a low cost carrier approach to some extent.

    Can REDjet survive if LIAT does this?


  22. just only asking June 18, 2011 at 9:14 PM #

    WE should be concerned with the price we will pay redjet to travel and whether it will take us to our destination safely. Its business model should not be a concern to us, but its shareholders.

    I would prefer to spend my vacation in the region, but the price of travel is very prohibitive, for example to go to jamaica i was quoted a price of almost $900 and to go to the states@1062, which one would I chose, the one where i can go and bargain with the merchants.

    we need more competition in the region, I cant wait for it to get that approval forr trinidad and jamaica.


  23. Saltbread June 18, 2011 at 9:50 PM #

    I have no interest in LIAT going away. Liat serves a very important purpose in the region. But as Jean Holder recently said Liat;s problem is its cost. See article for details:

    Lets face it Liat is/was run like a government department for too long and has waaaaay to many employees. Getting rid of that dead weight is gonna be difficult.. They need to cut their cost.

    Liat’s other problem is that they are “forced” to operate unprofitable routes kind of like a social service. That doesn’t help matters.

    The way I see it the introduction of a liberalised telecommunications market was a big improvement to all Barbadians. We benefitted tremendously from the previous C&W monopoly. C&W/LIME survived and is now a leaner and I would hope more efficient operation as a result.

    Also Redjet’s fleet is obviously suited to certain routes and won’t be able to compete with Liat on certain routes for that simple reason. Island hopping in an MD82 is a quick fire way to bankruptcy.


  24. David June 19, 2011 at 12:11 AM #

    Recently Prime Minister Balwin Spencer visited Cuba and promised that LIAT should be able to include that country on its destination list shortly, good move?


  25. anthony June 19, 2011 at 12:19 AM #

    maybe. alot of Canadians do visit cuba. The marketing departments job would be how to get them visiting other islands. Is it feasible definitely though in pure terms of cost cuba is alot cheaper than most other islands.


  26. Colonel Buggy June 19, 2011 at 11:19 AM #

    Dr. Anon – xyz (Hons) | June 18, 2011 at 5:28 PM |
    There is a saying that if you can’t beat em join em. Maybe LIAT can adopt a low cost carrier approach to some extent.

    Can REDjet survive if LIAT does this?

    REDjet may not survive, and after being forced out of business, LIAT will adopt the same strategy as Wakefield Plantation with the sale vegetables some years ago in relation to other farmers. Undercut the competition, force them to scramble and sell out cheaper/go out of business, and then up the price as you are now monopolising in the market.


  27. Hants June 19, 2011 at 2:00 PM #

    Low cost fares will increase the number of travelers in the Caribbean.

    I would love to fly from Toronto to Barbados for 2 weeks and spend a couple days in St.Lucia,Dominica or Grenada but I am not willing to pay $600cad to Barbados and another $500cad to one other island.

    We need low cost air travel and a ferry service in the caribbean.


  28. David June 19, 2011 at 9:10 PM #

    Why would Prime Minister Gonzales ask Chairman Jean Holder of LIAT to hold his resignation?


  29. the Scout June 19, 2011 at 10:31 PM #

    All the countries in the region that rely on LIAT, should invest in the airline, I think it is unfair to ask Barbados, St.Vincent and Antigua to carry the weight of support for LIAT while the other islands reap the benefits.


  30. Dr. Anon - xyz (Hons) June 19, 2011 at 10:44 PM #

    Would some suggest that we see the TAIL, no sorry, let me reverse that , I meant the end of LIAT?


  31. BGI June 20, 2011 at 4:30 PM #

    If I may join in…

    In a perfect world, I would like to see the following happen to and with LIAT:
    1) LIAT is sold out of government hands to become a totally private entity.
    2) LIAT entering into a commercial arrangement with REDJet, to create connections to the other islands (I don’t think this will happen tho’, since I recall the Burns said they will not be seeking arrangements with others? I stand under correction).
    3) LIAT to revamp its entire fleet over a maximum of 3 years, replacing the Dash 8-300’s with the stretched -400 model, and including a minimum of 3x regional jets, preferably the Embraer E170.
    4) LIAT to revise its entire route schedule to take more advantage of commercially-viable routes versus “fly it because they said so”. This may involve dropping certain routes, and increasing frequency or adding other routes.

    Competition goes both ways, and REDjet should be seen, not so much as the enemy, but as the long overdue wake-up call to those political fat cats that run the regional airlines like it was their own personal BMW service.

    Is the region big enough for BW, LI, and RD? We’ll see, but one thing is sure – things HAVE to change!


  32. Nyssa Pierre June 21, 2011 at 1:16 PM #


    With the responses already posted most points are well answered but we thought a few words might be helpful. To keep costs down and get back to delivering Low Fares we’ve kept our response in short bullet points. – Lowest Cost Always Wins!

