REDjet’s Demise + LIAT’s Haemorrhaging = Regional Transportation In Crisis

His Excellency Desi Bouterse, President of Suriname, Chairman of Caricom

Redjet as still not paid its staff .The last time they were paid was February 2012.They will not have any pilots if they come back,because most of the pilots are looking jobs.Also they still have not paid some of there pilots who had left from last year.


The notes to support this blog were done in December, 2011 and given the demise of REDjet have taken on relevance. Columnist and committed regionalist Sir Ronald Saunders wrote an article a few months ago which probed the current state of LIAT and anticipated what its failure would mean for the region. Over the years there has been the fixation with movement of people and not the concomitant interest in regional air travel and financial settlement to support trade. Implementing one of the three at the expense of the other will always be an exercise in futility for those who want a more integrated region..

LIAT over the years has become synonymous with problems. Sir Ronald’s article paints a gloomy picture for LIAT by making bold that LIAT will collapse if shareholder governments are not prepared to implement required changes in short order. Prime Minister of St. Vincent Ralph Gonzales, who is Caricom’s lead spokesman for transportation along with Barbados, the largest shareholder, have hinted the number of shareholders will be increasing by two. Has there been an update on this matter?

The inability of Caricom to effectively manage LIAT over the years is reflective of the lack of commitment by member states to see the importance of regional travel. Who are we fooling?  Regional integration has become a cliché peddled by regional politicians to look the part. How can Caricom achieve its aims if members are not of one accord regarding support for a regional transportation system?  or a Court system? or a Central Bank? or…

Yes the collapse of LIAT is a worry however of equal or greater concern has been the failure of the region to manage its obligations under the Revised Treaty of Chagauramus to facilitate an environment which supports prosperity for the Caricom region.  A recent example is the lack of leadership by Caricom to protect the region from pan-Caribbean companies like CLICO given the absence of a regulatory framework which straddles Caricom. In the case of regional transport and specifically LIAT, to create a common airspace to facilitate better economics for the players. The output from a more efficient regional framework for travel would translate to efficient mobility of people (labour) and goods. Why would our leaders want this to happen?

BU holds no brief for REDjet but all who witnessed its birth must admit it had a difficult delivery. While some of the blame must fall at the feet of REDjet investors, it must be stated that there is obviously a lack of a lucid regional air transport policy which resulted in ‘every turkey for he own craw’ approach which probably contributed to the failure of REDjet.

The unwillingness of the region to flex how we engage in obvious opportunities for functional cooperation is a reflection of a leadership married to ideologies at the expense of what is pragmatic.

0 thoughts on “REDjet’s Demise + LIAT’s Haemorrhaging = Regional Transportation In Crisis

  1. @David

    check out the various charges on an airline ticket and u will see why airfares are so high. it is costing me $834 for a flight of almost five hours, and i knew someone who paid over 900 to travel to guyana in february on cal .

    you need to get this problem solved with these things popping up making blogging difficult,

  2. HUHHHHHHHHHHh…..did you just jump out of bed and not looked at the subject matter…

    What the hell does FIFA/Football/Barbados ranking have to do with REDJET, LIAT or anything else….

    Am I missing something here…..

    By the way….take a look at who runs Barbados football, do you expect anything else??

  3. ok since the subject doesn’t matter, why is there ever anything of importance covered on CBC TV in the morning or at anytime for that matter?

    With so many problems and issues in Barbados one would think that important topics would be dealth with.

    I guest I could understand if CBC did not want tourists to know what shape we were in…..but bajans are also being kept in the dark!!!

    Whats going on with the hosts of the morning and midday shows and it seems that religion and religious folks have taken over CBC.

  4. Such is the state of things here Toomany Lawyers…we have a school of ostriches ( in here as well)…who see these things ..but know that nothing will be done by their leader FD….rather than elevate their BP any….” man frigg it….Owen will fix that when he takes gaurd “…… exhibit the adopted attitude by everyone nowadays..Yes David definitely a question of leadership and CBC Royale in a lame duck season.

  5. @David

    I may not be smartest guy around but I do know that if you can’t play football, cricket, tennis or any other sport……you’re not going to win,,,,I don’t care who your leader is!!

    ….and yes I do agree that leadership is a problem in Barbados and the Caribbean for that matter!

    It seems to me, the point could have been easily made within the same subject matter!

  6. When people turn to religion many times they have some serious problems they cannot deal with themselves, BUT when a country’s PM and the only TV station start quoting the bible means the SHITE pile is bigger than the roll of toilet paper!

