LOW-FARE Dominican Republic-based carrier Arajet has scheduled its inaugural flight from Las Americas Airport in that country's capital, Santo Domingo, to Kingston, Jamaica, for October.
Arajet made the announcement in a press release introducing customers to its low-cost, one-way and round-trip fares to over 20 destinations across 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to Jamaica, Arajet will also begin flights to Saint Martin, Aruba and Curacao in September.
Arajet's announcement of flights come two weeks after the Jamaican Government gave the go-ahead to Dominican airlines to operate direct flights between the two Caribbean countries, thus establishing air connectivity.
According to Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Jamaica Angie Marinez, "This move will revolutionise the integration between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, and will be a significant turning point in the strengthening of ties of friendship and increasing the bilateral relations between both nations, especially in the areas of trade, investment, and tourism."
She added that air connectivity between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic will reduce cost as well as the time of travel from as much as 20 hours to approximately one hour.
The airline projects transporting over seven million guests per year in approximately five years. It has also set its sights on creating additional routes to the United States in the near future.
"This is the first step in the process to build the first strategic connecting hub in the Caribbean that will foster the Americas connectivity at the lowest fares. Additionally, starting in September we are kicking-off our mission to convert Las Americas International Airport into a premier Latin-American Air Hub," Arajet CEO Victor Pacheco said in the presence of the Dominican Republic Minister of Tourism David Collado.
Back in March, the airline signed an agreement with Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI to establish the José Francisco Peña Gómez Las Americas International Airport as in the city of Santo Domingo as its operations centre. At that time, however, the airline outlined plans to begin commercial flights in July.
"We are very excited to start flying from the Las Americas International Airport, JFPG as the base airport for our operations. Being Santo Domingo, the city that concentrates the largest population in the country, we know that it will be of great comfort for all our passengers to fly from the AILA-JFPG located a few minutes from the city, as well as connecting with the beaches of La Romana and Punta Cana," Pacheco said.
At the start of its operations Arajet will have five Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft. It has, however, placed an order for an additional 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that are in the delivery and manufacturing process. With the option to acquire an additional 15 jets, Arajet's fleet could reach 40 aircraft.
The company said the aircraft are designed to be environmentally friendly, consuming 14 per cent less fuel, which will allow the airline to save on fuel costs, maintenance and operations and pass those savings on to its passengers.
Vice-president of marketing at Arajet, Álvaro de Oleo, explained that there will be three levels of ticket pricing when the carrier launches its flights.
"We will start with more than 5,500 thousand seats with prices from US$55 dollars one way; and at $149 round trip that can be purchased through our website; then we will have temporary promotions and regular fares; and in all cases we will make sure that it is the lowest rate in the market," said De Oleo.