CASTRIES, St Lucia, CMC – Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet says the Barbados government has withdrawn REDjet’s permission to fly the Barbados-St. Lucia route.
“I am not certain of the full details, but I know that REDjet had called for a press conference and a day before the press conference they called to cancel the event.
“My understanding is that they were hopeful to get their license and I guess when they physically went to collect it they discovered that while it was promised it was not approved,” he said.
Officials of the Barbados-based airline had planned to host a joint news conference with the St. Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) to announce the introduction of the service from the Hewanorra International Airport into Barbados with connections to Panama.
But Chastanet told reporters that REDjet had been informed that permission had been denied and that he was not certain whether that had anything to do with the ongoing discussions between trade unions and the regional airline, LIAT.
He said he hoped the REDjet issue would be resolved soon, “because REDjet is registered in Barbados and I keep pleading with the government of Barbados that if they are going to have an airline, allow it to fly”.
Chastanet said he was still patiently waiting for some progress to be made on the matter, adding “I think for the government of Barbados at this particular juncture to be selecting where the plane can go and not go, is unfair to the remaining sister countries in CARICOM, as it flies in the face of the CARICOM agreements that we have signed in terms of having an open skies arrangement.
“I am still hopeful that the government of Barbados and in particular the Minister and the Ministry will announce that REDjet can start flying,” he said.
Chastanet said that REDjet operating out of Hewanorra International Airport in the south, would not be competing with LIAT which does not operate a service there.
REDjet was originally due to its operations here last month.