FILE PHOTO: Dominica's parliament in session
FILE PHOTO: Dominica's parliament in session

Direct flights from Dominica to the United States may soon be available. On June 22, 2021, the island welcomed the first American Airlines Jet flight.

The airline performed a proving flight run -which is typically the last technical or operational hurdle in the process of an airline seeking to obtain an Air Operator Permit for destinations where it has an interest to service- to and from Douglas-Charles Airport. It landed at 4:15 pm AST on runway 09 and departed at 5:46 pm AST directly to Miami International Airport, where it landed approximately 3 hours later at 8:57 PM AST.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, this flight was not a revenue service operation but done to ensure that an aircraft is able, in real-time, to perform safe and compliant operations on this route. The feedback from the crew on land was all positive with no concerns raised.

While Dominica has received American Eagle flights before, this is the first known American Airlines Jet Flight that has landed in the country's main airport.

Another great news for travelers is the return of rotation for L'Express des Iles to Dominica and neighboring islands.

Last week the company announced via its Facebook page that Dominica and St Lucia will be added to their stops as of June 28, 2021, following months of shutting down operations to these islands due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The company notes that this is subject to the authorization of the Dominican authority, they stated that rotations are scheduled to reopen on July 8, 2021.

Also on our list this week is 15-year-old Abiyah James, who has been found, following a three-week search by the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF).

Initially, the police stated that the suspected runaway teenager from the community of Mahaut may not be in danger, but given the fact that she is a minor, her disappearance is cause for concern. On June 27, 2021, the Mahaut Police Station confirmed to the Sun that the student of the Goodwill Secondary School (GSS) was found in the community of Salisbury and is back home with her family

A working group has been commissioned to make recommendations towards improving the performance of boys at the Grade 6 National Assessment (G6NA).

Education Minister Octavia Alfred says this intervention is necessary to identify and address the challenges faced by boys as the ministry continues to observe the disparities between boys' and girls' performance.

On Monday, 28th June 2021, at the seventh meeting of the tenth parliament, several bills were expected to bring before parliament for debate.

The Bills include the Fiscal Responsibility Bill which will guide and anchor the fiscal policy of the government; a Bill for an Act to amend the automatic exchange of financial accounting information Act number 6 of 2019; another for laws to amend the Companies Act as part of the international commitments to open and transparently exchange tax information; a Bill for an Act to repeal the international business company's Act Chapter 78:01 and finally, the Dominica Hospital Authority Bill which government says will provide for the establishment of the Dominica Hospital Authority, the administration and management of the hospitals and health facilities.

The government withdrew the Fiscal Responsibility Bill before it was read following a threat of protest by the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) and other groups. The Bill would have restricted the abilities of public service unions to negotiate salary increases.