Gov’t looks at Norwegian Airlines to improve air access to Dominica

Norwegian Airlines is providing cheap flights to Martinique and Guadeloupe from the US

Minister for Tourism and Urban Renewal, Robert Tonge, has revealed that the Government is putting plans in place to engage the Norwegian Airlines in efforts to improve air access into Dominica.

The low-cost airline is providing flights to the neighboring French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique from the US and there are discussions with Air Antilles, which flies to Dominica, to capitalize on those flights.

Tonge said that Norwegian’s “amazing rates,” make the cost of traveling much less burdensome, especially for large families.

“Norwegian Airlines provides amazing rates to travel to Guadeloupe and Martinique. A friend of mine just sent his three kids to the States, guess how much he paid for their tickets from Martinique to the States; he paid US$79 per ticket from Martinique to America. So what we have realized is that they have fantastic rates,” Tonge said.

He said that government is already in discussions with Air Antilles to “capitalize on that connection” and to avoid the fuss of staying overnight in Guadeloupe or Martinique.

“Obviously, somebody is subsidizing those flights,” he said referring to the Norwegian Airlines’ cheap flights. “What we are going to do is capitalize on that connection. So we actually begin the discussions with Air Antilles so that when that flight comes to Guadeloupe and Martinique, as opposed to having to overnight, and still take the ferry, you have the option of taking a flight and come in the same day.”

According to him, all of this is geared towards having more visitors come to Dominica, and to act as an alternative since connections with Barbados and St. Lucia sometimes pose a challenge.

“St. Lucia has an airport called Hewanora Airport. That airport has as many international flights as Barbados, so we are working with TIA 2000 (airline), it is a new airline, again so that you may have another option to come to Dominica,” Tonge noted.

He stated further that part of the goal is to provide as many options for flight connection for Dominicans both here and abroad as well as foreign visitors.

Also on the agenda, Tonge said, is for his Ministry to have a “weekly flight direct from the U.S.A. to Dominica.”

“We are in discussions with many of the big airlines again to try to make it easier, not just for you as Dominicans to come to Dominica, but also, for the visitors,” he remarked.

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56 Comments

  1. stellarbeaming
    May 14, 2018

    I would be nice if Dominica could be a major transportation hub for people traveling to Africa from the U.S.A,
    We could first fly to Dominica, change planes then to Africa, better than flying all the way to Europe or JFK first, it would bring more travelers to Dominica and help with development of country, it could be that its not economical, i am not a economist, so pls dont call me idiot

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    July 27, 2017

    It is amazing how ignorant, and backward our people are, I will forever be an outcast where it pertains to most things in Dominica. I will always hold an opposite view. Here we are in the twenty-first century, in a country with no industries to provide employment for our youths, and all who need to work.

    Agriculture which was the backbone of our economy is actually dead, and so we adapted tourism which is a struggling industry; however, because of the lack of one very essential part of our infrastructure which the Labor Party government (the one man government) Roosevelt Skerrit refuse to address; tourism will also die too!

    I read every comment on this subject, most people are overwhelmed that this Airline will be flying into the French Territories next door. In their anxiety, in stead of demanding that our one man government build an International Airport on the island, these low life backward people are gallivanting that talking some dumb Ferry from wherever Norwegian aline…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      July 27, 2017

      Continue:

      In their anxiety, in stead of demanding that our one man government build an International Airport on the island, these low life backward people are gallivanting that talking some dumb Ferry from wherever Norwegian aline land to Dominica, will make it easier to get to Dominica.

      I am born in the Village of Wesley, I reside in Los Angeles California, If I wish to go home, I would not consider flying from here to Mimi, or, New York in five hours, then fly for another two hours, or 2.5 hours to some French island to then get on a boat to travel to Dominica.

      If I am Wesley born and detest that crap; that misery, how many American Tourist would wish to put themselves through that nonsense? You people are sick, and want nothing productive to take place in Dominica. The tourist industry we believe we have will soon die; all because most of us Dominicans have no ambition to make progress.

      When the criminals stop buying passports, the island economy will collapse, and…

  3. dennis
    July 27, 2017

    we should sue this government for all that money thye waste on night landing . Little Tony have a conciencene free dominica from this pain it is going through by defending wronnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  4. Vernon
    July 26, 2017

    Mr. Tongue,
    I am glad you made the observation but if you look at other low cost airline carriers, their rates they are comparable to that of the Norwegian Airline. One of the biggest difference is the high government taxes that are imposed on those airlines traveling to the Caribbean and OECS in particular.

