The Dominican Republic’s Civil Aviation Board (JAC) has announced that Arajet has been granted authorization to fly to five new South American countries and add two new routes to Colombia. The Dominican low-cost airline will now operate flights to Asunción (ASU), Paraguay; Buenos Aires/Ezeiza (EZE), Argentina; Montevideo (MVD), Uruguay; Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI), Bolivia; and Santiago (SCL), Chile, from its hub at Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo.
Arajet’s interest in expanding into South America is part of its short-term growth plan: Recently, Arajet’s CEO Victor Pacheco has frequently mentioned intentions to enter the US, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile markets, but the airline is also considering more South American countries.
Arajet is awaiting the implementation of the open skies agreement between the Dominican Republic and the United States to fly to the US. To date, they have applied to operate flights to Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), Newark (EWR), New York/Stewart (SWF), New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO), Providence (PVD), and San Juan (SJU), but were denied in first instance.
While preparing a new filing, Arajet is focusing on South America. In December, they requested authorization to fly to Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Manaus) and Guyana (Georgetown), which were granted. In early March, requests were submitted for Asunción (ASU), Buenos Aires/Ezeiza (EZE), Montevideo (MVD), Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI), and Santiago (SCL). Marte Piantini, the president of the Civil Aviation Board, announced on social media that Arajet has been authorized to fly to these five cities, although no tentative start dates have been provided.
According to Piantini, these five countries are important for the Dominican market due to their high tourist numbers. In fact, LATAM and Aerolíneas Argentinas operate direct flights to Punta Cana (PUJ) from Buenos Aires and Santiago, while other cities use connections provided by other airlines. Based on Arajet’s market research, Resolution 67-2023 states that the plan is to begin with two weekly flights, allowing for an annual average of 121,119 passengers.
Arajet is considering the establishment of a second hub in Santiago de los Caballeros, the Dominican Republic’s second-largest city by population. The low-cost carrier has proposed basing some aircraft there to operate high-demand routes to the United States, such as Boston or New York. Colombia has also been added to the list, which will attract tourists seeking the country’s northern coast. The airline has been authorized to fly from Santiago (STI) to Bogotá (BOG) and Medellín/Rionegro (MDE).
Expanding Arajet Fleet in Santo Domingo Hub
Recently, Arajet launched 42 round-trip connections, operating twice a week to and from nine of the 17 countries in its route network.
“What we promised is now a reality: Arajet offers connections to 9 countries in our network of 11 destinations with low fares so that more people can fly for the first time, visit friends and family, or go sightseeing in our region” said Victor Pacheco, CEO and founder of Arajet.
Since April 5, customers have been able to purchase tickets for travel on over 300,000 new seats added to the airline’s offering until March 30, 2024.
According to the airline’s reservation system, travelers can book the following routes:
- Aruba, Cartagena, Curaçao, Kingston, and St. Maarten to Cancún, Guatemala City, Mexico City, and San Salvador.
- Medellín to Mexico City.
- Cancún, Guatemala City, and San Salvador to Aruba, Cartagena, Curaçao, Kingston, and St. Maarten
- Mexico City to Aruba, Cartagena, Curaçao, Kingston, Medellín, and St. Maarten
The company expects to add Peru, Ecuador, and the remaining destinations in Colombia by mid-year.
Arajet plans to close 2023 with double its current fleet, which now consists of five Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, each with a capacity for 185 passengers. The airline has placed an order for 35 Boeing 737 MAX 8200, the high-density version of the MAX that could accommodate up to 210 passengers, although is being operated by Ryanair with 197 seats.
According to the Dominican Republic’s Civil Aviation Board (JAC), from its launch in September 2022 until March 2023, Arajet has transported more than 160,000 passengers.