On Monday, November 21, REDJet, the Caribbean’s first budget carrier, landed at Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport.
With tickets priced as low as US$9.99 and increasing in increments of US$10 as seats are sold and departure dates approach, the airline could shake up air travel in the Caribbean.
Speaking at the launch, Ian Burns, REDJet’s chairman and chief executive officer tried to allay fears that the low cost carrier will draw passengers away from established airlines, like Caribbean Airlines and LIAT.
REDJet cites its single class of service, its one aircraft type and point-to-point service as among the factors that minimize cost and maximize efficiency. Passengers can purchase meals on board and pay for their bags at the airport.
REDJet had been eyeing the Jamaican market for four years, Burns said, but the country was in the throes of divesting its national carrier, Air Jamaica, and regarded the low cost carrier as a threat. Jamaican authorities however attribute the delay to concerns over safety.
In addition to Jamaica, REDJet offers service to Antigua, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago.