The Dominican Republic-based Pan Am World Airways (PAWA) Dominicana on Monday commenced scheduled service to Antigua making it the airline’s first English-speaking destination. The service will operate twice-weekly from the Dominican Republic via St Maarten.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Antigua’s Airport Authority Director of Operations Edward Gilkes said “this will lend the ability for people to travel to and from Santo Domingo freely; there’s now the market for it, remembering that we also have a very large Santo Domingo population here in Antigua.”
He added, “Antiguans may go to Santo Domingo for vacation and love it, because things there are not as expensive as they are here; so that will lend a positive impact to it.”
PAWA Dominicana’s Antigua Branch Manager, Carlos Benitez, who indicated that flight-route expansion would be just around the corner said “we’ll be travelling to Cuba from November 30, which means that the Cuban community, and those Antiguans that study in Cuba – and their families – can now use (our airline), connect in Santo Domingo, and take a connecting flight to Cuba on the same day.”
Benitez is fully confident that PAWA Dominicana will be able to be competitive with established regional airlines like LIAT and Caribbean Airlines, adding that “we’re also looking at Trinidad and Barbados, from early next year. We are (also) looking to get a permit to land in San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Miami (Florida).”
PAWA Dominicana will fly to Antigua on Mondays and Fridays, with an MD83 aircraft which seats around 160 passengers.
Antigua & Barbuda now joins St. Maarten, Aruba, and Curacao as the airline’s international destinations.