Uncategorized September 8, 2022 | 9:46 am

Dominican Republic seeks to be the connecting point of the Americas

Guatemala City, Guatemala

With an investment of US$3 billion and a fleet of more than 40 planes, the Dominican airline Arajet, chaired by Víctor Miguel Pacheco Méndez, seeks the approval of the bill for the promotion of Dominican aviation because this regulation will allow the company to be competitive against international airlines.

Pacheco highlighted the importance of commercial aviation as a strategic axis in the economy, which is why developed countries consider it a key element in the economic sphere.

“We must prepare the country from the legislative and regulatory point of view, so that fiscally it creates the conditions so that Arajet can compete on equal terms with the other hubs, from Panama, Florida, Atlanta, Bogotá, today we are very uneven,” indicated the businessman.

He stated that the preliminary project seeks to encourage investment and sustainability of an operations center (air hub) for the Dominican Republic. This rests in the Executive Power, and that despite being advanced, because they have been working on it for several years, everyone’s help is needed, including the president, the ministers, and the population in general.

“The first thing that Arajet needs is a bill that allows us to compete on equal terms, the second is an open skies agreement between the DR and the United States, and the third is a terminal that allows us to do what Tocumen is doing in Panama,” he said.

The Dominican Republic has the advantage of its geographical position, so the country could become the best point of commercial connection and star destination with the progress of its national airline, as Panama did, added the businessman.

In this regard, he gave as an example that the country moved about 7 million tourists in 2019. However, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution to this sector was 8.4%, well below Panama’s 15%. A country that only had a million tourists.

He pointed out that the airline would generate a total of 4,000 direct jobs and 40,000 indirect jobs in the next five years. As well as a contribution of almost 4% to GDP.

Meanwhile, for the user, a “democratization” of aviation would take place because they would have more options, which translates into greater competition in terms of prices.

Another important point that the airline advocates is that the Dominican government implemented open skies with the United States, aiming to provide the service to the diaspora, where they would have 17 destinations. The CEO stated that the agreement that is currently in force dates back to 1940.

“The Dominican Republic, Cuba and Venezuela are the only countries that do not have an open skies agreement with the US. Open skies is equivalent to economic flights, it is equivalent to no monopoly, it is equivalent to free competition and all of this benefits the Dominican,” he stressed. Pacheco.

The Dominican airline has a foreign investment from Bain Capital, a global fund with more than US$160,000 million in assets in various sectors of the economy. The Dominican airline intends to reach 54 destinations in the future.

Arajet had its first corporate flight from Santo Domingo to Guatemala City, in which it was part of those responsible for the “Dominican Week in Guatemala,” together with the Dominican Embassy in Guatemala, the Guatemalan Chamber of Industry (CIG), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala (Minex) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic (Mirex).

Guatemala and Dominican Republic

For the first time, both countries will join through a direct flight through the airline, which will favor commercial and cultural exchange, and begin its direct operations to Guatemala on September 28.

Pacheco stressed that the Dominican Republic was included in the list of countries in which Guatemalans make investments, so many businessmen from the Central American country already have their eyes set on the island.

This could balance the economic balance since, in the last five years, the Dominican Republic had only exported US$114 million to Guatemala, while this country has generated an accumulated amount of close to US$608 million in the same time range.

In this sense, the ambassador of the Dominican Republic in Guatemala, Sara Paulino Cárdenas, indicated that: “The balance is in favor of Guatemala. Unquestionably we must try to balance the balance and we are working for that.”

Paulino Cárdenas stressed that the first plan to achieve a balance between the two countries was the creation of the Guatemalan-Dominican Chamber of Commerce (Guatedom). This chamber had begun to take shape 17 years ago but had remained stranded due to legal errors. However, it is now a reality.

Operations to different destinations

As of September 15, the airline will officially start its trips, and its destinations will be Mexico, Aruba, Colombia, Curacao, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, the island of San Martín, and Peru.

Pacheco points out that these destinations were chosen because the country has open skies and especially because Dominicans do not need a visa to travel.

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Paul Tierney
September 8, 2022 11:15 am

The RD sits on a international air and ocean crossroads, a super location to better itself as a transportation hub and logistics center. It is great opportunity knocking on the door. More airlines and ocean carriers are always welcome to conduct business in the RD.