Head of Civil Aviation Louis Halley, TEATT Cabinet Senior Policy Advisor Regina Labega, St. Maarten Tourism Minister Stuart Johnson and Air Century Commercial Director Fabio Melo at the hanger of Air Century in the Dominican Republic on Saturday.
PHILIPSBURG– Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Stuart Johnson met with Air Century Airline officials in the Dominican Republic (DR) during a working visit this past weekend. The airline reported to the minister that since it started flying to St. Maarten from the Dominican Republic in 2018, it has enjoyed a load factor of 70 per cent making St. Maarten its “top destination.”
The airline is looking towards the near future when it intends to offer more flights to the island to connect St. Maarten with the other destinations it services. At present, Air Century provides flights to Puerto Rico, Curaçao, Haiti, Cuba, Aruba and St. Maarten, and is based in the Dominican Republic.
Johnson said on Sunday, “Air Century serves a very essential need for our island, as a large number of our residents are from the Dominican Republic. The DR is a country which has a long history and shared relationship with the people of St. Maarten.” He said the need for additional airlift to the St. Maarten has to continually be looked at from the perspective of what service is most needed.
“That is the only way we will sustainably rebuild the airlifts to our island. The right connections create major marketing opportunities, along with the increased visitor arrivals, and each route has to be beneficial for the airline itself as well so that they can provide service that we can rely on year-round,” added Johnson.
Johnson’s main goal when he met with Air Century Commercial Director Fabio Melo was to discuss increasing flight frequency and marketing opportunities for St. Maarten. “I also wanted to solidify the government of St. Maarten’s commitment to providing support. Naturally, supporting the airline is easier to agree upon since Air Century is very pleased with its load factor to St. Maarten,” Johnson added.
Johnson, his senior policy advisor in the TEATT Cabinet Regina Labega and Head of Civil Aviation Louis Halley received a tour of Air Century’s operations base at Dr. Joaquin Balaguer International Airport La Isabela.
Air Century flies four times weekly to St. Maarten using both a CRJ200 Jet with 45 seats available and a Saab 340B offering 27 seats. The airline has confirmed that it will increase from four to five flights weekly to St. Maarten starting this summer. Air Century began to fly to St. Maarten in 2018 and instantly filled a void left when Dominican Republic Airline PAWA halted its service.
According to Melo, “Our vision is to connect the Caribbean uniquely, offering the safest air transportation at very competitive prices.”
Johnson and his delegation, along with Dutch Ambassador Annemieke Verrijp, also attended the Agroalimentaria Fair while in the country.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/87458-air-century-to-add-flight