SINT MAARTEN/CUBA – Cuba has been described as the awakening tourism giant of the Caribbean. Agreements have been reached in air transportation as well as cruises to the island.
Fitch Credit Investment Ratings Group recently said that with the agreement reached between the United States of America and Cuba regarding air transportation, two nations in the Caribbean are being used as comparisons with respect to the type of air traffic growth Cuba will see, namely Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
The air agreement with Cuba at the moment allows for 20 daily flights to Havana (Jose Marti International Airport) and 90 daily flights to nine other Cuban cities.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that in 2014 Puerto Rico’s international airport Luis Munoz Marin had over 4.1 million enplanements.
The Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana International Airport, according to the Central Bank of that country, the later saw 5.2 million enplanements in 2013.
Modest growth in air travel to Cuba is expected in the coming years climbing to the same levels of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Other destinations in the Caribbean will have to review their air development plans and push forward in opening new routes if they are to retain current numbers to their destinations. The regional air traffic business according to some analysts will go where growth is, and Cuba will be the destination.
The aforementioned is once again an eye-opener for regional airports including Sint Maarten, that you cannot rest on your laurels, but will have to move forward in executing plans that secure new business for the long-term sustainability of an airport and the destination.
SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT