RedJET launches St Lucia to Barbados route!

Redjet's Nyssa Pierre.

Thousands of regional travelers including RedJET’s Robbie Burns, cofounder and business development director of the airline were left stranded as a result of industrial action by LIAT pilots this week. Burns was set to be the feature speaker at RedJET’s launch, which took place at Coco Palm on Thursday morning.
“It’s unfortunate Mr Burns couldn’t be here with us today,” Nyssa Pierre, RedJET’s communications manager told the media this week. “I know he genuinely wanted to be here. Unfortunately I don’t know the details of why this industrial action would have taken place but I think it does highlight the obvious need for additional service in and out of St Lucia.”
Like the stranded passengers Pierre said she was scheduled to return home to Trinidad on Thursday, but had no idea how she was getting home!
“I’m hoping by the time I get to the front desk they would have worked something out,” she said on Thursday morning.
Speaking on how RedJET could tap into areas of the airline industry that left much to be desired in terms of service and consumer choice, Pierre said: “It’s a work in progress. Up to yesterday someone suggested that we have a morning flight that comes back in the afternoon to facilitate people traveling to Barbados for visa appointments. We know there are a lot of St Lucians traveling to Barbados for just that and it’s something we’ve considered. It’s something we’re aware of, but right now we just wanted to start the service in time for Christmas. In the New Year we are look at scheduling and being able to accommodate quite a large market. Slow and steady, we can’t do daily flights right now; we just got our third aircraft. Going into the New Year we will definitely look at increasing service.”
Despite it all, the show went on for the airline’s first media conference in St Lucia and Nyssa Pierre thanked the media for attending. St Lucia was the airline’s sixth destination after starting off in May and Pierre noted that was a landmark achievement. Revolutionizing air travel with low fares was what RedJET was all about, particularly with their US$9.99 deal, which RedJET’s representative assured all was “not a gimmick.”
“With the low fares we intend to be the number one airline for customer service, low fares (we will not be beaten) and number one for on time service,” she said.
Pierre said the airline’s mandate was bringing competition and choice to consumers and they were “not here to kick anyone out of the sky.”
“We really just want to have that option, if you want to fly Caribbean Airlines, LIAT and now RedJET, the point is you now have an option,” she continued adding that the airline intended to bring a 6o percent reduction in fares from Barbados to St Lucia. Other destinations for the MD-82 aircrafts with 149 seats include Jamaica, Trinidad, Antigua, Barbados and Guyana.
“This means for the Caribbean a boost in tourism, a boost in jobs as we expand and develop,” Pierre went on. RedJED will be starting off with two flights a week on Fridays and Sundays. Their inaugural flight arrives in St Lucia on Friday, December 16 and by next summer; the airline expects to move to three flights a week, more depending on customer response.
“We launched a couple days ago and flights over December to January, some are almost fully booked, which really goes to show obviously St Lucia and Barbados have been crying out for this service, a low cost, non stop service. We don’t have millions of years of experience but what we do have is a promise to be honest with customers.”
Pierre noted the airline’s objective was to make air travel available for everyone, not just the wealthy.
“RedJet sees the day where everyone can fly,” she said, “We have people who haven’t seen their families in years, or have never flown before. “
RedJET’s representative noted that there had been quite a number of issues highlighted in the media all over the region with regard to safety, but said even through theirs was a low cost model, that did not extend to maintenance, operational safety or security. Through a power point presentation she listed the ways the airline cut costs: “less overhead and lower distribution costs, no business class (all economy service) and no over nighting of crews.” There were also no seat allocations; no miles program and quick turn times.
Pierre maintained that the low prices would not disappear in time, as some thought because low fares were what the RedJET model were build around. Twenty percent of the seats would be sold at the US$9.99 price, and then the fare would rise as the plane filled, first up to US$19.99 then US$29.99.
RedJET fares are not refundable and in the words of their representative, “if you find a lower fare on another carried we’ll match that fare.” The airline will also offers a low cost shuttle service from Castries to the Hewanorra airport where they will operate.

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