(Jamaica Gleaner) Low-cost carrier REDjet, which offered airfares for as little as US$9.99 at start-up 10 months ago, has bumped up tariffs for the period leading up to and after Easter for passengers travelling to and from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.
The airline said it was offering what it described as a promotional sale with a base fare of US$39.99 for the period March 1 to April 30 for those routes.
Dubbed March Madness, the sale extends to the Barbados to Trinidad, Guyana and St Lucia routes, but with a base fare of US$4.99.
Nyssa Pierre, communications executive at REDjet, said the airline decided to put on the March sale because the US$9.99 fares were “always quickly purchased by early bird passengers.”
The airlines website says that prices can be up to and over US$99 if booking is done within two weeks of flight date or if there is strong demand and the lowest fare seats are sold out.
David Miller, executive director at the Fair Trading Commission, said flexibility was one of the features of airline pricing and they did not have to stick to prices previously advertised. “They are not bound to keep that price forever, he said. In the airline industry it allows them to price seats at US$9.99 and when those seats are finished they can price them upwards if they want,” Miller added.
Caribbean Airlines has not announced a sale for the period leading up to Easter, but has fares starting at US$79, basically doubling the REDjet base fare.
After tax is added and not considering any “extras” the total cost of the REDjet one-way promotional flight totals US$115.80. Extras include priority boarding (US$10), baggage (starting at US$10 for small luggage up to US$25 for larger ones), travel insurance ($9.40) and text message confirmation (US$1).
Caribbean Airline’s after tax total is US$154.01 and includes a mandatory travel insurance fee of US$18. There is no additional cost for baggage and the options of priority boarding or text message confirmation does not apply to that airline.
REDjet said the airline did “phenomenally well in the 10 months since we started in May 2011. In that time and in spite of significant delays, we have been able to expand our network to six routes.
We have had particular success on our Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados routes, with newer routes like Antigua showing significant gains. As a result of our profitability and success we acquired our third aircraft in December, currently in operation.”