North American regional carrier Tradewind Aviation is to launch the only non-stop link between Antigua and St Barths in the Caribbean with a new daily service commencing on October 15, 2012. The flight, which will offer onward connections to British Airways’ link between London and Antigua will operate as part of its ‘Premium Scheduled Service’ offering. The route has been previously served by Windward Island Airways (Winair), most recently in 2010.
Tradewind Aviation, which is based in Oxford, CT but with offices in San Juan, PR, White Plains,NY and Teterboro, NJ, was founded in 2001 but introduced its new business concept in 2002 to bring a higher level of service and equipment to short routes serving high end destinations. It initially launched flights from Westchester and Teterboro to Nantucket, adding links to Martha's Vineyard from the two New York area airports in 2005. These routes are flown from private FBOs.
The airline operates an all turbine fleet of Cessna Grand Caravans and Pilatus PC12s, flown by a two pilot crew at all times with complimentary drinks, snacks, wine and beer onboard. “We market it as ‘the private charter experience for the cost of a single seat’ - and this very much sums it up,” David Zipkin, Vice President of Marketing, Tradewind Aviation told The HUB.
Tradewind Aviation made its debut in St Barths in 2006 when it introduced flights from San Juan. “St Barth is the perfect combination of high end and difficult to get to - so perfect for what we do,” explained Zipkin. “Before Tradewind, scheduled service was only available from St Maarten which for many required two airline connections. As you know, San Juan is much better served by the airlines, both in quantity of flights and cities served non-stop.”
In 2011, Tradewind further enhanced its St Barths offering with a new link from St Thomas, adding to the airline connection options for US visitors. “Moving forward we do have our eye on some other underserved locations where our concept would be well received,” added Zipkin.