REDjet eyes Antigua and Brazil – Fuel cost a problem

Jet fuel in Guyana too expensive; REDjet eyes Antigua, Brazil
Written by Denis Scott Chabrol   -Demerara Waves
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 10:12
redjet    EDITOR’S NOTE: REDJET IS NO LONGER IN BUSINESS

Even as REDjet battles high jet fuel prices in Guyana, the Caribbean low-fare airline plans to fly direct to Antigua and Barbuda and Brazil, a senior airline official said.

“The limiting factor for us is that we are prepared to keep investing in Guyana but fuel prices is a major issue here… Guyana is one of the most expensive places in the Caribbean to purchase fuel which makes flights more expensive,” REDjet’s Business Development Manager and co-founder, Robbie Burns told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com ).

The airline plans to take advantage of the large populations of Brazilians in Guyana and Guyanese in Antigua and Barbuda to make those routes profitable.  

He said the airline has already applied for a license to fly direct from Antigua and Barbuda beginning January 2012 from and is awaiting a response from Guyanese authorities.

Burns said the journey time from Guyana to Antigua to Guyana would be reduced by half to two hours and the fare would be 60 to 70 percent cheaper.

The airline, he said, has also opened talks with the Brazilian embassy here, exploring the possibility of flying non-stop from Guyana to Boa Vista. Currently, it costs US$45 from Guyana to Boa Vista on an eight-hour bus journey.

“We’re thrilled with the response in Guyana and we are happy to reaffirm our commitment by introducing more services and making additional investments into providing more routes and more flights to Guyana,” said Burns.

But the REDjet official said the airline has decided to avoid much of its fuel in Guyana as much as possible because of the high cost of jet fuel. He observed that the price varies from US$3.30 per gallon compared to more than US$5.00 in Guyana.

“It’s a substantial cost and would make a lot of routes unviable and uneconomical,’ he said.

Talks, he said, are being held with fuel suppliers and Aviation Minister, Robeson Benn to examine options to source fuel at lower prices. At the same time, he said the airline would not impose a fuel surcharge on tickets but could possibly raise baggage-fees when the global fuel price soars again.  The decades-old regional airline, LIAT (1974) Limited, has recently begun demanding a fuel surcharge.

Boasting  a 96.5 percent on-time performance, the REDjet official said 72  passengers had been recently left behind because they gave wrong email addresses or did not answer their mobile or landline phones to be told of changes. However, those passengers were booked on other flights or on other carriers. Only passengers who arrive within the stipulated check-in period are allowed to board. “We do make every effort to contact passengers and we take it very seriously but sometimes for whatever reason, people aren’t reachable.”

REDjet, flying five times weekly to Barbados, would September 12 begin going to Trinidad four times weekly and daily before Christmas. “They have been sapping up extremely quickly and we see that route is going to be an excellent route,” said Burns.

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Comments

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 08/11/2012 at 11:46 am

    The Caricom group of countries have failed to support the Redjet Initiative as a collateral air transport because they are thinking of cometitiveness of the airline business and not about the great need to augment the air srevices of the region.
    Mr Burns is a visionary from the UK and has a plan for the use of the Redjet Services in the caribbean. Just as Liat works around the clock moving hundreds of people around the region so too Redjet low fares would encourage mobility within the region. The caricom leadres are too steep on their own problems to help a another airline that has the makings of a success. There is also the talk of a regional Water Taxi system and so the talks go on in Caricom but the people of the region are denied goods and srevices. What a shame on the Caricom Countries for not supporting the vision of another airline in the Region. This airline started and as a pilot run in two months it achieved its objectives but Caricom turned a deaf ears on the pleas of Mr burns! We need to encourage more entrepreneurs as Mr. Burns in the region of Caricom if we are to make progress in the 21st Century.

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