REDjet Sabotaged By Caricom: The Big Two Jamaica And Trinidad

Two events occurred in the news this week which confirmed to BU that Caricom is in a coma. A mini-Caricom summit held in Guyana saw four heads absent, Prime Minister of Trinidad among them. In the obligatory end of summit communiqué which nobody reads except Rickey Singh, the heads advised the world implementation of a common currency would be further delayed until a review of the Guyana-based Caricom Secretariat. Have to admit the decision was a surprise, in fact the Caribbean is still in shock!

The other happening was REDjet’s decision to cancel plans to fly the Trinidad and Jamaica air routes. It is no secret both Jamaica and Trinidad have frustrated REDjet’s application to operate its low-cost airline between Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica. Barbados and Guyana gave the all clear to REDjet about a month ago.

One of the hindrances to movement of people in the region, whether for leisure or business, is the prohibitive cost of air travel. One would have thought our leaders in Caricom would have welcomed the opportunity to clear the hurdles for REDjet and others whose objective is to provide an affordable transportation service.   Instead we have the ridiculous situation of the Trinidad and Jamaica governments tag teaming REDjet and as they say the rest is history. Coincidentally the merger agreement between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines after considerable delay was inked yesterday (26 May 2011).

It was not too long ago UWI lecturers Tennyson Joseph and Norman Girvan blamed the late Prime Minister David Thompson for the lack of progress in Caricom. Who are they blaming now? Why is regionalist Peter Wickham silent on this matter? They are all pushing regional integration but we have the leaders from the Big Two in Caricom constructively blocking competition which has the effect of making it expensive for people to move around the region. The hypocrisy has ben truly exposed.

164 thoughts on “REDjet Sabotaged By Caricom: The Big Two Jamaica And Trinidad

  1. This inept Barbados government did not help REDjet’s situation when they kept them waiting for over 10 months to get the necessary licence.

  2. This REDjet matter with T&T and Jamaica siding with each other against Barbados is laughable, or maybe it is not. It might be because of what was said by Lord Palmerston, that countries do not have permanent friends, only permanent interests.

    Once it was Jamaica and Barbados who were in cahoots, lambasting the rest of Islands. Bajans in Jamaica were loved to death, marrying each other, lovey dovey and kissing up to each other, wining and dining regularly at UWI and other places.

    Jamaicans and Guyanese and perhaps people from Antigua also got on well. Now, it is the Bajans and the Guyanese who are quickly befriending each other, forget the bench at Grantley Adams Airport that the Bajans keep for Guyanese visitors, after poking their fingers in royal places too lewd to mention here. The Jamaicans should know that it was not Shanique Myrie alone or the the first to be raped (they are acting like they alone have suffered at the hands of the Bajans).

    But, now Kamla after being challenged by the Jamaicans for her comments extolling T&T generosity to the region, she dropped her arrogance and Bruce and she have become best friends and their people now teaming up against Bajan’s interests in this REDjet and pork rind market.

    llashback: Once Argentinians used to think of themselves as superior to their South American neighbors, seeing themselves as Europeans. Then the 1982 war with Britain came and Europe sided with Britain against Argentina. It was the first time that the Argis realized that they needed friendly neighbors and should not set themselves apart as being better than others.

    Politics do have some strange bed-fellows indeed — Barbados+Guyana= Jamaica+Trinidad. What a world! It would laughable were it not a matter to weep over!

  3. @Prodigal Son

    It took 10 months to get approval because the Civil Aviation Department is under resourced. Back in times of plenty we should have better positioned that unit and acquire CAT 1 designation.

  4. When Trinidad gives approval, Jamaica’s approval will follow – Trinidad is the senior partner in that alliance and has taken the lead – much like the USA sets the tone for its allies.

  5. @Headman John Crow | May 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM |

    You are only here to stir up trouble, why don’t you use that stuff between your ears constructively? If the world was to concentrate on the atrocities that Jamaicans have done to each other in Jamaica and elsewhere we would run out of space. Time is the only healer so either give constructive thought to this forum or take some time off until you heal. You sound very bitter and hurt.

  6. Minister Jones, is it now prudent to suspend JW, as head of the regional football association, pending the outcome of the FIFA investigation?

  7. @Alien even when and if permission is granted to fly to Trinidad and Jamaica, Red jet will be under scrutiny and will be targeted for any minor infractions in an attempt to further sabotage them.

    We are now seeing the true colours of the Caribbean…..I wonder how long will Jack the briber will remain in the present government after all these accusations. At this moment internationally he has become the face of Trinidad and Tobago and it is not a good looking one to boot.

  8. @islandgal246

    Warner leave the T&T government? What?! Corruption is so endemic they are still wondering what the fuss is about.

    @Headman John Crow
    How succinctly and accurately you have summarised the situation!


