According to a report from Resonance Consultancy, the Caribbean is the second-most popular holiday destination for the wealthiest 1 percent and 5 percent of travelers after Europe, and 47 percent are considering a vacation there in the next one to two years. And when departing from (or through) Fort Lauderdale International Airport, where private operators such as Monarch Air Group are based, travelers are only a half an hour away from a luxury holiday in paradise.
For some, private air service to the Caribbean makes for an extraordinary experience – immediately transferring the ‘every’ vacationer into the ‘elite’ traveler. Though the exclusivity of a private plane may appear to be out of reach in terms of stretching your vacation budget, there are options available that make the seemingly unattainable experience a very real possibility.
The Caribbean offers the luxury and exclusivity many travelers expect while providing what-dreams-are-made-of vacations all visitors deserve. And while commercial airlines are the most popular means of arrival for millions of visitors each year, the unique geography (and proximity) of the Caribbean allows private aviation to soar.
“While there are hundreds of islands, many are not easily accessible by commercial airline carriers due to shorter runways and steep descents, making private air travel an essential element of transportation in the Caribbean. Our member-countries do whatever is possible to make it convenient for consumers to travel from one destination to another using private aviation to experience the diversity of the region in a multi-destination trip”, states Hugh Riley, Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the following are examples of several Caribbean airports that welcome private air travel:
Antigua and Barbuda, with exclusive hideaways and luxury resorts, offers an idyllic location popular with private jet travelers. V C Bird International (ANU) is the only airport on the island of Antigua and its solar power plant sustainably provides almost enough energy to power the entire operation.
Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) is one of the busiest airports in the region for airline flights and private jet charter activity. It is a popular gateway between the Caribbean and the United States, and it’s served by most of the airlines from around the world.
Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico (SIG) is another popular choice for private charter flights flying to and from Puerto Rico. Based in Miramar, it is also commonly known as Isla Grande Airport. But with a shorter runway than Luis Munoz Marin, this airport does not accept larger jets.
Lynden Pindling International Airport, Nassau, The Bahamas (NAS), formerly known as Nassau International Airport, is the busiest private airport in the region with roughly over 4,000 flights per year, in part thanks to the proximity to South Florida.
Leonard M. Thompson International Airport, Abaco Islands, The Bahamas (MHH), lies in the northern Bahamas and is the second busiest private jet airport in the country. It is located 180 miles east from South Florida.
Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw (SKB) International Airport in St. Kitts welcomes numerous regional commuter flights from within the Caribbean area. RLB International Airport also provides facilities for cargo jets, private jets and various other types of aircraft.
Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten (SXM) offers one of the world’s most stunning landings – coming in very low over the water. The airport is an important hub in the Caribbean, connecting airline flights and those in larger private jets, with smaller aircraft bound for more remote islands.
Providenciales International Airport in Turks & Caicos (PLS) accommodates private jet flights, with travelers attracted to the famously beautiful beaches and luxury resorts, plus the attractive terms for offshore finance.
Guest Post: Article written by Felipe Reisch, PR Manager for Monarch Air Group of Fort Lauderdale.