    If you look at LIAT promotion going on right now, their air fares are similar to what you posted but what makes the fares high are the government taxes.

    So Mr. Minister, it’s not rocket science what to do to get the air fares lower.
    1. Lower the government taxes
    2. Build an International Airport

    We are just “spinning top in mud” and not going anywhere with this International Airport for Dominica.

    Get down to business and build that international airport your government promised Dominicans.

  5. ATKINSON
    July 26, 2017

    Lying tongue again, maybe instead of the the evil “Dr supremo” taking the tax payers money and give it to liat, we should have ” subsidizing” norwegian airline, with that money, its seem like a better deal to me, and they are on time

  6. Joseph
    July 25, 2017

    Negotiate with and pay the Cuban Government to expand either of the two or both of the airports on Dominica.
    Eugenia Charles is not around to oppose.

  7. Patriotic
    July 25, 2017

    So you guys are fooling us again about international airport. We don’t wanna wait till election. We want it now.

  8. Patriotic
    July 25, 2017

    So Mr senetor ,how much longer are we gonna wait for an international airport

    ..l

  9. 75 CAN'T go INTO 14
    July 25, 2017

    A bunch of joogoose. What can they tell Norwegian airline that will cause them to change to accommodate Dominica? Are they going to ask them to change their time to suite the few passengers coming to Dominica? Are they going to buy all the seats? Are they going to do the same with Air Antilles? Just wishful thinking designed to continue to fool the few blind supporters that will continue to follow them blindly, till death do them part, so help them lord

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      July 27, 2017

      You wish to bet seventy-five can’t go into fourteen?

      Well, that depends on the level of math you are into, nevertheless, if you are dealing exponentially you have to think in term of a negative figure, which requires lots of zeros.

      I will not be able to write out a complete formula; nevertheless I will show you it can be done hence: 14/75 = .187, that is a fraction of something. And trust me if you multiply: .187 X 75 using the same method, the result should be approximately 14.025 you see.

      It all depends on our level of education; that however is learnt in some upper level mathematics, think exponentially!

  10. July 25, 2017

    We should have a daily ferry schedule to co inside with the flight schedule no body want to over nite in the French Island, unless they want to , one should be able to get off the plane , and get on the ferry same day period.

    • Malatete
      July 26, 2017

      Best suggestion so far. I would also propose that the bus fare between the ferry terminal and aiport is included the ticket price for the ferry. That should not be too difficult for Espress des Isles, or another operator to arrange.

  11. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    July 25, 2017

    The pessimists are at it again, providing discouragement. Sad sacks!
    Minister for Tourism you are doing all you can to get flights for Dominican visitors, travelers and the tourists. If this is what D/ca can get, so be it. When some hear they could fly with Norwegian Airlines to the USA, for a fraction of the cost, they will jump on the wagon.
    If D/cans in the USA and Canada could get this cheap/reasonable flight to Guadeloupe or Martinique and back, we would all take advantage of it.
    I wish you good luck and success. Under the circumstances,you are doing your utmost.

    • Me
      July 26, 2017

      I’m afraid his utmost is not enough or good enough Truth. Il like Robby but this job is outside his competence. Sorry!

  12. Diogenes
    July 25, 2017

    A bigger international airport would not help in this particular case. Norwegian as a European airline is only allowed to fly from the USA to the Europe v.v. Guadeloupe and Martinique are part of France and thus European Union.

    • Malatete
      July 26, 2017

      Although Norway has bilateral agreements with the E.U, it is not an E.U. member.

  13. July 25, 2017

    I’d love an international airport too. But we cannot just tell Santa Claus that we’ve been a good country this year and he’ll bring us one for Christmas. So all of you who are calling for it, where do you think the billion-with-a-b E.C. dollars required to build it will come from?

    • Steve I regret to tell you this, but you are speaking nonsense again!

      Where did Edison James and the UWP get the more than three hundred, but less than four hundred million dollars it was costing to build the very same one which the Labor Party shut down, and chase the Trinidad & Tobago contractors, and engineers who was building the International Airport.

