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.