  7. Things are running so amok EVERYWHERE here…..with revenue dwindling …yet a BIG FUNCTION (going on as we speak,up in two mile Hill LESC)…to honor DLP party members…. while they have sent the Tax man on a quest to ” draw blood from stone” BTW…some of these honourees are lawyers ??….More squandering and another feeding from the fatted calf for FAMILY FIRST.
    Nation News
    By Anesta Henry | Wed, April 11, 2012 – 12:08 AM

    Doctors and Lawyers yesterday shot back angrily at charges of tax dodging.
    Both the president of the Barbados Bar Association, Andrew Pilgrim, and the president of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), Dr Carlos Chase, described the charges as “ridiculous”.
    “Stupidness,” added Pilgrim.
    They were irked by the charges from recently retired Acting Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) Frank Forde that highly regarded professionals, including doctors and lawyers, grossly under-reported their income and failed to file tax returns.

    In a front page story in the DAILY NATION yesterday, Forde also said he was not happy with the level of enforcement by the IRD when it came to that category of workers.

    WEL WELL WELL who will they go after next ?

  8. i agree with Andrew Pilgrim, the Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) Frank Forde talked a roll of bull. the travel allowance that he said was given to Janitors and maids to supplement her wages was total utter rubbish. the persons who usually were entitled to travel allowance are people in his category and PS etc. NOT those at the bottom. I actually thought that he was high or something. those who got entertainment allowance again would be workers in the high end. he is one pathetic fool. i really cannot understand why he could stoop so low as to publish lies, unless all this time he never knew that janitors etc were not entitled to those allowances.

  9. @Chocolate

    Dot you think frank forde would know of what he speaketh. I support him and i know of what he speaketh and i have witnessed it with my two eyes. every catgory of person was benefitting. i know of a case where an accountant allowances were more than his base salary. Get real, when we have to touch people who we perceive as in the middle and the upper calss we want to protectt them,

    Further, his statment that some of lawyers and doctors are evading taxes is also true. He should know. There are some politicians who borrowed money from the student revolving loan scheme and would either not make payments on the laon or refuse to pay the interest. Some even use their positional power to haveh the interest written off.

    I have never received a receipt from my GP when i visit him for a checkup, howmany other people get one. do u think that he will report that income for which a receipt has not been issued.

    The poor and lower tmiddle calss has been bearing the brunt of taxation. While those in the higher echelons were using the available concessions to avoid paying income tax or reduce their liability.

  10. @Chocholate

    it is a pity that the income declare by some of these top notch lawyers cannot be made to the public.

  11. While we on the concept of receipts….when last you purchased a car part ?
    Should you be that bold to ask for a receipt from are told the price then has to be higher.
    Can anyone tell us why there was a need for a Citizen Induction Ceremony .why did we not make persons citizens of Barbados before ? Why was the need for this pomp and unnecessary expense in these hard times ?
    How can we justify these things when people are at wits ends…….it boggles

    • @Blogger2012, Zoe and robert

      There is a new feature which WordPress has turned on called ‘infinite scrolling’. It allows visitors to the blog to scroll down and down and down to read older blogs instead of clicking next and next and next. As you can see from the note below they are still working out the bugs, It is entirely outside of BU’s control unless we switch out to another blog theme. Let us be a little patient and thanks for your feedback.

      Howdy guys, thanks for the feedback.

      The initial usage stats from infinite scroll look really good — people are reading more posts which means they’re spending more time on your site. As you might guess, people are way more likely to just scroll down than they were to click the “next page” button — it’s faster and better. It’s the future of all web pages with more than one page of content.

      We’re still working out some bugs, and as some of you noted your footer widgets are temporarily inaccessible, and figuring out the best way to deal with that and other edge cases.

      A few people have asked if “everyone” is against this why we’re just not turning it off. Well, there’s a thread like this which seems overly negative for pretty much everything we launch. People don’t come to the forums to say they like something they usually come when they have a problem. That’s why we ask for feedback on the forums, to find the problems, not to gauge popularity. For that we’ve learned to look at stats, what people do versus what they say. This is better because it allows us to get feedback from millions of people in addition to the few thousand who frequent the forums. Both voices are important.

      Thanks for your patience, and as we fix these issues up we’ll continue rolling out infinite scrolling to the rest of the themes that work with it. Also thank you to the people on the thread who provided calm, rational feedback without attacks or hyperbole. The team is always here for you.

  12. Come now Blogger.2012….you are opening Pandora’s Box….don’t forget the axe swings both ways……majority of PM’s and MP’s are lawyers. How can you poster a man’s income anyway ?

  13. @ David

    Re TooManyLawyers comment about the football link. You suggest connecting the visible dots. So there really IS a man in the moon? I mean I know how you feel about cricket. But football? And perhaps TML is right – we might blame poor performance on the price of fish.

    • @robert

      We all have opinions to which we are entitled. No issues with the views of others at all.

