Businessman Ralph Bizzy Williams has a simple word of advice for fellow businessman Robert Pitcher. Let sleeping dogs lie.
Pitcher had last Friday blasted the now defunct low cost carrier REDJet over refunds he was owed for two tickets he had bought from the airline shortly before it went under more than four years ago.
However, Williams, a former director of the airline, said no one should still be expecting a refund.
In fact, Williams, who was a major investor in the airline, said the company had to write off millions of dollars in losses after the airline struggled to get a foothold in the region.
“I lost thousand times more than anyone who bought tickets. I believed I was doing right, but it turned out that those who had the power to cooperate and embrace the project did not agree. Very sad. We all lost our money. I regret this, but that is all I can do at this time.
“The herculean effort that the man who founded the airline and the frustration he went through trying to get it going for the benefit of the people of the Caribbean eventually killed him. Don’t you think you could respect a fallen soldier who gave his life trying to get us affordable air travel and let sleeping dogs lie?” Williams said in an e-mail response to questions posed by Barbados TODAY.
The short-lived airline, which was founded by the late Ian Burns in 2010 and registered in Barbados, quickly became popular among residents because of its cheap fares.
Having struggled to get regional governments’ support, and running into financial difficulties, it collapsed in March 2012. Just over two years later, at the end of July 2014, Burns died from a massive heart attack in his
In his biting attack on the management of REDJet last Friday, Pitcher had claimed the airline had continued to sell tickets even after it had become clear it was going out of business.
“A bunch of criminals. You take poor people money the night before or the day before you know you closing and you still take the money and talk about credit that they will get paid. We never get paid. That is dead money. I bought two tickets going up to St Martin [and I] can’t get back the money. It dead,” the frequent traveller charged.
However, Williams said, “I do not believe anyone should still be expecting a refund from REDJet.
“Our company lost millions which we had to write off. We invested our money believing that the powers that be would embrace the idea of cheap air travel between Barbados and Florida on a Barbados registered airline. Sadly, this turned out not to be so,” the business magnate said.
“Grantley Adams International Airport never got category one status so REDJet could not fly to any US territory. Also there was unexpected resistance to the concept by the powers that be so route rights to other Caribbean territories took a very long time to obtain. While waiting for these route rights the airline was hemorrhaging money and eventually ran out of money,” Williams explained.