A direct flight from Florida to Dominica might become a reality in 2018 as discussions continue with between Government and the relevant stakeholders.
Tonge stated that this direct flight is being discussed with a view to addressing the issue of air access into Dominica.
This challenge, which has been a regular complain from visitors, was brought under scrutiny following the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
Senator Tonge said while government has invested in improving infrastructure at the main airport, and is committed to building an international airport, they continue to aggressively pursue options to secure and improve airlift into Dominica.
“In the interim, the government is committed in investing to improved airlift into Dominica and partnering with existing and new airlines. We have lobbied LIAT, because after the storm our access to Dominica was severely impacted,” Tonge stated.
He informed that discussions are ongoing with various airlines, and government is hopeful for confirmation of the direct flight later this year.
“We hope to finalize agreements with Air Antilles this winter season to provide same day access with the Norwegian Flights, that have all grown to love based on the price, from the French islands into Dominica,” he said.
Visitors or citizens can now travel from France via Air Caribe straight to Guadeloupe and connect into Dominica on the same day.
Senator Tonge added that a lot of these interventions “are not things that we made up ourselves” but rather because government has listened to the stakeholders.
“And our job is to try and put them in place and God’s willing this year, we will have a direct flight from Florida to Dominica,” he noted.
Tonge stated that these interventions were made possible through the increased tourism subvention approved by government and is looking forward to the realization of the direct flight from Florida to Dominica which will improve access into the island.
“I can assure you that this is not an election gimmick, but it is an initiative that you have recommended and the air access committees have recommended to ensure we are creating the economic space to make things work for you,” Senator Tonge added.