NEWS

Bruce Golding has spoken on the REDjet Issue

The Jamaican Prime Minister has lent his voice to the CARICOM fiasco which is now up in the air with regards to REDjet. Jamaica has 16 per cent shares in CAL.

12 Jun 2011, 12:00 AM

By: gop

The Honorable Bruce Golding according to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper has issued a stern warning to all interest in Barbados who might have harassed a Caribbean Airlines plane while in Barbados.

"I am disturbed at a report I got when I returned to the island last night (last Friday) that a Caribbean Airlines plane was harassed in Barbados. Because REDjet is registered as a Barbadian company - the ownership is not necessarily consistent with that - it has been declared by the Barbadian government to be its national carrier," Golding said.

He added: "What I'm told took place two days ago when a Caribbean Airlines plane was held up, I don't want to use the word detained, in Barbados and the suspicion is that it is an aggressive action, and I hope it is not, because that is not the way we in CARICOM should resolve our issues".

He continued: "I'm not unaccustomed to being faced down by foreign governments, but I have a face, too."

Golding has also reported that REDjet's approval is forthcoming, but there must be a Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) deal in mind.

According to Golding, ever since the conclusion of the Air Jamaica-Caribbean Airlines Limited deal, pressure has been applied to allow the Barbados-designated low-fare carrier to start operations in Jamaica.

Prime Minister Freundel Struart in currently in China, but acting Prime Minister Ronald Jones has responded by saying that Barbados is not interested in doing anything to hamper the operations of that airline, as it is in Barbados' interest that visitors be brought to the island.

Mr. Jones has subscribed to the fact the REDjet is the national airline of Barbados as the airline is 51% owned by Barbadians.

Should Caribbean Unity Supersede the Profits of CAL?

Could it be that pressure is being applied because the Barbadian based airline which can cause an influx of tourists to Barbados to help its economy is being "prevented" from flying to and from Jamaica, and Trinidad, whereas CAL "freely" comes and goes from Jamaica and Trinidad to Barbados?

As REDjet according to the prime minister will only be allowed to fly if there is a "Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) deal in mind", does that mean such a deal will see to it that REDjet can also benefit from CAL landing in Barbados?

The REDjet issue has been on the back burner for far too long. How long will the governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica sabotage travel in the region for they own gains?

Well, so much for Caribbean unity as REDjet had almost decided in March to suspend attempts to secure landing rights to Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. The airline blamed "ongoing regulatory delays" in Port-of-Spain and Kingston for the decision.

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