    (1) Competition does not deliver standards it delivers low fares – regulations and proper training and internal processes ensure standards.
    (2) Low Fares exist in the following regions – Africa, Asia, India, South Pacific Islands, USA, Europe and South America – does the author want the Caribbean to suffer high fares forever.
    (3) REDjet is not backed or owned by any travel agency.
    (4) REDjet purchased it’s airframes from American Airline and leases the engines form a US asset management company.
    (5) Intra-regional travel has fallen 30% in 5 years according to the CTO. As fares have risen people cannot afford to travel, REDjet has seen from our first services that if you make air travel affordable more people will travel and the BGI-GEO route grew 25% in 4 weeks and 68% of passengers said they would not have flown except for REDjet.
    (6) Long haul operations rely on scale and the costs involved are both massive and largely fixed. This is why they are the most volatile type of operation as the recent recession proves.
    (7) REDjet’s fares are not even as low as other leading profitable Low Fare Airlines. We don’t have the economies of scale to do so. Why not research one so you can learn some more:
    a. Ryanair
    b. Air Asia
    c. Viva Aerobus
    d. Allegiant
    e. Tiger
    f. easyJet
    (8) REDjet promised Jamaica more aircraft because the market in Jamaica was larger.
    (9) American Airlines, Delta, SAS, Iberia, Allegiant, Insel Air and many others determine that the MD-82 is a proper jet.
    (10) Are you proposing that we left 129 people in Guyana?
    (11) REDjet is 51% owned by Barbadian nationals.

    We like your writing style, informed, intelligent and we reasoned. I believe REDjet has a job available, please apply to: Otherwise visit http://www.passegnerswantlowfarestotravelandnotexcuses.low.fare


  33. Al Bundy June 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM #

    @ Pierre.
    You stats are most half truths but i will point out the most glaring.
    * REDjet obtains MD82 from AA (this is correct). Other half of the truth…AA was fined big time for hiding flaws with this aircraft type on many occasions and never reported it. See this excerpt from the article on it:
    American Airlines has had repeated run-ins with the FAA regarding maintenance of its MD-80 fleet; the costs associated with operating these jets has affected American’s bottom line. American Airlines canceled 1,000 flights to inspect wire bundles over three days in April 2008 to make sure they complied with government safety regulations.[28] This caused significant inconvenience to passengers and financial problems for the airline. American has begun the process of replacing its older MD-80 jets with Boeing 737s. The newer MD-80s will continue to serve until the next generation Boeing narrowbody aircraft (Boeing Y1) is available.

    In September 2009, the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal reported that American was accused of hiding repeated maintenance lapses on at least 16 MD-80s from the FAA. Repair issues included such items as faulty emergency slides, improper engine coatings, incorrectly drilled holes and other examples of shoddy workmanship. The most serious alleged lapse is a failure to repair cracks to pressure bulkheads; the rupture of a bulkhead could lead to cabin depressurization. It is also alleged that the airline retired one airplane in order to hide it from FAA inspectors; the airline countered that FAA inspectors always have full access to any airplane, retired or not.[

    * REDjet is owned 51% by Barbados nationals (totally incorrect).
    Hahahahaha, i don’t even know where to start after hearing such crap. Let’s use common sense here…Why would those two irish owners give up that large percentage?
    The only way that will happen is if this is a money laundering operation for them…which we can’t ignore either.
    Do some proper research my friend.
    Looking Glass is on spot with details.


  34. David June 21, 2011 at 5:34 PM #

    If there is one positive coming out of the REDjet vs rest of the Caribbean is the revelation that the government of Barbados has amended legislation to facilitate CAT 1 status.


  35. Christopher Halsall June 21, 2011 at 6:21 PM #


    Has that been Gazetted?


  36. David June 21, 2011 at 6:29 PM #


    If it was read today it obviously would not have been Gazetted.


  37. Saharabased June 21, 2011 at 6:38 PM #

    It is amazing that unenlightened people can write such articles without any sort of factual base ! Indeed, it is the commenters writing afterwards that seem to have their heads on regardless of whose point they support !!!
    People are being given the impression the MD80s are not favoured in the US because of their age and all other sorts of silly issues. As stated by a commenter, many of these type still fly with many airlines worldwide, including in the US. The issues at AA as stated by Al Bundy are airline procedural. In selecting an airframe, any potential buyer would have to have access to all maintenance records and ensure that an relevant ADs have been complied with. Redjet’s aircraft are identical and close in serial number to keep commonality, this keeps things simple without the need to be stocking various items for types configured differently. Engines are not from AA, so no worry about the “improper engine coatings” Bundy speaks of.
    As for Liat, yes their Dash 8s run some good age as well. Some of them, anyway. I have seen a 21 year old Dash 8 in the far east that was in much better shape than any in the LIAT fleet ! It is all how maintenance is done.
    People wonder how low fares are possible and seem to think that because LIAt cannot make money flying full, that it is an impossible dream in the Caribbean. How are their overhead costs ? Staffing ?? When Caribbean Star was around, LIAT employed over 3 times as many employees in Antigua alone, for the same number of aircraft ! Take the politics out of Caribbean aviation if you want a better picture of what can happen.
    So much mud slinging to deny the possibility of low fares to the Caribbean traveller is not only sad, but shows a total lack of mental evolution in governments and regional monopolies to afraid and inept to challenge competition, and face the future of globalization.

