Air connectivity is key to attracting more passengers to DR

Businessmen emphasize that the Dominican Republic must increase its participation in the aeronautical market.

Air connectivity is a key element in the economic recovery of the travel and tourism industry. So says the vice president of the National Association of Hotels, Bars and Restaurants (Asonahores), Andres Marranzini.

“The connectivity between potential markets in South America and Europe with the Dominican Republic will contribute to an increase in passengers, greater foreign exchange earnings and the generation of new jobs,” he explained. And no wonder, the Civil Aviation Board (JAC) states that the national airports mobilized 1,390,594 passengers in February 2023. 49.3% were inbound flights (685,699) and 50.7% outbound (704,865).

However, tourists continue to make air connections in the different terminals in the Americas, due to the lack of direct flights between nations or the high prices of airline tickets. This action is evidenced in the JAC data.

The New York connection registered a traffic of 194,595 passengers, 14% of the 841,437 passengers in February 2023. According to the data, they are followed by Toronto (109,759), Miami (94,787), Montreal (89,833) and Newark (86,155).

Meanwhile, Tocumen, Panama, Madrid-Barajas in Spain and Bogota, Colombia, are among the most popular stopover destinations for Dominicans. These destinations reported 77,402, 58,136 and 37,389 passengers in stopovers, respectively. In the United States, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, with 54,837 passengers, and Boston-Massachusetts mobilized 38,544 people.

Iberia’s corporate director, Juan Cierco, said that air connectivity is an indispensable tool to “share the beauty and richness of the Dominican Republic with foreign visitors”.

Overview of air connectivity

According to the executives, Dominican aviation is characterized by bureaucratic flexibility. The JAC registers that 131 airlines offered their services in February of this year, being 48 scheduled airlines and 83 charter airlines. Jetblue Airways was the busiest airline, carrying 16% of the 1,390,594 passengers, or 225,020, followed by American Airlines, 152,230 and Delta Airlines, 115,680.

“We have been able to take advantage of the tourist flows that international airlines have brought to the Dominican Republic,” said the vice president of Grupo Puntacana, Simón Suarez. For the businessman, the aeronautical market is growing with policies in favor of granting licenses, permits and facilities for multinationals.Air Connectivity

“Our tourism began based on charter flights and this is a manifestation of free competitiveness,” he added. For his part, Marranzini considers that the Dominican Republic has the best connected airports in the Caribbean, but the country lacks a flag carrier.

According to statistics, Dominican airlines mobilized 33,392 passengers in February 2023. Of this amount, 65% was through Arajet operations, or 21,759. This was followed by Sky High with 6,167 and Air Century with 3,688 passengers. Sky Cana carried 661 passengers, followed by Red Air (700), Helidosa (357) and Sunrise Dominicana (60).

For the executive, the increase in visitor arrivals is a business opportunity for national airlines. The businessmen indicated that the country’s permanence as a tourist destination is due to the open skies policy and the different airport infrastructures.


The hotels, bars and restaurants branch contributed RD$384,933.9 million to the local gross domestic product (GDP) and generated 375,958 jobs in 2022. In addition, the arrival of passengers to the Dominican Republic is a source of revenue, whose payment of US$10 for the tourist card contributed RD$4,350 million to the state coffers.

For Mora, the private sector is the guarantee of the country’s economic development. “Over the years, the private sector has become stronger, active and present in the Dominican economy… It is also involved in public policies,” he said.

This thought is confirmed in the “support” of traditional banks in the Dominican tourism industry. The Association of Multiple Banks (ABA) records that in 2022, the credit portfolio of multiple banks stood at RD$97,131 million. This means an increase of 127% with respect to 2016, when this amount was set at RD$42,808 million. This is equivalent to a difference of RD$54,324 million.



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Dominican Republic Live Editor

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