Dominican Republic Airline Expands to Jamaica
The region’s newest airline, Arajet, will take to the skies with direct flights between Santo Domingo and Kingston as of Monday, reducing airfare from an average US$800 to US$252 round-trip and travel time from more than 20 hours (via Miami) to under two hours.
Welcoming the service, Minister Bartlett described it as “a real milestone achievement of air connectivity,” adding, “the importance of this is the fulfilment of the hope of what true multi-destination tourism is all about. It’s a dream that we have had.” He was speaking today at a press briefing at the offices of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in New Kingston,
He singled out founder and chief executive officer of Arajet, Victor Pacheco, for enabling the linkage with Jamaica and other Caribbean islands with an affordable and timely air service. Mention was also made of the roles played by a number of government ministers and other interests in fulfilment of the new air service.
“The decision to enable improved connectivity between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica is part of a broader and wider strategy of integrating the Caribbean more and also of creating backward connections between Central America and South America. We have been working at bedding that market for the last 15 years,” said Minister Bartlett as he named other airlines that have been engaged in discussions.
The Caribbean dream is shared by Mr. Pacheco and the Dominican Republic’s Ambassador to Jamaica, H.E. Angie Martinez.
Speaking on the Zoom platform from his office in the Dominican Republic, Mr. Pacheco said Minister Bartlett’s vision of a multi-destination framework was correct and urged him to continue promoting this concept “because this is the only way that we can truly democratize air travel.” He also stated that “I like the Minister’s vision so much, I might explore setting up a base there.”
He said he believed the service being offered by his company “will be very important for tourism growth, commercial growth and also to support entrepreneurs in the new age that the world is living in. He said Arajet was the first company in Latin America to be launching an airline with the new, most technologically advanced 737 MAX airplanes with 40% less pollution, more fuel efficiency and significantly reduced emissions of carbon monoxide.
The airline plans to launch 54 routes out of Santo Domingo and while starting in Jamaica with twice weekly flights to Kingston, Montego Bay will be added subsequently. “In the next 30 years, we’ll be in the middle of the biggest air traffic growth that the world has seen and we need to take advantage of it,” he argued.
Ambassador Martinez termed the new air service as “truly a game-changer in our bilateral relations with Jamaica.” She said the connection between both countries was both a necessity and a dream come true.
She believed the cheap airfare and significantly reduced travel time will result in an uptick in visitors moving between both countries, which share similar cultures.
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