We have worked long and hard on this “Air Dominica” idea. We have been studying the air access to Dominica for years and have reached to the conclusion that “Air Dominica” is the solution. Why? Below are some replies.
– No need to blame LIAT or any other existing Caribbean carrier. They struggle with their own problems, they do what they can to organize their timetables and they are organizing these timetables based on their own needs, not those of the Dominican traveler. This will always be like that.
– Aviation industry worldwide is based on hubs. Large routes fly to hubs, then smaller routes are connected with smaller aircraft from the hubs. Atlanta is a hub, Dallas is a hub, San Juan is a hub.
Dominica is lucky enough to be located within 200 Nautical Miles of seven large International airports where some Governments are already subsidizing airlines : These “hubs” already enjoy direct air service to more than 20 international destinations worldwide, and are less than one hour flight away from Dominica.
You must know that in order to attract a so-called international airline to your airport, you must guarantee paid seats. If not sold, the seats must be paid by the government to the airline! Can you imagine the cost ? This already happens today in St Kitts, in St Lucia and in Grenada.
This is why we certainly DO NOT think an “international airport” would be the solution for Dominica. The country could not even afford to pay for the annual maintenance, and this would only link the island to one or two international destinations.
– A “national airline” operated by professional Dominicans as a private company with financial support from the government is affordable for the country. It will not be profitable. But when you build a road, you do not expect it to be “profitable” ; it’s part of a nation’s investment. A national airline is Dominica’s international road, linking the island to its neighbors. The annual operating loss is not so high at the level of a country. The business plan exist and makes sense. It will shortly be available online .
– Air Dominica would proudly fly the Dominican flag throughout the Caribbean, would base its timetable from international flights of neighboring hubs, would offer interesting jobs opportunities to Dominican pilots, mechanics, engineers both in Dominica and from the diaspora.
– Why other airlines did not succeed and continue? Very simply because they were private companies looking for profit. There is no profit flying these routes with these type of aircraft. But if you expect the profit, and do not get it, then the investors move away. This is why our project is different. We anticipate the loss and try to finance it upfront. If no financing is available, this project will not exist. If financing is secured from government, international assistance and private sector, then it will work. This is what we are trying to do these days.
All comments are welcome.