Without the opening to Asia-Pacific tourism and the slow recovery due to the health crisis, Russian airlines and tour operators have set their sights on the Caribbean region, where the Dominican Republic monopolized most of the routes.
During September, the Dominican Republic closed with 365,545 foreign travelers, 12% more than in the same month of 2019, according to data obtained through the Ministry of Tourism.
In September, the country welcomed 3,694 commercial flights from 87 airlines, arriving from 43 countries. The number of flight bookings in the period from October to December 2021 already exceeds the data for the same period in 2019.
Russia stood out as the Dominican Republic’s main receptive city pair. Between January and August it mobilized 9,582 tourists from Russia, of which 6,818 arrived in the last month. This is logical since it was then when they began to accept charters from Russia, carried out by tour operators Coral Travel, ANEX Tour, PEGAS Touristik and Intourist.
The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) is optimistic for this coming high season. In terms of sales, the Caribbean country is in the TOP 3, and already reaches 50% of sales. The Dominican Republic must compete with other highly demanded tourist destinations such as Turkey and Egypt.
“In terms of sales for the November vacation period, the Dominican Republic ranks second after Egypt. In terms of sales for the New Year vacations, today Dominican Republic is leading in terms of number of bookings,” shared ANEX Tour press service.
“There is demand for New Year vacations, there are requests for New Year programs in hotels. But, of course, this demand is not yet comparable to what it was in the same period of 2019, ” Coral Travel said.
PEGAS Touristik is also satisfied with sales in the Dominican Republic, as they show a good dynamic.
“For the November vacations, more than half of the flights to Punta Cana have already been sold. More than 40% of the sales correspond to the New Year dates. Bookings go up to April 2022,” commented PEGAS Touristik.
Timeline for the Autumn-Winter 2021/22 Season between Russia and the Dominican Republic
PEGAS Touristik has flights to Punta Cana from 7 cities (including Moscow/Sheremetyevo): Krasnoyarsk (KJA), Kazan (KZN), St. Petersburg (LED), Novosibirsk (OVB), Yekaterinburg (SVX), Ufa (UFA).
It also has direct operations between Samana (AZS) and Puerto Plata (POP) to Sheremetyevo (SVO).
Flights are operated on Nordwind Airlines’ Boeing 777-200ERs configured for 440 passengers and its Boeing 777-300ERs with 486 seats. Last October 11 marked a record for the Dominican Republic with the inaugural flight from Krasnoyark, being the longest flight time and route link in the country’s history. The Boeing 777 traveled 11,550 kilometers in a time of 14 hours and 40 minutes; on this first connection it transported 440 Russian tourists.
Coral Travel’s program will start at the end of October, connecting to Punta Cana from Ekaterinburg (SVX) from November 4, Kazan (KZN) from November 6, St. Petersburg (LED) from October 29, Samara (KUF) from November 2, Ufa (UFA) from October 31.
From October 27, the carrier will increase its current flights from Moscow/Sheremetyevo (SVO) from twice to three times a week.
The entire program will be operated by Royal Flight on a Boeing 777-300ER seating 492 passengers, of which 14 are in business class.
Royal Flight’s inaugural flight in Punta Cana. Photo: Punta Cana International Airport.
The ANEX Tour flight schedule is operated by AZUR Air with Boeing 777-300ER, with capacity for 531 passengers. It has one of the most extensive networks in the Dominican territory.
It initially operates a daily flight from Moscow/Vnukovo (VNK) to Punta Cana, and also operates from that Dominican city to St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don (ROV), Novosibirsk and Ufa. The 7 Russian cities also connect with La Romana (LRM).
Finally, Aeroflot resumed operations to Punta Cana with up to three weekly flights on its Airbus A350-900 with capacity for 316 passengers.