“What has been dished out to RedJet is shameful. I bow my head in that shame. I truly now know that CARICOM is but a sham and obviously just a ploy for Heads of our nations to get together and feed their egos.”
by Rosemary Parkinson
The reception that RedJet has received from our so-called- unified-by-CARICOM governments has been to say the least based on protectionism for LIAT and Caribbean Airlines. RedJet were doomed to fail if Caricom Heads did not put the necessary openings in place. The Barbados government was also a tad unhurried in getting RedJet the necessary support and I am not talking investment. There was no need at the time for this – those behind RedJet saw a niche, did their homework and were well-prepared to give the people a low-cost airline. This is where I smell a rat because these businessmen would not have gone through with their plans had they not been given certain assurances…by certain people…or at least that is my belief. I could be wrong, this could be an assumption.
We the people, however, embraced RedJet, welcoming this opportunity for the Caribbean region to be more integrated. Vendors could now move back and forth and make a living. Artistes from all areas of the creative arts had an opportunity to truly know our neighbours and earn extra dollars. Families and friends could now travel easily. Regional tourism had been finally given the push it required. Regional business at all levels could now afford visits to their partners rather than just telephone meetings. Most importantly RedJet gave an opportunity for food and goods to be moved between the islands – a huge plus for us the people as we sought to reduce our import bills from the north.
RedJet was people friendly and had one and only one vision…to give the people (I said the people) of the Caribbean an airline that cared cost-wise. Naturally making ends meet and profit would have also been a priority. But digging out the eyes of their own people was not.
This model of air travel is not new. It has worked for years quite happily in Europe. The Caribbean islands could fit directly into this model. It was a win-win situation. And true enough while RedJet was in the air, after a few hiccups, they gave us the best deal. Every one I know had thoroughly enjoyed their flights and the best part was it did not kill the pocket, leaving monies also for spending at their destination. I even have a ticket to Jamaica with an expiration date of one year from purchase. Was so looking forward to using it.
What has been dished out to RedJet is shameful. I bow my head in that shame. I truly now know that CARICOM is but a sham and obviously just a ploy for Heads of our nations to get together and feed their egos. Why do we have to watch them spend our tax money to come up with very little…a forest of paperwork filled with faces and signatures documented for posterity by the press…of which not much seems to truly have made a difference either in our integration or in the movements of food and goods between islands…and now this!!
Shame. Shame. And more shame.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared as a comment on the CAPA Centre for Aviation blog REDjet’s woes show unwillingness of Caribbean countries to liberalise