  9. @ Islandgal
    As I plan to not discuss this matter any further and, frankly, because I respect Islandgal — she has always been funny, thoughtful and somewhat reasonable — I must say that, yes, Jamaicans have their problem; but they are ours, Bajans’ . Your people cannot have it both ways: Since they are better than others — a distinction that I am ready to accord them –and Yardies are inferior, why do they want to contaminate themselves with us!

    In regional affairs, and I am not trying to start up things, IG, it is your folks who are the bullies. Consider it is our girls who are being raped in your country, by your government officials; It is Sir Hilary who compared Chris Gayle to Dudus; it is our people who are having fingers and other object gleefully invading body cavities; among a host of other atrocities. On the contrary, in Jamaica Bajans freely mix in with Yardies, no one even think of where they came from. Ask your former PM Owen Arthur who used to live here and is still greatly respected here; ask the tons of others who work here, in nursing, mining, education, students etc; or those who are married to J’cans and live as Commonwealth citizens here, voting and the like. No one bothers them, non think that they are different from us.

    We have other more important things to do than to act un-neighborly toward a fellow Caribbean citizen, or,as the we here, the “cousins”. Frankly, we even liked Bajans, poking fun at their accents occasionally as they do at our patios for fun. Ask one Bajan if a Jamaican had ever treated her unfairly here! That is more than Shanique Myrie and hundreds more of my people can say about your people.

    So I am angry; Jamaicans are now angry too; and most of us do not want to have anything to do with Bajans. At the same time, we’d never mistreat any of them, not even Maxine McClean or Harry Husbands, who, I acted to inhumanely after the rape of Myrie, dismissing her claim as a lie. Jamaicans will ever remain respectful of Mia and Owen who, without saying the matter occurred as stated, at least made sensible remarks thagt cooled the tension.

    So, yes, I am bitter, IG, very bitter. And that is why I will take up your offer and stay off writing in this medium — at least for a while. Walk good!

  10. David,

    “It took 10 months to get approval because the Civil Aviation Department is under resourced. Back in times of plenty we should have better positioned that unit and acquire CAT 1 designation.”

    I could tell you why it took so long but you said I always have stories. It is not only that the CAD is under resourced.

    • @Prodigal Son

      Now don’t get all thin-skinned.

      Is it true or not the government had to wait on resources to perform the REDjet due diligence which was not available in the Civil and Aviation Department locally?

  11. As pompous as Jack Warner is and the obnoxious way he has handled REDjet, I actually felt sorry to see a Caribbean man reduced to ground level and made to look like a real crook today on the BBC.

    To top it all off, it seems as though he is not going to go down by himself, he has leaked an email about how Quatar was awarded the bid, thus implicating Hammam and he seems to want to take down Blatter.

    Anyone who follows football would know that under ordinary circumstances, Quatar would never be awarded the World Cup and to the naked eye, one can only come to the conclusion that money had to pass hands. A country that has no football history, a strict muslim country and the time of the year the tournament would take place, temperatures would be over 100 degrees, it just did not make sense.

    Enuff, I too would like to know who of the BFA attended the May 10-11. Did they receive one of the envelopes?

  12. There is something about this Redjet process that bothers me and i am not quite ready yet to point the finger at T@T and Jamaica.

  13. There is something about this Redjet process that bothers me and i am not quite ready yet to point the finger at T@T and Jamaica.

    @ac . And be careful how you point a finger in Caricom Land.

  14. Head Man John Crow shares something in common with HRH Prince Philip ,the Queen’s husband. Prince Philip was a Stoker on a naval vessel during WW2.

  15. @Colonel Buggy
    I am no a stoker. I set no fire nor unhinged any Pandora Box. I am hurting though. My people are hurting too. Jamaicans are devastated and feel betrayed and scandalized. The Shanique Myrie case is too recent. And, if there is silence about it in Barbados, the noise has not settled about it here at all. Everything has now changed between us. The UWI games, the REDjet affair, and the cold distancing between our people are only few of the results. So, I am a realist, not a stoker. Nice try nonetheless. Walk good!

  16. @ Headman John Crow

    You got to be kidding, I have heard of instances where Barbadians have been disrepected in your country. You are paintng a utopia of Jamaaica.

    Until the kady can come to barbados and it can be established that the incident has occureed, then you and others should stop using the incidence to stoke fire. IT HAS ONLY BE PROVEN that there was only one incidence where mistreatmen had occured. You are giving the impression that we are so insular. WE must be nationalistic, that is what make people proud of their culture.

    There are a number of jamiacans living here and are happy to be here and are welcomed, There are a number involved in unsavoury behaviuour, further corrupting our society. Every coutryman should be pround of his country, but i wont sit here ande allow to pull town our institutions which we have built up and which are well respected, unlike in your coutry where life is meaningless and there are only the very rich and the very poor,, oh what an unjust society. Senseless murders are commiitted including innocent children. with reckless abandon.

