Once thought to be the epitome of luxury travel only available to company executives and celebrities, flying private on vacation has become much more affordable. While still not the most economical way to travel, a private flight can be seen as an extension of your vacation: a luxurious prelude, rather than an uncomfortable beginning. When travelling to the Caribbean destination of Anguilla, a private flight is immediately attractive, as the destination isn’t serviced by massive traditional jets and filling the cabin with a large party will make the cost per seat much more reasonable.
For a destination like Anguilla known for quiet luxury, a private flight makes for a compelling transit option. Below, we get into the ins and outs of flying privately to Anguilla - and why this increasingly affordable option should be on your radar.
Let’s address the most important question first! One of the foremost benefits of flying with a private aviation operator is that you're in control of when you leave, what you pack, how you spend your flight time and your flight companions. Depending on your access to a commercial airport, it may be difficult to find a direct flight to your planned destination. With a private charter, there are no lengthy layovers or missed connections. Even if you can find a direct flight to your holiday paradise, it may well leave at an inconvenient time. Plus, you have to get to the airport hours ahead of time and go through the inconvenience of checking baggage and security.
Flying private, you can drive your car right up to the aircraft and then leave within minutes—as soon as your bags are loaded, in fact. Security is minimal. Often, you can fly out of private airports that are much closer to home than the nearest international airport. Even at major airports a fixed base operator (FBO) will have a separate and easily accessible terminal just for private flights.
Knowing exactly who you’re flying with - and keeping the passenger numbers small - also does wonders for cultivating that relaxed vacation mindset. The considerable luxuries and amenities that often come with private flights certainly don’t hurt in that regard, either.
Explore Anguilla; photo courtesy of the Anguilla Tourist Board
When travelling to the fabulous holiday destination of Anguilla, you’ll fly into Anguilla-Clayton J. Lloyd Airport (AXA), renamed in 2010 to honour the first Anguillan aviator and founder of the island’s first air service. The runway is 5,463 feet, which allows up to midsize private jets to land.
AXA is serviced by a wide variety of charters, empowering the consumer to make a choice that best suits their own needs and schedule. Most charter operators will quote a rate either based on flying time or distance.
Florida-based Monarch Air Group is an experienced air charter broker with extensive industry experience and knowledgeable personnel, who can provide appropriately sized private aircraft for flights into Anguilla from major cities in North America and Europe.
JetOne Aviation offers a charter service with worldwide access to more than 7,000 aircraft of all categories, especially for those who are looking for a luxury jet experience. Their on-demand air charter option is ideal for those who want to maximize travel time and are not looking for any long-term commitment or membership fees. Typical private aircraft from their fleet which can fly into Anguilla are executive turboprops for up to seven passengers and a range of 2,000 miles, compact light jets for up to five passengers and a range of 1,200 miles, light jets for up to eight passengers and a range of 1,400 miles, midsize jets for up to eight passengers and a range of 2,000 miles and super midsize jets for up to 10 passengers and a range of 3,500 miles.
There’s also the option of a hybrid flight. Take a regularly scheduled flight on a major airline to, say Miami International Airport (MIA), San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), or St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), then organize a local charter for the short remainder of your trip to Anguilla-Clayton J. Lloyd Airport (AXA).
Anguilla Air Services; Photo courtesy of Anguilla Air Services
While there are dozens of charter operators in North America who regularly fly to the Caribbean, there are a couple based in Anguilla and several who specialize in serving the island with both charters and regularly scheduled flights.
Anguilla-based and owned Trans Anguilla Airways operates three twin-engine Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft and one Cessna for charters throughout the Leeward and Windward Islands. From St. Maarten, TAA offers regularly scheduled seven-minute flights to Anguilla.
Anguilla Air Services also operates Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft to provide charters and daily scheduled flights from St. Maarten.
For those who can’t fly private, increased flights from Miami direct to Anguilla this winter have made access much easier. American Airlines offered flights from its Florida hub to the island up to 11 times a week during the festive season.
From its hub at San Juan, Seaborne Airlines, now owned by Silver Airways, flies regularly to Anguilla. Seaborne has code-sharing agreements with several airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue, to ensure passengers can transit easily from their distant points of origin when they reach San Juan.
Anguilla Air Services recently announced a new scheduled service commencing November 2023 between Antigua and Anguilla, three times per week (Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays).
Anguilla is also easily accessible with Tradewind Aviation, with scheduled flights from San Juan in the high season between December and April. Last year the airline announced it was purchasing a further 20 Pilatus PC-12 single-engine aircraft, which will eventually double its fleet and increase its ability to serve the charter market.