Breeze Air Charters, based at the Standard Aviation FBO on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, has had something of a rollercoaster year dealing with COVID and all the international closures it has brought about. Based on a forecast early in the year, the charter company's business has been on par with expectations. But ever-evolving COVID-19 protocols and entry requirements are burdensome for charter flight clientele.
“The positive uptick the business aviation industry has seen amid the pandemic, we have seen on a small scale,” comments chief pilot Matthew Stewart. “This is in part because we are the final mile for domestic travel, so to speak, as the US Virgin Islands are the southern and easternmost point of US territory. Our business centres around the Pilatus PC-12 for its impeccable safety record and ability to land on the short runways of many small Caribbean islands. In the coming weeks, a Piper Aztec will be added to the charter certificate. Future fleet expansion plans include additional Pilatus aircraft. In the coming years, we also plan to add a light jet for easy travel from the central Caribbean direct to the US mainland.”
Due to the worsening COVID-19 case count in Trinidad, Breeze Air Charters recently flew a mission to evacuate a family from the island.
Stewart says the most important factor in the growth of Breeze Air Charters, despite the pandemic, has been popular destinations remaining open to visitors. Commonly requested islands include the British Virgin Islands, St. Barths, St. Maarten, and the Dominican Republic. Each respective destination has clearly communicated its current pandemic protocols, which has been imperative to the continued success of the charter flight business.
Stewart concludes: “In addition to adding the Aztec to the Breeze Air Charters fleet this year, our team looks forward to another thriving tourism season. We are hopeful for numerous charter flights, open doors at neighbouring islands and clients with the desire to go explore.”