Saturday, March 31, 2012

Civil Aviation Minister John Maginley says “no” to suspending REDjet licenses

St. John’s Antigua- Civil Aviation Minister John Maginley yesterday indicated that Antigua & Barbuda will continue to leave the door open for low-cost carrier REDjet to resume flights here.

He was speaking against the backdrop of news that the Trinidad & Tobago government has revoked the licenses it granted to the Barbados-based airline effective Friday.

Reports indicate that the Barbados Civil Aviation Department also sent correspondence to REDjet less than two weeks ago in which it disclosed plans to suspend the Air Operators Certificate it had issued to the airline.
“We have not withdrawn it (nor) have we considered doing it,” Minister Maginley said in a short statement on the matter to OBSERVER Media.

REDjet’s decision to suspend its operations announced on March 16 affected its Antigua to Guyana service that was introduced last November as well as its Antigua to Barbados service that was due to come on stream in June.

The Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) said its decision was based on the actions of Barbados.

On March 28, the TTCAA gave REDjet 14 days to respond to its decision even as it questioned whether the carrier had the capacity and ability to provide a continuous and reliable service.

“The Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA), and by extension the Ministry of Transport, very much regrets this course of action, but given the regulations, have no choice but to act in the best interest of not only the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago but our Caribbean counterparts,” the authority said in a statement.
Local aviation expert Patrick Ryan says the T&T authorities would have taken several issues into consideration before making their decision.

“One of the things the air licensing authority has in place is that when they review and do an audit on airlines, they must show that they must show that they have the financial resources to have a maintenance programme in place, a spare parts programme in place and so on,” he explained.

“What I suspect is that because REDjet’s announcement due to financial reasons that they have temporarily ceased flying, Trinidad authorities are really asking them to prove, if they ever start back, to show to them they have the financial resources in place,” Ryan added.


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