    Nyssa, good points !


  38. Christopher Halsall June 21, 2011 at 6:43 PM #

    @David: “If it was read today it obviously would not have been Gazetted.

    We live in the “internet age”. Don’t we?

    As soon as anything is said or done, it is on record.

    Is it then unreasonable to assume whatever happens in Parliament (or Cabinet) is public knowledge and is therefore on record?

    Must we await the reporters to tell us what is law?


  39. David June 21, 2011 at 7:05 PM #


    You know full well the process of gazetting is part of the procedure of making law in Barbados.


  40. Christopher Halsall June 21, 2011 at 7:11 PM #


    Yeah, I know…

    Bloody slow, inefficient, ineffective and ineffectual procedure (IMHO)….


  41. pretty blue eyes June 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM #

    Why all the heap against Redjet, at first I could not understand how they could run the airline with $9.99 flights, but what I’ve discovered is that is their basic price everything else is added on,and not every seat will be charged that rate.However in the end the cost of the flight is still cheaper than the other airlines. The aircraft is not substandard and it is the kind used by many airlines in the U.S. What I agree with Mins.Hutson is that Redjet could try to get into other markets, e.g Venezuela, shopping there is excellent, but to travel there by Redjet you would have to take a flight to Guyana then go by Ferry or use a small aircraft to get there. If you use Caribbean Airlines you would have to overnight in Trinidad which is a waste of time, when Venezuela is only 55 mins from Barbados. When BWIA was up and running flying the Caribbean was a breeze now Caribbean Airlines has taken over it is too much of a hassle. We, Barbadians should come out and give our support to Redjet, whether it is majority Barbadian owned or not, it is registered here and is a source of income for some of our people. Trinidad would want us to but their oil at a higher rate than the oil we could get from Venezuela, yet we have done that but they would now want to put all kinds of walls in the way to prevent a Barbadian registered airline from operating there, their kind of business is sickening


  42. TONY June 23, 2011 at 10:32 PM #

    Well lets face it. REDjet will not last !!! Reasons (1) They should be using EMB175’s and EMB190’s.The EMB175’s could pick up passengers at the smaller Islands and bring them to Barbados and Guyana.Then the EMB190’s could take them to the US and other larger countries.Barbados needs to work on getting CAT1 status that’s VERY IMPORTANT too for REDjet to last a couple more months too.They could also use the B737-800 this would be a good fit for the longer run.But they do not have the money.So have fun while it last REDjet will be gone soon!!!


  43. Thomas Magnum, PI July 18, 2011 at 3:40 PM #

    Up Yours Anastasia Beaverhausen/Zbornak/Petrillo/Devereaux – REDjet in yu Nen’nen: “The new Transport Minister confirms that REDjet now has clearance to fly to Trinidad.”


  44. balance July 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM #

    i wish both red jet and liat well and do hope that some accomodation can be found for both to operate in the best interest of travel between the caribbean.


  45. ac November 24, 2011 at 6:37 AM #

    Bizzy Williams got up in the debate saying that Barbados sabotage Redjet but here we go again. Another pie in the sky dream that should have never been pursued ‘Too good to be True” Barbados govt, again is being seen as the bad guy ,The govt should have seen this coming. No airline can sustain itself on low fares and limited markets.


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  1. REDjet: Cheap Flights And Validity | Barbados news - June 17, 2011

    […] to the CEO the World Bank 2006 Report on air travel in the Caribbeanidentified the … Continue reading → This entry was posted in Top stories and tagged Bank, Glass, Report, Validity, WISU. Bookmark the […]


  2. Redjet: About Time To Say Goodbye | - September 13, 2011

    […] Are tickets sold the same way and 15% of the seats available per flight to all the islands? How come we weren’t told? Jet fuel cost rose by 51% in the last year. The chief economist at the airline industry body warned that “soaring oil prices and tax increases mean that passengers will pay much more for tickets by year end” (Telegraph 30/8/2011). Redjet will have to operate at well above break-even per flight for low fares to obtain. Given the state of actual demand and cost, 40% occupancy per flight is at best wishful thinking (Redjet: Cheap Flights and Validity). […]


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