      I do not know where you were, but just incase you do not know, the Trinidad government lent Dominica 80% of the amount of money it would have cost to build it. The Peoples Republic of China gave money to the Edison James government to assists in the construction.

      The Taiwan government gave us twenty million: Ten (10,000,000.00) million as a loan, at 4% interest, and another ten million as a grant never to be repaid, ask the Labor Party what they did with all of that money?

      Don’t pretend you do not know, or perhaps you don’t really know! There will never be an International Airport built while Roosevelt and labor is in…

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        July 27, 2017

        If you are responding to me Steve, that’s okay, but I still say your comments does not make any sense, because had it not been for the stupidity of Roosevelt Skerrit and his predecessors there would be an International Airport operating in the country for the past twenty years or more!

        Before you ask such trivial questions such as where the money will come from you should demand that the money that Roosevelt has given to his friends as their share of their pound of meat from the dead cow, he should invest it in an International Airport.

        You can build thousand shacks in Dominica, out of Bamboo if you like without an International Airport and good promotion of the island, they all will remain empty! And anyone who deny the UWP was building an Airport which the Labor Party shut down, I call them a liar!

    • There will never be an International Airport built while Roosevelt and labor are in power! They have no plans for that, and the reason is because they are ashamed, because they told so many lies about it to the people, it is now bothering their conscience.

      Last election when Skerrit said he was going to China to get help to build International Airport, he lied to the nation, he did not go to China. He knows very well the Chines will not give him one dime where it pertains to building airport, because the Chines know they had already contributed to that in the day of the UWP.

      When we are dumb, and put personal interest above of country, and the majority of people, such are the consequences the nation suffers! And so our nation destiny under the Labor Party and Roosevelt Skerrit is into backwardness!

      • July 26, 2017

        Your foo rant was two posts long and still didn’t answer the question.

  14. Rat Race
    July 25, 2017

    Just in time to fly in those votes.. hahah

  15. Coming a long way
    July 25, 2017

    Excellent plan. Turbo props are the planes that our current airport can accommodate so if they have connection flights with larger planes at a different airport there should be no difficulty. At the moment stop crying for an international airport and let’s fully utilize the one we have. When the demand exceeds the capacity then look into a bigger airport.

  16. The Portsmouth Station
    July 25, 2017

    Mr. Tonge has just confirmed the failure of his DLP administration to move Dominica forward. Somebody please tell Tonge that NO one has a problem flying out of the US to anywhere in the Caribbean, except to Dominica In fact most time one could fly from Florida to Barbados on JetBlue for $79.00, to St. Martin on Spirit for less than a $100, and to PR for $60.00. Getting into Dominica since 2004, has been the problem. We didn’t have that problem in the 60’s to late 70’s under Leblanc. It was not a problem under PJ or OJ. It wasn’t a problem under Mamo from the 80’s to mid 90’s; it was not a problem from 95-2000, under UWP. It was not much of a problem from 2000 to 2004, after the sudden departures of Rosie and Pierro, but under Skerrit it became a problem to the point that we lost Amerijet and on the verge of losing LIAT, the airline Skerrit spent so much money on. Dlp has failed us and no matter what they say, the truth remains that no country built on lies and deception survive…

  17. enfantdiable
    July 25, 2017

    He must give more thought to the real policy options in this important matter before engaging his tongue in,obviously,idle prattle.

  18. Man bites Dogs
    July 25, 2017

    You lots Workers supporters and so-called Workers Party leaders all of you are losers liars and stupid ignorant gutter people, every time the government trying to improve Dominica you lots would be criticising doctor pm Skerrit, and his administrations! Just because none of you haters cannot do anything good, But having said that so-called Workers and supporters i must say are very good at lieing two face hypocrites low down people.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      July 27, 2017

      “so-called ”

      You are improving on your writing, and spelling, but how about this” socalled, or So-called?”

      How about trying to write it this way ” so called?”

      No matter what you do and say, no matter how much you curse UWP people they are all smarter than you are! You are a dunce, who do not know how to read, write spell nor understand even your own thoughts, in other words you are a fool eh!

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

      Anybody with a name such as Man Eat Raw Dog Meat must be a fool nuh! So, long fool happy talking nonsense; you idiot!