    You are givinng the imprssiosn that your country men are so pure, yet there are senseless killings stoke by politcal stupidity and the drug culure. Based on population size, your county has one of the highest muder rate in the world. Why are most countries requesting that your countymen have visas before entering their country, including Commonwealt countries? Because your countrymen breach their laws with impunity, including drug peddling.

    Hilary analogy comparing Gayle’s attitude to a don was correct and he should not have apologized. I dont suscribe to disrepecting anybody, but the immigration officers have our lqws to uphold. We have to ensure that visitors do not abuse of immigration laws and that apply to all.

    Jamaica is so insular that it does not subscibe to the CCJ and hardly cares about CARICOM. A lot of you are envious of us because our instittuions function and are not as corrupt as yours. Dont you come preaching to us, any violation of a preson’s right will be investigation, that for the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries.

    So go wiled and deal and come again.

  17. @Headman John Crow

    I thought you promised me that you would take a break from here or the subject you keep pounding on. You have to realize that the world is not a perfect place and we all are not perfect people including us Bajans. Yes some of us can be accused of being arrogant and self centered and come over as know it all. But that is not all of us, please take a break and look at the bigger picture for the Caribbean. We are slowly disintegrating and soon we would be total strangers. The Red jet drama is just another nail to the disintegration process. At the moment all of us in the Caribbean are held ransomed to CAL and Liat and we want a solution. Red jet may have been that solution.

  18. … val-fly-ja

    REDjet not suing over delay in getting approval to fly to JA
    Mon. May 30, 2011

    So now we see the story behind the story:

    REDjet was blocked from setting up operations in Jamaica, because of the sale of the state-carrier Air Jamaica to Caribbean Airlines – the Jamaican Government didn’t want to jeopardize the sale by allowing a competing carrier to challenge or weaken the deal.

    Then REDjet was blocked from starting services to Jamaica, because of the agreement to sign completing the sale of Air Jamaica to Caribbean Airlines – the Jamaican Government wanted to ensure that Caribbean Airlines went through with the signing and didn’t jeopardize the sale by allowing a competing carrier to challenge by flying the exact routes (POS-KIN and BGI-KIN) that Caribbean Airlines wanted to fly.

    This begs the question:
    – What do we all expect to happen when REDjet applies for permission to base a few aircraft in Jamaica?
    – Who is pulling the strings within the Jamaican Government, as far as this “deal” is concerned?

  19. @Islandgal
    Because of my respect for you, Islandgal, I will keep silent this time.I apologize, for going back on my word. This is is so unlike me: I’ve always been a man of my word. Please forgive me, IG. Walk good.

  20. Strange what a difference a month makes only two months ago Barbadians were beating a nationalist drum about the need to protect their shores from hordes of Jamaican drug dealers/Drug mules/prostitutes /murderers bent on undermining Barbadian values. Sorry you cant have it both ways you cant want to ignore CARICOM on the Grounds of “security” then want to use it to force entry into our market.
    Jamaicans are also trying to figure out just what the implications of the merger are for the country and Jamaican travelers. The operations of Air Jamaica have never been transparent and what we do know is that billions of dollars of taxpayers money has been used to prop up the airline based on the argument that it is a vital support to the tourist industry. There is evidence that even after being privatized the GOJ was still subsidizing the operations of the airline. Our worry is that after being prostituted to the private sector , we are now being prostituted to the Trinidadians and I guess the Barbadians are waiting for their turn.
    But for what its worth if there is a need to protect a ”Jamaican” airline the focus would be on the most profitable routes. Which are the routes to North America ( Miami, New York) and Europe. Jamaica has at least two American Budget airlines operating on these routes. I doubt that Red Jet would be a serious concern.
    As to Barbadian politics we don’t know and we don’t care we have enough on our plates with the current group of jack asses who have conspired to make our country a laughing stock. I would strongly advise that you keep out of our politics. Most Jamaicans are of the opinion that our politicians are a slimy bunch and that tends to color our views of their regional colleagues, So when a Barbadian politician or official denies an incident the natural reaction is this Guy/Girl is a lying sack of crap.
    I will shed no tears for Red Jet or Bizzy or Buzzy or whatever his name is.

  21. @ David
    The Jamaican Authorites investigated and engaged their Haitain counterparts. There was not an instant denial.
    As to picking up the broken glass going away thats exactly what I am saying to you and Red Jet.

  22. Did Barbados receive a $40,000 handout from Jack Warner? Suriname admitted it did.
    Perhaps the Hon. Ronald Jones could shed some light on this .

  23. An inquiry from Headman John Crow:

    Who is the official Leader of the Opposition in the Barbados Parliament: Is it Mia Mottley or Owen Arthur? This is a simple inquiry there is no hidden agenda!

