Wednesday, 8th of December 2021, was a significant date for the United States, the Commonwealth of Dominica, and American Airlines, as Flight 3579, with seventy-two passengers on board, landed at the Douglas-Charles Airport. It was the first-ever direct flight from Miami to Dominica, and it made American Airlines the first company to offer such flights from the US mainland to the Caribbean nation.
Many hope that the monumental occasion will open doors and give a much-needed boost to tourism which has been badly affected by the pandemic. American Airlines flights which will operate three times weekly from Miami to the Caribbean nation, will connect over 40 US cities to Dominica. It will also make Miami a premier connecting hub for travelers flying out of Asia, Europe, and Canada.
Honorable Denise Charles, the Minister for Tourism, International Transport, and Maritime Initiatives of Dominica, stated that not only stakeholders in tourism but citizens of Dominica will benefit from the availability of direct flights to the Caribbean nation.
The flights are not only advantageous to clients, business partners, and those who have tourism businesses, but also to citizens of the country residing abroad who are looking to reunite with their families and friends. Previously, there were no direct flights available from the US mainland and passengers had to travel out of Puerto Rico on smaller planes. Now, passengers can look forward to quicker and more convenient flights to Dominica. No less than Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit himself expressed his excitement over the inaugural flight.
The Prime Minister has pledged nothing less than his full support as American Airlines begins its operations in the country. He also expressed his and the whole nation’s gratitude for American Airlines in having faith in the country and including it as in the list of destinations where the airline has regular flights. The newly-added flights will bring the United States and Dominica closer.
Dominica’s Tourism Ministry also continues to undertake endeavors that will showcase the Caribbean nation and make it an attractive destination for visitors. This will help the country stay on track when it comes to the achievement of their goal, getting 200,000 stay over visitors by the year 2025. Before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the tourism sector, Dominica welcomed an estimated 200,000 tourists yearly, of whom about 75,000 are stay-over visitors.
As international travel gears up yet again to go full-blast after almost two years of closed borders, more people are looking to commune with nature and seek outdoor adventures. The Commonwealth of Dominica is the perfect destination as it boasts diverse wildlife, pristine beaches, amazing dive spots, and advocacy to eco-tourism.
American Airlines is also committed to providing exemplary service to travelers, and its Regional Manager for the Eastern Caribbean Region, Ms. Cathy –Ann Joseph, mentioned that they remain dedicated to the tourism sector’s revival not only in Dominica but to the Caribbean region. As 2021 draws to a close, everyone is looking forward to 2022 and the countless opportunities it has in store for tourism.
In addition, Her Excellency Linda Swartz Taglialatela, the Ambassador of the United States to Dominica, said what everyone hopes for, that the newly-established direct service will strengthen the relations and deepen the ties between Dominica and the United States, as well as the people of both nations.
It must be noted that the Dominica government has announced in June 2021 that a new airport is expected to open in 2025. Once opened, the newer, larger, more modern, and what will have been the country’s first international airport, is expected to welcome more travelers and play a crucial part in the growth of the tourism industry. One of the most significant changes that will happen once the new airport is in operation is that passengers can fly directly from Europe to Dominica, instead of connecting through other Caribbean nations.