“I don’t think governments in the region would want to do that,” Theophilius told reporters.
REDjet, which began operations to several Caribbean destinations over a year ago, has announced that it had cancelled all of its flights and was advising passengers holding valid tickets for future travel that they remain valid.
In a statement posted on the airline’s website, the carrier said “affected passengers will be offered refunds or the option to travel with REDjet upon commencement of services”.
It said that the refund procedure could take up to three weeks and that it has made alternative arrangements with “fellow regional carrier, LIAT for the provision of discounted fares for affected passengers”.
The privately owned airline, which offered commuters airfares as low as US$9.99, did not give specific reasons for the suspension of its services but suggested that it was expecting “state assistance” to continue operations and blamed “subsidised” competitors for its troubles.
But Theophilius said the support given to the Antigua-based regional airline, LIAT, had been based on its long years of service to the region even though the airline has been calling for a level playing field in order to operate profitably.
““But at the end of the day we are going to look at the entire thing to see what is in the best interest of St. Lucia and the region,” Theophilius said, adding that if the new Kenny Anthony administration decides on investing in the regional aviation sector it would be done through LIAT “and that is where our allegiance should lie…”.