Five more Caribbean nations have given permission for low-cost carrier REDjet to operate flights from their countries. This was revealed by REDjet chief executive Ian Burns at a news conference yesterday at the Crowne Plaza, Port-of-Spain. The conference was held to launch the partnership between the airline and shipping company Laparkan Trinidad Ltd. Laparkan will now be responsible for the sale and distribution of REDjet tickets to travel agencies in T&T. St Kitts, Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua and St Maarten have been added to the four countries REDjet currently has permission to operate in.
These are Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica. Burns said that through Laparkan travel agents would now be able to bundle REDjet fares into holiday packages with hotels and other services. Burns said that despite a few early hiccups, REDjet has already instigated a rapid change in terms of prices for consumers. He said he had been informed that traffic had increased by 83 per cent on Guyana route. In addition to the additional routes REDjet will also be purchasing an additional aircraft in March 2012.
Speaking at the conference was President of the Travel Agents Association Wayne Rodriguez. Rodriguez praised the airline for putting an end to what he described as a monopoly system and introducing a spirit of competition to the airline industry. He advised Burns to engage Government agencies in dialogue in order to bring new life to the Caribbean tourism industry. "Airport taxes and government taxes are killing tourism," said Rodriguez. He said stakeholder consultation was needed in order to encourage travel, both regional and international.