Hundreds of travellers were stranded in the Dominican Republic's main international airport on Friday after authorities suspended the country's principal airline for not paying debts.
Officials announced January 27 that they were suspending Pawa Dominicana's operations at the Santo Domingo airport for at least 90 days because the company owes US$3 million in taxes and airport fees to the government and US$5 million to private contractors.
Some 1,300 passengers arriving in Santo Domingo on other airlines for connections with Pawa over the last week have found themselves without a way to reach their final destinations and many are sleeping in the airport due to the high prices of nearby lodging.
"We're sleeping on suitcases or the floor," said Katherine Flores, a Venezuelan who has slept in the airport one night since her flight to Curacao was cancelled. She and her friends said they had already spent all their vacation money on food at the airport.