Dominican Republic And US Ready To Sign New Agreement For Open Skies.

Photo courtesty of Canablue. The new accord between the Dominican Republic and the USA should make flying between the two countries cheaper and more convenient for passengers.
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President Luis Abinader has announced that the government will sign an “open skies”: agreement with the United States in the coming weeks. This agreement aims to promote competition between airlines, ultimately resulting in cheaper airfares between the two countries and possible more entry points in the US.

David Collado, the Minister of Tourism for the Dominican Republic, has been instrumental in championing this initiative.

He underscores the potential of the open skies agreement to significantly lower air transport costs, foster increased competitiveness within the aviation market, and streamline tourism flows between the two countries.

As reported by El Dia, Collado articulates how the current challenges surrounding air connectivity and exorbitant ticket prices have impeded the nation’s tourism sector, making it less attractive compared to rival destinations.

One glaring issue highlighted by Collado is the disparity in airfare costs, particularly during peak travel seasons such as Christmas. It is staggering to learn that Dominicans have been burdened with paying up to US$1,700 for a round-trip flight between New York and the Dominican Republic.

Such exorbitant prices not only deter potential visitors but also cast a shadow over the tourism industry’s growth prospects.

Open skies agreements serve to foster competition and flexibility on international commercial air routes. They do so by granting airlines from the countries involved operational rights to fly passengers and cargo in and out of the other nations in question.

These agreements are bilateral in nature. For example, the EU-US open skies agreement simultaneously allows EU carriers to fly anywhere in the US and US carriers to fly anywhere in the EU.

The United States State Department says: “Open Skies agreements (eliminate) government interference in the commercial decisions of air carriers about routes, capacity, and pricing, freeing carriers to provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air service for consumers.”

The president revealed that the agreement will be finalized soon after years of negotiation, which involved various stakeholders in the aeronautical sectors of both the Dominican Republic and the United States.

“We are prepared to sign,” stated President Abinader upon his arrival in Washington, where he was honored at the 54th Conference of the Americas, gathering major investment firms from Latin America.

President Abinader emphasized that restrictions on competition in commercial aviation with the United States have historically contributed to high airfare prices, particularly affecting the Dominican diaspora residing in the US and their families.

The US embassy in Santo Domingo has also emphasized the importance of signing this agreement, asserting that it will provide passengers with more service options between both destinations. Under a modern open skies agreement, airlines can offer more affordable air services by reducing limitations on establishing routes between the two countries.

President Abinader suggested that the agreement may be signed after the presidential and congressional elections scheduled for May 19.

Furthermore, the president explained that in addition to expanding North American airline routes, Dominican airlines will no longer face restrictions on their destinations within the United States. This means that Dominican travelers can expect new flight options, lower fares, and improved service from a broader range of airlines in the market.

For example airlines like Dominican Republic-based Arajet will be able to fly to Miami and New York and beyond.

Source: Dominican Today, Aviationweek.com,
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