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Bajan govt moves to put REDjet back in air

A senior Barbados government minister has said efforts are being made to have low-fares carrier REDjet resume operations within a two-month period.

Transport Minister Devant Maharaj on March 30 announced that the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority revoked the licence granted to the Barbados-based carrier which last month suspended its services to a number of regional destinations.

But Barbados' International Transport Minister George Hutson told the Barbados Nation newspaper on Monday that the country is examining new strategies to get the airline back into the air.

"We are working on a solution...to give the airline a provisional licence under the act if they can have the airline up and running in 60 days," Hutson said.

He said, "The licence will also be valid for a year," and that the Barbados government is being cautious since it would not want to be seen as making "a big injection into REDjet without knowing what is likely to happen down the line".

Billed as a low-cost, no-frills carrier initially offering fares as low as US$9.99, the privately-owned REDjet airline did not give specific reasons for the shutdown last month, but suggested that it was expecting state assistance to continue operations and blamed "subsidised" competitors for its troubles.

A voice message on REDjet chairman Ian Burns's phone yesterday indicated that he was travelling and could be reached by e-mail.

He did not immediately respond yesterday to an e-mail enquiry about REDjet's future.

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