REDjet defends safety after ministers’ meeting

(Trinidad Express) Low-fares airline REDjet says the integrity of its safety has been “unfairly maligned”, following a meeting of transport ministers in Trinidad and Tobago.

REDjet said in a statement yesterday it wanted to put the record straight, adding that it acquired two (McDonnell Douglas) MD-82 aircraft which were operated and maintained by American Airlines and, prior to the acquisition of both aircraft, received an Export Certificate of Air Worthiness from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US.

Last week, Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner met with his Caribbean counterparts from Barbados and Jamaica to discuss approvals for REDJet to operate in Trinidad and Jamaica. Possible safety issues were raised at the meeting.

“This certificate confirms that the aircraft has been maintained to comply with the maintenance programmes approved by the FAA and operated by American Airlines. Since acquisition, each aircraft has been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and regulations of Barbados,” the airline said.

“Barbados’s regulations are based on the same International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards as used by the majority of countries in the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago. To question any issue the airworthiness or safety of these aircraft based on history is, therefore, to question the integrity of the FAA and American Airlines,” REDjet said.

It added, “All of REDjet’s pilots, cabin crew, and flight dispatch officers are fully trained, certified and hold valid licences. REDjet outsources its maintenance to fully certified maintenance providers not only in Barbados but also in the United Kingdom. REDjet also contracts a maintenance provider in Costa Rica that is fully certified by the FAA.”

REDjet said it flies to and from Barbados and Guyana, has been transporting the West Indies Cricket Board and participating teams of the relevant series to and from Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Trinidad and Tobago under a charter agreement.

“It is evident from the above that REDjet’s operations and aircraft have been subject to certification by Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica for many months, and much more so than any other airline,” the airline said. “REDjet can only therefore conclude that the continuance to raise these issues can only be politically motivated by protectionism.”

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