Tourism July 2, 2023 | 12:10 pm

Dominican Republic and Cuba seal agreement to expand flights between the two countries

Santo Domingo.- José Marte Piantini, president of the Civil Aviation Board (JAC), and Armando Luis Daniel López, president of the Institute of Civil Aeronautics of Cuba (IACC), signed an agreement that will allow a greater flow of flights between the DR and Cuba.

The agreement was signed by Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila, Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Cuba, and Juan Carlos Salazar, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The document’s signing concludes the negotiations initiated through the Civil Aviation Board. It updates the agreement signed in Havana, Cuba, on December 9, 2005, with modifications to Article 3, which contains the provisions governing the designation and authorization of air operators between the two Caribbean territories.

At the beginning of the signing of the protocol, Marte Piantini indicated that the objective of updating the document signed 18 years ago was to increase the flow of passengers, commerce, connectivity, and, consequently, air transportation between the territories.

He added that “the signing of the agreement will generate benefits for air operators flying between Cuba and the Dominican Republic, two of the most important economies in the Caribbean, which now bring their commercial aviation relationship closer together.”

The JAC president stressed that the new document updates the commercial aviation relations between Cuba and the Dominican Republic, allowing multiple designations so that “all national airlines can operate air transport services of passengers, baggage, and cargo from the national territory to Cuba and vice versa.

The agreement between the two countries only allowed the designation of two airlines to each country, said José Marte Piantini, during the celebration of the Eleventh Meeting of Directors of Civil Aviation of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, an event organized by the ICAO Regional Office.

The official explained that “from the JAC, we continue working to realize the promise of the President of the Republic Luis Abinader, to turn the country into the hub of international air cargo with greater connection in the Caribbean through the updating of air services agreements and the negotiation of new agreements.”

At the meeting, the aeronautical authorities also proceeded to sign meeting minutes to analyze the capacity of air services between both States, the market’s current needs, and to increase the number of flights between both territories.

About frequencies, the document establishes the commitment to develop unlimited frequencies for the operation of air services in the routes contemplated in the annex of the agreement.

It also stated that, in the case of Havana’s José Martí International Airport, Dominican Airlines would be able to increase their frequencies to that destination.

Dominican-Cuban connectivity
According to information provided by the Statistics Division of the Air Transport Department of the JAC, it is projected that by the end of this year, 36 thousand passengers will be transported through the airport terminals, representing an increase of 32% compared to 2022.

Marte Piantini emphasized that “Cuba is the seventh most active Caribbean market for the Dominican Republic in terms of passenger transportation among the connections in the Caribbean.”

He pointed out that in the first five months of 2023, 11,000 passengers have been transported on commercial flights to and from Cuba.

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