REDjet has brought to the Caribbean a business model which has left its competitors which include some governments in the region in envy following its disclosure that it will be offering fares beginning as low as US$9.99 between four territories initially. Territories which will be serviced by the carrier in its first instance include Barbados, Trindad, Guyana and Jamaica.
Is this a plot by the REDjet airline to destroy its competitors, as it will be impossible to compete as such low fares? REDjet could not possibly operate at such low fares for any long period, unless its investors were willing to sustain losses until its competitors were to go belly-up, and then later reap profits as it saw fit, but is this the case with REDjet?
Flights on the low-cost carrier starting at US$9.99 are expected to be the cost of the seat alone, and passengers are expected to be hit by other surcharges, which will see to it that the airline makes a profit. REDjet has borrowed its business model from airline operators operating under Ryanair and Easyjet.
The companies in Europe have been expanding rapidly and have been surviving because of surcharges they charge along with the initial quoted cost of the flight, which has fuelled many complaints. The European Union (EU) has considered bringing in a 'one flight, one price' rule for such airline companies, because there might be significant surcharges on top the advertised flight.
Some of these surcharges on Easyjet and Ryanair, include a charge extra for checking in baggage, paying with a credit or debit card, and booking seats. The complaint is being pursued by Labour MEP Brian Simpson, who is chairman of the EU transport committee, and consumer watchdog.
"Flyers are being ripped off by an endless list of charges that airlines add to the prices they advertise. I am calling for the European Commission to look at how passengers are being misled and how it can force airlines to be more transparent in showing holidaymakers exactly what they're buying," said Mr Simpson.
REDjet which also follows this European model will also make some similar surcharges on REDjetters (those flying REDjet) in order to make viable sense, but will this practice be unfair to passengers who would have been quoted a low-fare in the first instance , to later find that they will be pulling from their pockets for much more than they had expected?
Despite the surcharges a flight on Redjet will be cheaper than the cost of its competitors if one spends wisely.