  19. Dominica
    July 25, 2017

    I am bamboozled with so many suggestions from Mr. Tonge. If not on facebook, he is at some townhall meeting introducting a new airline for easier access to Dominica. When are we going to SEE RESULTS Mr. Talk. Talk Talk Talk, Parlez Parlez about garbage without legs and feet; and airlines coming to Dominica. I am exhausted!!!!

  20. Tj
    July 25, 2017

    Let Mr. Tongue begin. Maybe he has some urgent good news for us.

  21. pal-lotte
    July 25, 2017

    All this is fluffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!

  22. weh
    July 25, 2017

    If your negotiating to have a weekly flight from the US land in DA, why not just negotiate with Norwegian so they can start landing at Melville Hall?

  23. Concerned
    July 25, 2017

    I tried that option for the festival but Norwegian flies to Martinique and Guadeloupe on a seasonal basis. As a result returning to the US was available but getting into Dominica was not. In addition the time the flight departs on both ends forces you to overnight. PLEASE TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE SEASONAL DATES WHEN NEGOTIATING BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT OPTION TO GET PEOPLE INTO DOMINICA THE SAME DAY WITH THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS.

  24. Greene
    July 25, 2017

    Mr. Tonge your friend is mistaken. You can visit the website https://www.norwegian.com/us/ and try to book a flight yourself.

    First: According to Norwegian Airlines website, Norwegian Airlines is scheduled to fly to three destinations in the US from Martinique: Florida, New York and Providence/Boston

    Note:
    Martinique – Fort-de-France – Florida-All airports (Selected route is for sale from 30. Oct 2017. )
    Martinique – Fort-de-France – New York-All airports (Selected route is for sale from 29. Sep 2017.)
    Martinique – Fort-de-France – Providence/Boston-TF Selected route is for sale from 29. Oct 2017.

    So I am not sure how his friend was able to “sent his three kids to the States” since flight have not yet started from Martinique as he claims.

    The $79 is for the return fare from all the cites, the outbound fare from Martinique is actually $129.16 (maybe + tax) but still a deal if you can fly direct. Not sure why something so simple could not be confirm.

    • July 28, 2017

      “So I am not sure how his friend was able to ‘sent his three kids to the States’ since flight have not yet started from Martinique as he claims.”

      The flights are seasonal, from November to April, so presumably he sent them last year. I used this flight last year myself, but had to overnight in Gwada both ways, and I probably wouldn’t do it again unless I could do it all in one day.

  25. Anthony P. Ismael: Free Pampers Minister
    July 25, 2017

    If we had a real airport, so many more people would travel to Dominica. Getting back home is a hassle.

    • Me
      July 25, 2017

      Not only a hassle but also expensive.

    • Let The Truth Be Known - Original
      July 25, 2017

      Well, D/ca does not have an international airport. You know how long it will take to build one. Consider it’s cost.
      Therefore, we have to be satisfied with what we have until better can be done. The saying, “When you cannot do better, you say no matter.” Life has to go on. People will still travel somehow.
      The Minister is doing his best to help D/cans and others in this respect. He deserves to be commended. Remember he is human and has feelings. Please do not demean him but give him all the encouragement you can.
      One day D/ca may have an international airport. Some other generations will reap the benefit. It may not be in our lifetime. If it is, Oh Happy Day! We will rejoice and be glad. Let everything take its course.

    • derp
      July 26, 2017

      you mean HELL to get back freaking taking a whole day to get back to Dominica same day from both ends you have to get up real early to catch your flights…..

  26. Octavia Plumpet
    July 25, 2017

    Did Mr Tongue say that Hewanora is equal to Grantley Adams International in terms of frequency of flights? Holy smokes!!!
    No wonder no one takes you seriously!!!

  27. Anthony P. Ismael: Free Pampers Minister
    July 25, 2017

    Robbie needs to calot behind his darn head. All this man chat is pure foolishness. I rubbish his statements. Build an international airport Robbie! :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

    • Calibishi Warrior
      July 26, 2017

      “Build an International Airport for 2 billion dollars that we cannot pay for Robbie …. there … I fixed that for you … SMH

  28. Pioneer
    July 25, 2017

    When it comes to Dominica’s tourism industry the problem is vision. Dominica has too much to offer for the industry to be so lacking. Look at a little country like SXM, it is just a rock with a few beaches yet every day they have 3 or 4 tourist boats in their port. International airlines landing there on the hour. What is wrong with us? Do the people that are in charge of our tourism sector ever travel?
    In this time and age we have to be relying on international airlines landing in neighboring countries to bring tourism to our shores? We ought to be well ashamed. And for the main stakeholder to be coming here and making statements as if Norwegian is a brand new thing that we can capitalize on is disgraceful.
    When it comes to air access to Dominica, all of our leaders have let us down. All of them.

