Barbados and Trinidad “at Loggerheads” Over Red Jet
Two can play that game. That’s the simple message the Government of Barbados is sending to Trinidad and Tobago and the Kamla Persad Bissessar administration as Trinidad continues to block new carrier Red Jet from operating there.
A row may be brewing between the two CARICOM states with both of them holding firm to their positions. Trinidad has continuously denied Red Jet’s application to operate in that market, Jamaica has done the same. But the Barbadian government has its eyes more trained on Trinidad since it believes the move by Trinidad may be a deliberate one. The issue came up for a heated discussion at the just concluded CAICOM meeting in St Kitts, and Prime Minister of Barbados Fruendel Stuart said he cannot understand the Trinidad government’s position.
Barbados owns a 51% stake in Red Jet and so far Guyana is the only country that has given approval for the airline’s operations. The other 2, Jamaica and Trinidad have both said no. And Barbados is worried and the government incensed especially with all the investment that has been thrown behind the low cost carrier.
Since the launch of its operations over a month ago, the airline has not hidden its displeasure with the shut out treatment by the two CARICOM states. Ironically Guyana which has had one of the most testy relationships with Barbados for decades over the treatment of Guyanese nationals at the Bajan airport welcomed the Barbados based airline to these shores without a fuss and with lots of fanfare.
The Jamaican government has said it will not be dragged into a tit for tat over its position not to allow the carrier to operate there at this time, with the Jamaican prime minister saying that it appears as though Barbados wants to force the carrier down his government’s throat.
Trinidad has been constantly asking for additional documents. Both Trinidad and Jamaica have more interest in Caribbean Airlines and that carrier staying high in the air.