The Dominican Republic’s Red Air is seeking US government approval to begin scheduled flights to the country.
The airline has applied to the US Transportation Department (DOT) to operate scheduled service between points in the Dominican Republic and points in the US and beyond, with or without stopovers.
The carrier secured permission from the DOT in October to carry out charter flights.
In its latest application, Red Air said it intends to launch scheduled routes to the US as soon as the DOT permits it to. Flights will be onboard McDonnell Douglas DC-9 equipment.
Although the company does not outline which US destinations it hopes to fly to, the carrier has been authorized by the Dominican Republic’s Junta de Aviacion Civil to serve Tampa (TPA) three times per week from Santo Domingo (SDQ) (pictured).
The airline has also announced its intention to serve Miami (MIA).
CAPA Fleet Database shows that Red Air currently has a fleet of four aircraft, comprising one MD-81 and three MD-82s.
Should the full-service carrier secure approval and follow through with the network plans, it will face direct competition from American Airlines and Frontier Airlines in the MIA-SDQ market, as well as from Spirit Airlines, which made its Miami debut in October. However, TPA-SDQ is currently unserved nonstop.
According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, there are currently 36 airport pairs operating between the Dominican Republic and the US and a total of 170,000 scheduled two-way weekly seats. This compares with 135,000 weekly seats and 34 airport pairs at this time in 2019.
JetBlue Airways is the biggest operator of US-Dominican Republic capacity, taking a 29.8% share of the market during the week commencing Nov. 22, 2021. American has a 22.4% capacity share, followed by Delta Air Lines with 16.9%. United Airlines and Spirit complete the top five with 16.6% and 7.3% shares respectively.
Red Air is not the only operator from the Dominican Republic looking to enter the US market. Startup Arajet, previously known as Flycana, plans to commence operations during the first quarter of 2022 and has ambitions of serving destinations in the US.
Photo credit: Pete Niesen / Alamy Stock Photo