New regional airline REDjet yesterday announced the indefinite cancellation of all its flights to and from Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados, citing aircraft hydraulic problems.
The decision, which REDjet says is to ensure safety, has affected over 600 passengers.
In a release issued yesterday afternoon, REDjet’s Chief Operations Officer, Kevin Dudley explained that the airline is working with manufacturer Boeing to have the problem rectified in the shortest possible time.
“In the interest of passenger and crew safety, we have decided to cancel our service for now but are optimistic that our engineers, who have been working around the clock, will ensure that we are up and running as soon as possible,” he said.
According to the airline, approximately 132 passengers were affected by the cancellations since Wednesday this week and another 488 persons were affected by the situation yesterday.
REDjet noted that it issued affected passengers refunds on their tickets booked, while some passengers preferred to remain on standby with the airline until the resumption of the airline’s service. According to the release, Dudley confirmed that the airline’s call centres were contacting all passengers booked on the affected flights.
The airline operates two McDonnel Douglas (MD) 82-type aircrafts, which were once operated by Delta Airlines for its regional operations in North America.
Billed as the Caribbean’s first low cost airline, REDjet entered the regional airline industry with a well-trumpeted plan to end the “war on high air fares.”
The airline however, faced several teething problems, including back and forth issues with the governments of Barbados and Jamaica to grant it an Air Operators Certificate to operate into those countries from its base at the Grantley Adams International airport in Barbados.
The Trinidadian authorities recently expressed safety concerns over the company’s aircraft.
After extensive reviews of its operational plans, the authorities in the countries recently granted the airline permission to operate there and REDJet recently announced the operation of flights between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago starting next month.
The airline is in discussions with the governments of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica to operate into those countries.
The airline issued apologies to affected passengers as a result of the delays and cancellations. For further information passengers are asked to call the local office on telephone number 662-3000.