  24. Headman John Crow | June 2, 2011 at 11:04 PM |
    An inquiry from Headman John Crow:

    Who is the official Leader of the Opposition in the Barbados Parliament: Is it Mia Mottley or Owen Arthur? This is a simple inquiry there is no hidden agenda!

    No hidden agenda, but it is dressed in Disruptive Pattern Material.

  25. Islandgal or Chris Halsall:

    RE: inquiry, Can you please tell me. I have no idea what on earth is meant by Colonel Buggy’s answer.

  26. @C/Buggy
    Maybe there is something I am not getting. I do not know much, in fact very little about your country, having lived in the US for over forty years. What is this DPM stuff and the other mystical statements you’ve made? Let’s forget about it.

  27. @Colonel Buggy
    Reading a negative into my innocent question is the same as my saying that buggy is a derivative of bugger and that you are sending a message. Based on your logic, one might even think that you are using code words to disclose the buggery occupation itself. — a disclosure in which I have no interest.

    It might be wise, not to prejudge the motives of others since, as in this case, you are making a false interpretation which cannot be deciphered from anything I had posed in my question.

    For your information, I am engaged in comparative politics and simply wanted to know the correct answer requested for that purpose. You sound like a conspiracy theorist, a rebel without a cause. Learn to pick yours fights with more caution! Walk good.

  28. Sounds like you knew the answer all along
    Headman John Crow | May 28, 2011 at 8:54 PM |
    If and when there is a BLP government I would support RedJet’s coming to Jamaica. For, at least the BLP is not an echo-chamber for narrow nationalism like another party I know, but a party that is relevant to the region and its leadership — be that leader Mia or Owen — behaves in sync with the rest of CARICOM.

    • In seems there is a price war being played out in the media.

      Redjet claims to have 35% of the Barbados/Guyana traffic and is advertising in today’s press $290.96 return incl taxes/ LIAT roundtrip $523.60

      LIAT in the same paper, USD93.00 one way excl tax!

    • @anthony

      The strategy by REDjet seems to be to run LIAT off the Guyana route to make a point.

  29. yes it has david. hopeful they get permission so consumer have choice to trinidad and jamaica. liat lower fares with taxes and are about 440-490 Bds depending on the day travelling.

  30. Well that is the lowest fare david they do have fares higher and even surpassing liat prices. They stated that have around 60-80% occupancy. So given the block hour rate of about 4-5K us per hour they should be making some profit given the lowest fare + baggage cost. With incremental increase in ticket prices they should definitely
    making a profit. though the planes just sitting around most of the time will of course be negative overhead even with the profit from the flights.

  31. @David

    Didnt you expect a price war?

    LIAT will hope to drive Redjet out of the market before it grows root, that what all establishe players in the market do, and dont you think that cal is hoping that liat’s strategy succeeds?

  32. Read all about it.

    People in Barbados layed off from Redjet because TT and Jamaica wouldn’t let it fly. Now tell me how much unity we are really building? Can’t fool me…

    You think it would be a light matter in Trinidad or Jamaica if we Bajans were to do the same to them. I know there would be backlash.

    This isn’t right!

    How come the Barbados government not saying anything about this. That too isn’t right.

  33. Pingback: REDjet Seeing RED! |

  34. my fellow CARICOM citizens especially Bajans,you all fail to realise that T&T has adopted the mentality of the USA.Not too much a fan of T&T but i do admire their way of thinking and buisness stratergies which you guys should learn from.Some might say that the trinis have an advantage because of their oil money but that is not quite true because you may have natural resourses but dont know how to manage it for example Guyana,so Bajans you are not the only one’s with well educated people.My message to you is that have no doubt T&T leaders will always put T&T and its citizens first no matter what.I would not be so eager to jump at the throats of the T&T and JA Governments concerning this Red Jet issue because their is that saying (its just too good to be true) we as Caribbean people must not be blinded by cheap air fares neither should we let it trump safety.The Red Jet issue has been resolved but remember CAL is owned by the Government of T&T which is the most powerful Government and country in CARICOM weather we like it or not,so the question is not if CAL can compete with Red Jet’s low airfare the question is can Red Jet compete with CAL’s subsidised fuel.If we all know T&T as well as we think,they will not just sweep this under the rug,they rather lower their prices and take a loss for years to put Red Jet out of buisness just to show their superiority…wicked country!!!!!

  35. Yankee trini
    It is ironic that T&T were complaining about the safety of Redjet but look what has happened, a CAL plane has crashed. I’m in no way happy about this but accidents can gappen anytime, so PLEASE don’t try to scare travellers from using REDjet when what can happen to them can still happen to you. Come out and tell the region, like you did with the Federation, that you are not interested any longer and would go it alone rather than trying to play big bully to the rest of the region.

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