ROSEAU, Dominica, Friday August 26, 2016 – Tourism officials in Dominica are reporting that full air access to Dominica is back, a year after Tropical Storm Erika devastated the island’s main airport, Douglas-Charles Airport. And they say it’s much improved, with more flights now coming into the island.
Prior to Tropical Storm Erika hitting the island on August 27, 2015, there were 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. Now, 67 scheduled flights arrive weekly – a 16.8 per cent increase in weekly seat capacity, to 3,301.
After months of only two flights serving Dominica, regional carrier LIAT implemented its new destination schedule for Dominica at the beginning of June. That includes five daily flights and one flight four times weekly, a total of 39 weekly flights and up to 2,372 in seat capacity.
The implementation of that new schedule features the reinstatement of late afternoon direct flights from Antigua, offering 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 as well as Toronto, and London; non-stop flights from Puerto Rico four days of the week; and three flights per week from Guadeloupe.
In addition, WINAIR and Air Antilles increased flights between Dominica, St. Maarten and Guadeloupe, starting July 1, 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. WINAIR now operates 11 flights weekly between Dominica and St. Maarten 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 currently. The schedules offer 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,” the island’s tourism authority said in a statement.
The increased flights all come in time for visitors anticipating the return of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival in October. The 2015 edition had been cancelled because of the destruction caused by Tropical Storm Erika.