People associate air terminals with the mobilization of people who go there for tourism, emigrate for work or studies, meet the love of their lives or attend the Caribbean Series, among other reasons.
Statistics confirm this. Between January-April 2023, 6,081,026 passengers were transported by air, 17.8% more than the 5,160,661 in 2022, a variation of 10.6% compared to 2019, when 5,495,271 tourists were reported. The Civil Aviation Board (JAC) states that 96% of the passengers were through the regular flight modality, that is, 5,857,913 and just 4% charter (223,113).
However, terminals also serve as hangars for companies with air cargo operations for a country’s imports or exports. 32.3% of domestic exports in April 2023 were moved through air terminals, only behind the 52.2% by sea. The remaining 15.1% was by land, i.e., destined for the Republic of Haiti. Meanwhile, 22% of exports from free zones were moved by air, 73.3% by sea and 4.5% by land, according to the General Directorate of Customs (DGA).
Air transport allows for faster shipment of products and a wide network of connections with countries that do not have ports. Caribe Trans’ representative for the Dominican Republic, Héctor Mieses, affirms. “Airplanes are a complement to the maritime industry. Emergency cargo, of daily use such as vegetables and fruits, must be transported by air to other markets, and they also function as an ally of the Dominican agri-food sector,” he said.
For the executive, the main challenge is to provide a quality service that ensures the permanence of the company in a competitive market.
While the Ministry of Agriculture records that the export of 1,613,250 metric tons (MT) of agricultural products contributed US$2,938.4 million to the economy, imports almost tripled this amount, totaling US$5,226.8 million for 4,276,936 MT. This means a trade deficit of 77.8% by 2022.
What are the five foods that the country imports the most? According to the data, the purchase in the foreign market of cereals was the largest expenditure, reporting US$714.9 million for 2,006,736 MT, followed by 59,830 MT of “tobacco and tobacco substitutes” for US$586 million. Meanwhile, the 275,199 MT of “beverages, alcoholic liquids and vinegar” had a value of US$514.3 million.
According to the data, the import of 305,026 MT of “animal or vegetable fats and oils” had a value of US$494.7 million. The country purchased 182,694 MT of “meat and edible meat offal” for US$488.6 million.