As the entire region waits to hear when REDjet airline will get off the ground with its promised US $9.99 fares, Antigua-based LIAT seems not to be expecting it to stay very long in the air when it eventually takes off.
“People who come into this region and think that they will run an airline successfully using jet planes for less than you charge for a hot dog on some of the other carriers are really not serious unless they’re not telling us the whole truth,” LIAT Chairman Dr Jean Holder said, even as he acknowledged that his airline’s fares were high.
Speaking to journalists following a LIAT shareholder meeting in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Holder said people who think they can offer cheap products in the Caribbean “are just dreaming.
“LIAT could not charge under $10 per passenger and make it and nobody else can. So if anybody comes into the region – I’m calling no names – and say they can run an airline at under US $10 per person, well ask them to sell you the London Bridge as well,” the airline chairman said.
REDjet, which officially launched late last year with the hope of starting flights in December, is being held up by officials in Barbados where it is based.
In a post on the airline’s Facebook page on Thursday, co-founder Robbie Burns said the carrier is eager to take to the skies but it’s playing the waiting game.
“I know lots of people are dying to get their hands on low fares and are frustrated. Believe me, the whole airline is ready and waiting. We are working well with the ministry here in Barbados to give us our final clearance to start selling fares, but we don’t know how long this will be,” he wrote.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)