Dominican Wings announced on March 5 that it is changing its business model from a charter airline to ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) scheduled carrier.
Supported by Airbus executive Gonzalo Ramos and ULCC expert Mike Powell, the CEO and Founder, Victor Miguel Pacheco, confirmed this news and expanded on the specifics of the market and the model.
The airline continued:
The Dominican air travel market has experienced steady growth in the last few years and Dominican Wings believes that, by adopted the ULCC model, it can accelerate that growth. As such Dominican Wings will be a catalyst for the rapid expansion of the air transportation market in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean as a whole. New traffic to and from the island will provide direct and indirect employment opportunities and have a significant positive impact on the regional and national economy.
Ultra low cost carriers have been amongst the most successful airline business around the world. The highly efficient ULCC model provides passengers with the opportunity to travel for significantly lower fares than those currently offered by high cost airlines. This is achieved by applying the fundamental principles of low cost: a fleet of modern, efficient and single-type aircraft; high density seating in a single class; high aircraft utilization and staff productivity; low overheads; the sale of food and beverages on board as well as other ancillary services such as priority boarding and extra legroom seats.
Victor Pacheco comments that:
“whereas traditional airlines sell an all-inclusive fare with a margin levied on every aspect of that service, Dominican Wings will charge a passenger a base fare and passengers will be able to choose which, if any, extras they wish to purchase”.
Bringing this air transportation model to the Dominican market for the first time will allow more Dominicans to access to air travel, to visit friends and relatives, to go on vacation, to work and study abroad. Victor’s goal is to give an equal opportunity to all Dominicans to travel and see the planet from the skies.
The Dominican government in the form of IDAC, JAC and CESAC have been supportive of this process and welcome the opportunities that the ULCC model will bring to the country.
Mike Powell added that the ULCC model relies on low costs and competitive supplier relationships, ntably with airports, ground handlers and other key suppliers.
“The airline will have several bases in different airports within the Dominican Republic. A tender for a competitive cost base is underway and the airport that makes the most attractive proposal will be developed first”.
Mike Powell is an investor in Dominican Wings and has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mike was previously the CFO at Wizz Air, a European ULCC which completed the largest low cost airline IPO in history when it listed its shares in London in 2015. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Flybondi, the first low cost airline in Argentina. Flybondi raised $75M in June 2017 through local and international investors.
Copyright Photo (all others by Dominican Wings): Dominican Wings Airbus A320-233 HI968 (msn 561) SXM (Jay Selman). Image: 403501.