InterCaribbean said it made “airline history” on Wednesday (May 3) with its first, scheduled direct round-trip flights between the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
The inaugural flight took off at the scheduled departure time at noon, from Terrence B Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, BVI.
The airline said it “delivered the Dominican and other nationals on board to Las Americas International Airport, Santo Domingo, in 1 hour and 25 minutes”.
“It was a smooth, routine flight,” said First Officer Gajen Thiru. “We landed and, after a quick 20-minute turn-around, we were on our way back!”
A mixed group of passengers travelled on the return flight, which departed Santo Domingo at 1.45pm, and landed on Beef Island at 3.15pm. The aircraft was a 32-seater Embraer EMB 120 ‘Brasilia’.
Flight attendant Milton Hernandez noted that half the passengers on the return trip were traveling from the Turks and Caicos Islands, having boarded the incoming flight in Providenciales.
“This is a great flight!” said Howard Thomas, a resident of Huntums Ghut, who returned from a trip to Kingston, Jamaica. “I booked my return leg last Friday. The price was right and, since I don’t have a US Visa, this was the best and most direct way for me to fly back.”
Rafael Jean of West End was also pleased with his experience and the cost of the flight. “It was a good and smooth flight and inexpensive! Also, unlike the smaller charter flights that I have travelled on between Tortola and Santo Domingo, this plane is more comfortable and has restroom facilities. I will definitely be flying home with interCaribbean again!”
It was a first-time experience on a plane for Marianny Aybar Carmona, who had just arrived from Santo Domingo to visit her husband who works in Tortola. “I was a bit nervous at first, but it was a good flight and I was fine,” she said, hugging her husband.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at interCaribbean Airways, Trevor Sadler, said: “This route is the latest addition to our expanding services connecting the Caribbean islands…”
“It made sense to introduce the direct flight between the BVI and the Dominican Republic. There is a long history and connection between the two countries, with the population in each place having family and work ties, making travel between the two islands a necessity, but which didn’t have a regular scheduled service until now,” added the airline’s CEO.
He is hopeful that the service will also attract tourists and shoppers to the Dominican Republic. “Santo Domingo is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean, steeped in history, with buildings that date back to the 1500s. It also has prime malls with a much bigger selection of stores offering a wider range of shopping experiences than San Juan.”
The interCaribbean boss continued: “I think that, once people try it (flight between BVI and the Dominican Republic), they will make this their preferred option that combines site-seeing with shopping.”
InterCaribbean currently offers twice-weekly direct round-trip flights between the BVI and the Dominican Republic. It flies on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The airline’s second weekly round-trip flight on Saturday, May 6, kept to schedule flying, with an “encouraging passenger load” traveling on each leg.
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