Black Immigrant Daily News
While it has been granted approval by its local aviation body to expand operations in the Caribbean and Latin American region including Guyana, Dominican Republic-based low-cost carrier – Arajet Airlines – is yet to submit a formal application to local authorities to operate in the country.
On Thursday, the Junta de Aviación Civil (JAC) – the civil aviation board of the Dominican Republic – said via Twitter that it has approved Arajet’s request to include routes connecting Santo Domingo with Brazil, Honduras, Belize, Barbados, Trinidad, and Guyana.
However, Head of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Retired Lieutenant Colonel Egbert Field disclosed that no formal application has been submitted by the start-up airline to operate here.
According to Field, the company did reach out to the GCAA in November to enquire about the process and requirements needed to service this route. He said the GCAA has since provided all the relevant information to the airline.
“We responded to them as to what the requirements are for operation of their aircraft [in Guyana] …the ball is now in their court,” the GCAA Head stated.
Meanwhile, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill pointed out, when contacted by this publication on the matter, that there was an extensive process and due diligence to be done before Arajet could get permission to operate here.
“As the Minister responsible, I have to give my consent [to the granting of an application] and that will only be based upon them satisfying all the necessary requirements to ensure safety first and secondly, passengers’ guarantee that once they spent money, they are going to be taken to their destinations which means the lodging of bonds. It’s a whole process,” Edghill noted.
Arajet has gotten approval from the JAC to expand its routes to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus in Brazil; San Pedro de Sula, Honduras; Belize; Bridgetown, Barbados; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Georgetown, Guyana as of March 2023.
The Santo Domingo-based ultra-low-cost airline started operations in September 2022 with flights to Barranquilla and Cali in Colombia, San Salvador in El Salvador, and Aruba. In November, it added Jamaica to its routes.
Currently, Arajet has flights to some 17 destinations in 11 countries within Latin America and the Caribbean region, using its existing fleet of five Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft with the capacity to carry 185 passengers in a two-class configuration.
It has been reported that Arajet plans to transport more than seven million passengers, generating more than 4000 direct and close to 40,000 indirect jobs in the region, within the next five years.
In fact, the JAC had reported that the start-up airline transported nearly 50,000 passengers in the first three months of its operations between September and November last year.
According to an article published by Simple Flying in December 2022, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Arajet, Víctor Pacheco, described the airline as a ‘low-price’ company and not a low-cost or ultra-low-cost airline. He said, in the article, the difference between both business models lies in the connectivity hub, which will be based in the Dominican Republic and connect the region with low-fare services.
Simple Flying also reported that Arajet signed a deal with Boeing last year for 20 B737 Max 8 aircraft plus options for 15 more. These new planes will be delivered starting in 2024.However, the airline is expected to add five leased Max units to its fleet by the end of this year.
Pacheco said that Arajet was looking to have a fleet of about 30 aircraft by 2027 with more than 50 regional routes. These would include destinations in North America while European ones could also be a possibility, the article detailed.