Neighbouring Caribbean islands Dominican Republic and Haiti have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) related to air services between the two nations.
The agreement is a blueprint for the legal framework that will guide future bilateral air services relations between the two countries that share the island of Hispaniola.
Director General of the National Office of Civil Aviation (OFNAC), Olivier Jean and President of the “Junta de Aviación Civil” of the Dominican Republic (JAC), Luis Ernesto Camilo signed the MoU after two meetings.
Camilo said the agreement is “historic” in that it strengthens the necessary regulations to govern air transport and provide opportunities for investments in tourism and trade.
Jean – who was accompanied by his legal advisor, Aysha Flambert and director of the Haitian company “Sunrise Airways,” Phillipe Bayard – said that cordiality and openness were maintained throughout the negotiation.
Bayard's Sunrise Airways recently launched a nonstop twice-weekly service between Port-au-Prince and Curaçao.
“Curaçao has been on our wish list for route expansion since our start as a commercial airline in 2012,” Bayard said.
“The route shows tremendous potential for growth on a point-to-point basis between Haiti and Curacao, while also opening up some very attractive connectivity options within our existing route structure.”
“We’re proud and excited to spread our wings to the southern reaches of the West Indies in line with our One Caribbean corporate philosophy,” he added.
Prior to the penning of the MOU, the Haitian delegation had met with Foreign Affairs Minister, Miguel Vargas Maldonado, who viewed the agreement as “an important step forward in bilateral relations between the two countries”.
Over the years, Haiti and the Dominica Republic have shared a tumultuous relationship. As recently as Sept., it was documented that Haitians made up the highest number of people expelled from the Dominican Republic.
Citizens of the French-speaking country face anti-immigrant, racist and institutionalized discrimination from the Dominican Republic.