If Differently Abled Barbadians love REDjet – shouldn’t Freundel Stuart & George Hutson stop being so Anal?

It is said when the iconic & enfant terrible Orson Welles (later Master Cinematographer with antiRandolph Hearst classicCitizen Kane,” a case of journalism gone wrong) did the dramatic and epochal presentation of H.G. Wells’ “War Of The Worlds” in the late 30’s that one of the listeners (radio was Internet those days, still in relative Infancy at that point) got up from their wheelchair and ran from their house – but then this claim was made by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

Terry Fox from Canada raised funds by essentially jogging on 1 leg across USA’s neighbour; Christopher Reeve proved he was more of a Superman in real life than Cinema after a horse fall left him a Quadriplegic and Thomas Edison along with Ludwig Von Beethoven were deaf people who accomplished much in their day – where does Barbados fit in?

REDjet was looking for 600 people at 9:00 am and found close to 800 people by 6:45 am - has LIAT or BWEE ever shown customer appreciation like this?

Earlier this week, the Caribbean’s Low Fares Carrier – REDjet – had a promotion where they had a thank you drive for supporting the airline simply by showing up on Pebbles Beach in Aquatic Road, St Michael and wearing red – successful participants could earn a Round Trip, Single Flight or a $50 USD voucher off their next trip with REDjet depending on what stage of the promotion they arrived. It was to begin from 9:00 am, but people were waiting from 6:30 that morning for a chance – even folks who were supposed to be at work (These idiots quarrelled with me for snapping pic’s but I told them I know the laws of Barbados regarding photography in a public place, and if they’re so concerned, then they should be at work and not slacking off)!

Showing a determination worthy of Christopher Reeve, Janelle Springer endured bright sun and gravelly pths to get a chance at a REDjet coupon... Wake up Freundel and put some shrimp on the Barbie for Georgie, ok?

One lady who was not shy and in her company uniform which bore red in its logo (apart from her red hairstyle) was Janelle Skinner, the sole paraplegic employed by DaCosta Manning’s! Now that is determination, we asked her what led to DaCosta Manning’s utilising her services? {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

She revealed her condition was the result of an accident while on vacation in New York in 2000, but 2 years later she earned a post at the Barbados Shipping & Trading subsidiary.

Ms Skinner’s Role is no small duty like answering phones or shunting mail into cubby-holes {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

She explained her initial role is Customer Service with an adjunct into Market Analysis making sure their prices remain competitive with everyone else.

My contention is this, having travelled on REDjet quite few times both as a Consumer and as Media and seeing more than one “differently abled” passenger fly with the Low Fares Carrier, surely the Freundel Stuart administration realises the monumental goof in not allowing the carrier to complete its flight plans with St Maarten and St Lucia? Basseterre is also awaiting the Low Fares airline with runways wide open, but Barbados is now adopting the very protectionist stance it objected to with Trinidad & Jamaica over CAL and Jack “FIFA” Warner!

Ian Burns made it his business to quote from a letter prepared by George Hutson's trawler, uh, Ministry which was signed by a person whose name is equally familar in regional airways...

If physically challenged passengers will go all out to support REDjet then why is Barbados being what seems akin to a Nazi? Bridgetown as it is does not have proper ramp facilities for Wheelchair access (Much like the time when NUPW’s Headquarters which were to be the hub for a Disabled conference and not even an elevator for a person with crutches?) and doe not even enforce Handicapped Parking? I am not sure who is more uptight – either Freundel Stuart or Seafood Minister George Hutson, I am sure if either sat on a puddle, their pants would not get wet as it would get sucked up before the water’s  surface tension had time to collapse! That is Anal Retentive at its worst/best?

(CLICK FOR BIGGER & READ CAREFULLY) Whose name among the Board of directors do you recognise as very similar to a signatory to correspondence sent to REDjet? This is not shrimp science here - sorry, Georgie and Gabbie...

Hutson made claims (In spite of his colleague Richard Sealy‘s open and ardent support of REDjet) that he is unaware they wished to ply smaller routes and only seek Big Ticket destinations, one has to wonder how many Clorox wipes he used to remove albumen from his face when Ian Burns, REDjet’s CEO, quoted from a letter of April 2010? {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

CEO of REDjet cites letter from International Transport Ministry which was signed by Gabrielle Springer not only acknowledging the carrier but expressing terms and conditions of being a Designated Barbados carrier (When Mrs Springer is not Perm. Scty {Ag} at that Ministry, what does she do? Is she a director or anything so? Just Asking…)

Please take your time and explore the links in the above paragraph, it should answer most of everyone’s concerns… Since it appears to be a Caricom issue, we asked Mr Burns would it go before the Caribbean Court of Justice (Where TT is not a signatory yet host to the august judicial residence), the father of the inventor of REDjet appeared reluctant to execute such a drastic recourse while realising it is a breach of CARICOM {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Mr Burns sees the Castries impasse with Barbados as a clear violation of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, however, seeking the CCJ to settle the matter is  only if cooler heads cannot prevail.