    • Daryl Joseph
      July 25, 2017

      Totally agree with you, when I moved to SXM in 1982 there was front street, back street, and a dirt road called pond fill. With international fights may be 3 times per day. Look at the place now. Air condition airport with traffic jam of international flights coming and going daily.
      All Dominica had to do in 1978 was subsidized a peace of land give a foreign group a 20-30 years tax free bond have them build and run the airport as a private entity, get ride of customs nonsense, just imagine the amount of people that would have been employed, plus the government would not be burdened with financing the airport. But instead we look at other grow while we dwell on negative

    • Tjebe fort
      July 25, 2017

      And look at Aruba, so small. No mountains, rainforest, rivers, waterfall, Is only goats and cactus they have but so many tourist s spending big money there. More cruise ships than Dominica, even in the summer season. We should study that and ask ourselves why that is so instead of trying to blame everyone and everything except ourselves. Tourists are not obliged to visit us, we have to maske them want to do so more than any other place in the Caribbean.

    • Rara
      July 27, 2017

      shaking your big toe!

  29. Malatete
    July 25, 2017

    I don’t know where mr. Tonge gets the notion from that “obviously, somebody is subsidising their flights” and I would challenge him to state, who that somebody could be. The truth is that it is an example of private enterprise, super efficiently run. Its largest single shareholder is also its C.E.O. Bjorn Kos. LIAT and even Caribbean Airways could learn a thing or two from this non-government company! To connect same-day with their flights in- & out of Guadeloupe and Martinique would require early morning departure (probably before daybreak) and night time arrivals at Melville Hall. With such a service it will not be necessary to have a direct flight once-a week between Dominica and the U.S.A. Note, from Oct. Norwegian will also fly between the French islands and Fort Lauderdale.

  30. derp
    July 25, 2017

    something something HIGH AS HELL TAXES # DOMINICA

  31. pedro
    July 25, 2017

    Late to the party mr minister? The trips by Norwegian from the US to the french islands started two years ago.. Surprised that the minister only now found out. Tons of Dominicans have taken advantage of that. It is worth noting though that the cheap rates are not always available. But hey, more access and options is always good. Just a pity it is cheaper traveling 3000 miles from the US than 30 miles next door

  32. The Calabash
    July 25, 2017

    ‘somebody is subsidizing that flight’………For how long and at what cost and disruption to LIAT?
    There are no free lunches in the airline business. Want more flights and access??….Lower taxes, fees and increase demand/population

    • Dominican
      July 25, 2017

      Calebash, that is just an unsubstantiated excuse for the lousy service and high prices we get from LIAT. Mr. Tonge is supposed to be a businessman and should look at Norwegian’s business model instead of making such unintelligent claims. I also know that Norwegian makes a profit, unlike LIAT.

  33. How are you going to accomplish that Tongue without an International Airport?

    No matter what nonsense you talk Douglas-Charles, or Charles-Douglas swamp is not going to cut it! You are not saying anything unless it ” we are going to commence construction on an International Airport somewhere in the country, on a set date. Until then shut up, and save your breath!

  34. Class
    July 25, 2017

    But so Dominica come der nah begging for flights..just build a dam airport..

    • No we doh want it, it too expensive, besides Antigua and Barbados have one already eh!

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      Well you know; they brought Ralph Gonzales to Dominica to convince Dominican’s that all that is need in the twenty-first century is the installation of landing lights, and refurbish the old dilapidated terminal building, and our country is set for life.

      What Gonzales did not tell Roosevelt Skerrit, while he was influencing him to build an International Airport, they had the same in St. Vincent, which kept the country stagnant, hence drugs became its main industry. However, while he demanded no International Airport must not be built in Dominica, he was actually negotiating the building of Argyle International Airport now in operation in St. Vincent!

  35. papa
    July 25, 2017

    Quick quack when I see it

  36. July 25, 2017

    To land where? you guys are a waste of time :-D :-D

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