NEW YORK — Travel Weekly honored the winners of its 20th annual Readers’ Choice Awards at a black-tie gala dinner and ceremony on Dec. 14 at the American Museum of Natural History here.
The awards represent what Travel Weekly’s audience of travel advisors considers the best of the best in 82 categories of travel.
An open ballot phase of the voting was conducted during the summer, and readers were invited to write in the names of any company they believed best exemplified a particular category. The leading vote recipients were identified as finalists, and a second round of voting on those names took place in the fall.
Travel Weekly also recognized four people with Lifetime Achievement Awards: Michael Premo, president and CEO of ARC; Anne Morgan Scully, partner with Embark Beyond; Matthew Upchurch, chairman and CEO of Virtuoso; and Arnold Donald, former president and CEO of Carnival Corp. The award pays tribute to individuals whose efforts have led to extraordinary results within an organization and who have also made significant contributions to the industry as a whole.
CheapOair and OneTravel have become the first online travel agencies in the US to offer flights on the Dominican Republic’s newest national carrier, Arajet. The OTA brands, operated by Manhattan-based travel technology company Fareportal, began selling on behalf of Arajet on November 15th.
Launched on September 15th, Arajet is the Dominican Republic’s newest low-cost carrier that already launched a wide-ranging route network of 18 destinations in 11 countries. The airline will contribute to a boost in tourism over the next 5 years, with plans to transport more than 7 million passengers, generating thousands of jobs in the region. Current routes to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic include origins in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, Jamaica, Aruba, St. Maarten and Curacao, with more to follow.
Werner Kunz-Cho, CEO of Fareportal, comments on the announcement, “Arajet is an exciting addition to the airlines sold on CheapOair and OneTravel. They selected our brands as the OTA platforms to introduce their growing route network to the US traveling public knowing that we will support them with industry-leading technology and a commitment to exemplary customer service. We look forward to an enduring partnership with Arajet.”
Víctor Pacheco, CEO and founder of Arajet said, “we are happy to join forces with Fareportal and its online travel agencies CheapOair and OneTravel. We are planning to open 17 new destinations in the United States in the coming months to support the Dominican diaspora with the lowest fares to visit friends and family, and we are sure that this alliance will catapult our vision.”
Low-Cost Carriers (LCC’s) are uniquely positioned for growth, according to aviation industry experts. Three new carriers launched in the United States in 2021 and more than twenty are expected to debut worldwide in 2022.
Fareportal is a travel technology company powering a next generation travel concierge service. Utilizing its innovative technology and company-owned and operated global contact centers, Fareportal has built strong industry partnerships providing customers access to over 500 airlines, a million lodgings, and hundreds of car rental companies around the globe. With a portfolio of consumer travel brands including CheapOair and One Travel, Fareportal enables consumers to book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone, or live chat. Fareportal provides its airline partners with access to a broad customer base that books high-yielding international and domestic flight, hotel, and other travel and add-on ancillaries.
Arajet is the first low-fare airline in the Caribbean region and started operations in September 2022 from its base at Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo, under its airline operator certificate (AOC) from the Dominican Republic. Arajet operates a new fleet of Boeing 737MAX-8 aircraft that provide safe and affordable travel to and from the Dominican Republic to several destinations in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean region. For more information, visit www.Arajet.com.