Thursday, January 12, 2012

REDjet defends flight cancellations

Barbados (CMC)- Low-fares airline REDjet will introduce three new routes this year, while cancelling more than 50 – a move Chief Executive Ian Burns said is not due to financial troubles.

Flights to Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados are among the 54 that would be affected when the changes are introduced from March 1.

Burns said the airline is on budget and the adjustments would merely facilitate improved flight times.

“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.

Last November, the carrier’s largest Barbados investor, Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams, said excessive delays had sabotaged the airline’s progress, fuelling speculation that the low-fare model is unsustainable.

A leaked internal memo from the carrier’s customer service department stated that the flights would be cancelled for commercial reasons.

REDjet said in a statement that passengers can expect to benefit from new and more convenient flight times, and the launch of three new routes to two new destinations in time for Easter 2012.

The Barbados-based airline said it has added a third MD-80 aircraft to its fleet and hired additional pilots in preparation.

“These investments combined with the expansion of its call centre, maintenance department and operations team will enable the airline to comfortably deliver these new services and provide a safe and reliable operation for its passengers,” the airline stated.

“In addition, external factors such as traffic to and from the airport around flight times and capacity constraints at some airports around peak times of the day will be greatly improved,” it said further.

REDjet, which began serving the region in May last year, operates seven routes across the Caribbean and plans to launch up to eight new ones in 2012.


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