Air operations between the DR and Venezuela

With more than 40 flights per week by six airlines, air traffic between the Dominican Republic and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has intensified in recent times, due to an emigration that uses the national territory as a transit option or final destination.

Statistical data provided by the Civil Aviation Board indicate that 2,902 air operations were carried out between January and August of this year on the route between the two countries. The figure is equivalent to some 1,500 round flights in that period, or slightly less than 200 per month on average, or about six per day.

In August alone, the last month marked in the report, an approximate frequency of 43 flights per week was recorded. That same month recorded a total of 374 operations, understood as arrivals and departures separately.

Six airlines dominate the air market between the two countries: Laser, which covers the routes Maiquetia-Las Americas and Maiquetia-La Romana; Sky High Aviation Services Dominicana, S.A., which serves Maiquetia-Las Americas, as well as Avior Airlines, C.A., which serves Maiquetia-Las Americas.

Also Rutas Aéreas, C.A. or Rutaca Airlines, which connects Maracaibo with Las Américas, Maiquetía with Punta Cana, Barquisimeto -Las Américas and Maturín-Las Américas.

Other companies are Turpial Airlines C.A. which flies from Valencia to Las Americas and Punta Cana, and Rutas Aéreas de Venezuela Rav, S.A./Ravsa, in charge of the routes Maiquetia-Las Americas and Barquisimeto-Las Americas.

Although not included in the official report, other airlines offer trips from Venezuela to the Dominican territory. One of them is Copa Airlines, which offers flights to Santo Domingo and Punta Cana airports from several Venezuelan cities, but with a stopover in Panama City. The airline operates up to five daily flights and prices vary according to destination and availability. For example, a flight to Caracas, consulted for the end of this month, costs US$407 (about DR$23,000) from Santo Domingo, and US$689 (DR$39,000) from Punta Cana.

Colombian-flagged Wingo also has flight offers involving stopovers.

United States

In its study State of Migration Concerning the Dominican Republic, 2021, the Center for Migration Observation and Social Development in the Caribbean (Obmica) notes that the United States remains the main destination for migrants from the region. “The corridors from Cuba and the Dominican Republic to the United States are among the largest in the sub-region.”

Dominican Republic has become one of the first options for Venezuelans trying to reach the United States, due to better ticket prices and the air restrictions that Venezuela has, from where North American airlines do not operate. In 2019, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued KICZ A0013/19, which banned direct flights between the two countries.

“All flight operations into Venezuelan territory and airspace at altitudes below FL 260, by the persons described in the paragraph below are prohibited until further information, due to the increasing political instability and tensions in Venezuela and the associated inadvertent risk to flight operations,” says the provision that also includes freighter traffic.

Cheaper fares are another attraction of connecting in the Dominican Republic when the final destination is a North American airport.

For a Venezuelan who wants to travel to Dominican territory there are flight prices from 13,000 pesos to Santo Domingo, according to some of the offers found on the Internet.

Despite the fact that it shares a border with Colombia, prices from Venezuela to that country start at 18,000 pesos, with destination Bogota.

To Panama, where thousands of Venezuelans risk every year through the Darien Strait en route to the north, a round-trip flight from Caracas or another point, exceeds 22,700 pesos.

It is also a destination

In addition to being a bridge, the Dominican Republic is also a reception point for Venezuelans. It is the Caribbean country that has received the most immigrants from Bolivar’s homeland in recent years.

Obmica’s study points out that as of September 2019 there were around 100,000 Venezuelans living in the Caribbean, a figure that increased to some 220,000 people by the end of 2021.

“Among the main destinations for Venezuelans are the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Curaçao. In August 2020, Venezuelans residing in the Dominican Republic exceeded 100,000.”

To date and according to the R4V Platform, a joint information body of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Venezuelans in the country is estimated at 116,000.

To date and according to the R4V Platform, a joint information body of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Venezuelans in the country is estimated at 116,000.

According to R4V, 37% of these immigrants have benefited from the Plan for the Normalization of Venezuelans (PNV), which in January 2021 was opened by the Dominican government through Resolution 00119-2021, issued by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Labor.

Source: Diariolibre.com

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Dominican Republic Live Editor

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