Robbie Burns at far Rt, with Nyssa Pierre (Comm's Expert) 2nd from Rt and two REDjet staff having a ball at pebbles Beach earlier this week

Likewise, Robbie Burns, Business Development for REDjet and the actual inspiration of the carrier thinks the CCJ route is far too dramatic {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Robbie sees the Caribbean’s Low fares carrier’s role as taking up slack where CAL no longer operates and to assist smaller island-hopping carriers.

Meanwhile – Ian Burns does not want CAL to collapse only to enable a significant portion of the West Indies to be able to travel like they used to {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

85 to 90 per cent of the Caribbean do not move between the islands now, Ian Burns asserts, if he can only assist at least 10% of that market to do at least 50% more travel than they ever did in their life then not only REDjet is a success but Ian would be a very happy man for doing his part towards regional integration.

Meanwhile, Robbie is elated at the level of forward bookings for Jamaica, he told Bajan Reporter it exceeded original projections {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

The reservations despite a deliberate soft opening without advertising are 17% ahead of original planned objectives.

Robbie also indicated even though REDjet does intend to expand its routes and craft, there are no intentions to aletr their business plan to achieve that target {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

This means for the time being REDjet will continue to use MD-80’s as the crux of their fleet as they are a jet organisation and not a turbo prop institute – this does not mean they may use a different style of jet in future, merely there is no intent to alter their gameplan as it is at the moment.

REDjet would also like to head for Panama in Christmastime this year, the goal may yet reach reality as Panama and Barbados conclude further talks on aerial treaties according to BGIS the Government Information Service;-

Barbados’ Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, held extensive talks with the Chief Executive Officer of COPA Airlines, Pedro Heilbron, this week in Panama.

When he emerged from the near hour-long discussions, which included the Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, and other top Barbados Government officials, all a tightlipped Minister Sealy would say is: “We had a very encouraging meeting with the CEO of COPA Airlines.”

In an earlier interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, he said he “would love to see that [COPA] flight in the air as soon as possible”.

He added: “It would be wonderful if during the course of 2012, the latest being early 2013, we could have that direct flight.” A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in July this year between the Governments of Barbados and Panama to assist in facilitating air links.

Mr. Sealy expressed the view that the mission to Panama this week would assist the tourism industry. “The traditional tourism markets alone cannot do it. It would be a gross dereliction of my responsibility for the Tourism portfolio if I simply was to plan the next 50 years of Barbados’ tourism industry on arrivals from only the UK, Canada and the US.

I am not saying that we do not want to get more business from North America and Europe, we do. But, every other serious tourism destination in the world … is looking for the non-traditional source markets and they are doing well,” he underscored.

{FILE IMAGE - TRINIDAD DEBUT} Tourism Minister Richard Sealy's support of the Caribbean's Low Fares Carrier is well known, yet message did not reach George Hutson, maybe if it was Prawn flavoured? Are they in the same Government or even Cabinet? Do they talk? Why conflicting signals?

He pointed out that tourism officials were now seeing the emergence of a consuming class in parts of Asia and Latin America who wanted to enjoy the finer things, including a tropical island vacation, and therefore our tourism product must be offered to them.

He said Brazil had its challenges, but stressed it was encouraging to see arrivals from that destination up over the first year of operation. “And, that tells me that we can sell our product in this part of the world and we have to do it. They are emerging, they are growing… and Latin America is where we have to be from a tourism point of view.

It is going to take time, there are language issues, there are cultural issues, but the whole point of maturing as a destination, maturing as a people, is to be able to accept these cultural differences and to still tailor the Bajan hospitality to make your tourism offering that more international. We have to do it or we will be left behind,” Mr. Sealy maintained. {DATA COURTESY: SA/BGIS}

After a successful mission scoring vouchers, these fans of REDjet took a break before heading back to their regular duties

If COPA is approved then surely REDjet is also privy to as a former PM once said, “RECIPROCITY,” but then it also follows of REDjet can fly to Panama then in turn it has to be allowed to ly to St Lucia too as there is an agreement between Castries and the South American territory…

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