(Roseau, Dominica – August 24, 2016) Dominica’s air access is back, and it’s better! It was a year ago, on August 27, 2015, that Tropical Storm Erika devastated Dominica’s main airport, Douglas Charles Airport, and created a future of uncertainty for Dominica Tourism. Over the last year, Dominica and our tourism and aviation partners have been on mission to build back better.
Prior to Tropical Storm Erika, there were fifty-six (56) scheduled weekly flights into Douglas Charles Airport, with an estimated seating capacity of 2,827. Following the reopening of the airport in September 2015, all carriers returned to Douglas Charles and over time some have even increased their flights. Today, sixty-seven (67) scheduled flights arrive weekly, a 16.8% increase in weekly seat capacity, to 3,301.
After months of only two flights serving Dominica, on June 1, 2016, regional carrier LIAT implemented its new destination schedule for Dominica which includes five daily flights and one flight four times weekly, a total of thirty-nine (39) weekly flights and up to 2,372 in seat capacity. The implementation of this new schedule features the reinstatement of late afternoon direct flights from Antigua offering convenient connections from the United Kingdom and Europe; mid-morning, mid-afternoon and evening flights from Barbados which allow same day connections from many key United States gateway cities, Toronto, and London; non-stop flights from Puerto Rico four days of the week; and three flights per week from Guadeloupe.
On July 1, 2016 WINAIR and Air Antilles increased flights between Dominica, St. Maarten and Guadeloupe from four days a week to daily service, an increase of 288 seats per week. WINAIR’s schedule improvements also extended to Dominica’s smaller Canefield Airport, where the carrier has been operating regularly since January 2016. From July, WINAIR now operates eleven flights weekly between Dominica and St. Maarten on its twin otter service into Canefield. This service also includes daily connections to Antigua and has increased the seat capacity at Canefield from 108 pre Tropical Storm Erika to 158 seats at present. These schedules offer convenient same day connections from France and Europe (via St. Maarten) and London (via Antigua).
Seaborne Airlines, Air Sunshine, and Coastal Air Transport have maintained regular service to Dominica and effective May 2016, Hummingbird Air also resumed regular scheduled service, now operating into Douglas Charles Airport, three times weekly.
These new schedules, coupled with a growing number of interline and code share agreements held by LIAT, WINAIR, Air Antilles, and Seaborne Airlines with carriers such as Jet Blue, American Airlines, United, British Airways, Air France, and Delta, just to name a few, have improved Dominica’s visibility on the Global Distribution System (GDS) immensely allowing travellers to book the Nature Island directly from almost anywhere in the world. So as the busy fall and winter travel seasons approach, including the highly anticipated return of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival in October, visitors considering Dominica can easily take advantage of same day connections (including return connections).