  14. @Blogger2012 | April 11, 2012 at 6:44 PM |
    “I have never received a receipt from my GP when i visit him for a checkup, howmany other people get one. do u think that he will report that income for which a receipt has not been issued.”

    that’s ur fault and ur responsibility. if u realize a doctor has not issued u a receipt will u act like a coward and not ask for one? u are an adult act like one. i always ask for my receipt

  15. On tax returns…..@ Old Onions

    I thought there was one lawyer who aspires to political life presently under investigation for allegedly failing to file tax returns….is that the ‘tip of the iceberg’ or a case of ‘one swallow’? For anyone to suggest that anyone who suggests that anyone is failing to file tax returns or is otherwise guilty of tax evasion strikes me as itself ‘stupidness’ particularly when the last anyone is in business…though I suppose the distinction between ‘evasion’ and ‘avoidance’ is well understood.

  16. @smooth

    I want you to deal with the matter of tax evasion in barbados among those who should know better. i am quite aware that tax avoidance is legal, but not tax evasion. Who are the ones in barabdos that are collecting vat from barbadains and not paying to the crown, in most cases those who should know better.

    • It is well known doctors, lawyers, real estate developers et al try to avoid paying taxes. If one has to believe the protests of the lawyers and doctors or a retired civil servant who worked in the thick of things we all know who we will go with don’t we?

      @robert the layer who is not a candidate, it was stated it was a mistake was it not? Her brother who represented her threatened to sue as well?

  17. @ David

    I get most of my news from emails…you may be right. I know the person concerned said it was a mistake. And, yes, if I remember correctly there were threats of legal action. But then lawyers do that all the time, don’t they? I mean, I’ve even done it myself.

    What rather ‘got’ me in the report above is the fantasy that people don’t try to avoid paying taxes and wrapping that self-evident nonsense in words like ‘stupidness’. Rather than saying “If there is evidence that any member of the profession is breaking the law we would treat that matter very seriously’.

  18. @robert

    Agree with that it is ‘stupidness’ for the two presidents Messrs Pilgrim and Chase to speak in absolutes. An answer similar to what Pilgrim and his predecessors give when lawyers are accused of tieffin people money would have sufficed.

  19. A Feeeeerry A Feeeeerry
    All dat we want is a Feeeerry
    A Feeeeery A Feeeery
    A Ferry’s de best ting fuh weee

  20. islandgal246 couldn’t agree with you more about the ferry but of course that will not come and we know why. On the subject of people using a religious mantra in the hope they can borrow some dignity, isn’t it just a microcosm of abrogating responsibility to a mysterious “higher other” in order not to tackle the essential issues? Meanwhile those who quote scripture are usually acting disgracefully in both private and public life. I’m sure you and I could both come up with examples! I’m not denigrating those who really have religious conviction, good for them, we should not take that away from them but really! When fat cats call upon the Lord it’s time to examine their motives and put them up to scrutiny.

  21. @anyone
    Can anybody elaborate on the alleged January agreement between shareholders of redjet and the GoB which requires “activation” in order for Redjet to operate??

    Page 4, weekend nation “get certificate first”

    This was based on a letter to Trinidad…any whisper of such locally??

    Really observing now…

  22. @observing

    We are all observing. Unlike at the launch when Burns and Bizzy were blubbering to all and sundry there seems to be an enforced hush between the parties.

  23. I thought REDjet was a Barbadian Carrier? Why then did this country jump so quickly to suspend their licence, while other Caricom countries, who operate under the same air traffic regulations are keeping their doors wide open for a return of the airline? Barbados owes 49% of LIAT shares jet bajans don’t benefit from it, we pay the same airfare rates as countries who have no shares in the airline,yet we are talking about protecting LIAT.

    • @The Scout

      If you have been following the matter you would have read the position of the Barbados Aviation Authority. REDjet declared itself insolvent which then triggered ‘suspension’ of the license. It was a routine trigger in response the airline being unable to fly. Have you considered that this might have been a regulatory requirement? Because the airline is designated a carrier for Barbados what are you saying that if the airne has financial difficulty Barbados should fling open the doors to the treasury?

  24. David
    Antigua and Guyana and also under the same air traffic regulations as Barbados, yet they have not suspended REDjet’s license. We pumped 60 million dollars into Four SEasons and are hoping for returns, REDjet has shown that interregional travel will increase and there will be more spending power, therefore the returns will be immediate. Subsidies in REDjet will inturn cause an increase in revenue for Barbados. Right now we give subsidies to international internatinal ational airlines to fly tourists into Barbados and th

  25. Right now we are giving subsidies to international airlines who bring tourists here and many of them spend less than the regional travellers do

    • @The Scout

      Like you correctly pointed out in your first comment Barbados has a different responsibility given that REDjet has the designation as a national airline. There is also the consideration that aviation regulations in those countries maybe different.

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