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Redjet founder dies at 58

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Ian Burns, the founder of Redjet, the airline that was the flag carrier of Barbados, has died.

He died in his native Ireland on Wednesday.

Burns, 58, died from a massive heart attack.

Barbadian businessman Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams said on Thursday that Burns probably died of a broken heart due to the failure of the low cost carrier.

Burns founded Redjet in 2010 with one-way fares as low as US$9.99 across regional destinations.

The airline started operating from Barbados to Trinidad in July 2011 and offered flights to nine destinations around the Caribbean.

Though widely popular among Caribbean commuters, the airline never got the institutional support sought from regional governments, Williams said. It ran into financial problems and collapsed in 2012.

“The man came to Barbados. He tried to set up a regional airline. He was frustrated non-stop by technocrats, here and in the other islands,” contended Williams, an investor who said he lost millions in the venture.

“And I guess he died of a broken heart. His heart failed him, and having to go back to Ireland to face all the people who invested in his project would have been a tough time for him. He was not a guy who was trivial with people’s money,” Williams said. 

—CMC

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